The Macs

Friday, April 9, 2010

sharing my story {for real}

I hate being in the spotlight. I'd much rather stay "behind the scenes". I was one of those little girls at my piano recitals whose hands were shaking so much, it was hard to get through the song. I still have dreadful memories of my college speech class too. I was SO nervous. It was a small class...I don't really know why it was that bad. But every time I gave a speech you could see my notecards wiggling because of my shaking hands. And my shaky voice was awful. I was so thankful when I passed that class. And I remember telling myself that if I got through that class I would never have to speak publicly again. After all, it was NOT something I was gifted at. If only things always went according to our plans, right?

Well, this week I had the opportunity to share my story...

I was really tempted to tell my friend that I wouldn't do it. Remember, public speaking is NOT my thing. But Joel told me I really should say yes. And as I prayed about it, I thought how ridiculous it would be for me to pass up an opportunity to openly share to lots of people the things that God is doing in my life. God can work even through my shaky voice.

So, I said yes.

I have been preparing for weeks. And I was surprised by how good it was for me to put on paper some of the things God has been teaching me. It even helped me understand better what He has been teaching me. I loved reading through the verses again that spoke such truth to me during those very dark days after loosing Cora. And I was reminded once again how trustworthy God is, even when I don't understand the things He is doing in my life.

A few of the ladies at the church prayed with me before the morning started. And SO many of my friends and family prayed for me throughout the morning. I am so thankful for that.

It is crazy for me to see myself on a stage in front of people like this. I told the ladies that before Cora died, I would have told them that there was no way that I could keep going if I lost her. And I would have laughed if they would have told me that not only would I live through it, but I would be given enough strength to stand in front of them and share about it that morning. That is the power of God being made perfect through my weaknesses!

So, I am thankful to have that behind me. And now I am just praying that God will use my words to speak His truth to someone who needed to hear it that morning.

Life is feeling a little back to normal now. Levi is having some major congestion this week. He has his first baby cold. Poor guy! So I have been giving him some extra love. But, I have lots of things to share with you including Easter pictures and the final numbers from Cora's for Calla. Lots to come...


Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Good for you!
Where was it?

Good for you for letting God use you and your words. Your story is powerful, but it wouldn't be the story it is if you weren't willing to share it.

Thank you for the sweet card! Made me smile the other day.
And by the way, Drew said something yesterday about how he misses your voice. :) He's very good at noticing little nuances about people and he could perfectly describe your voice, which I thought was so cool! You've left a great impression on him.

Happy Sunshiney day to you!

April 9, 2010 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

i would have loved to hear you speak! i bet it was so much more powerful than you realize!

April 9, 2010 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Charity Nee said...

Good for you! Your story is very encouraging... That IS the power of God being made perfect through your weaknesses! You are very inspiring Jess...
Overcoming your fears is one of the best things you can ever do. Good job girl! :)

April 9, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger The Fishers said...

You are an inspiration Jess and a reminder to all of us that Jesus will always give us the strength to go on even when we cannot imagine doing so. Thank you for sharing yourself.

April 9, 2010 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Public Speaking does get easier, but it also helps LOADS when prayers are behind you as well as a Gracious, Caring God.

April 9, 2010 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger ........ said...

Wow! I am also incredibly afraid of public speaking and even though I don't know you in person let me just say that I am so proud of you! You have been such an inspiration to me since I "met" you through your blog and now I have one more reason to be inspired!

April 9, 2010 at 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


April 9, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Taylor said...

Great job I know you are glad its over. I wish you could put it on your blog or utube so we could all here your wonderful testimony!

April 9, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Kristi REDISKE said...

Wow-I am so glad to hear that you are ok-I have been concerned about you-Praise the Lord that he gave you strength to speak and tell your story. I know what you meant about being scared in front of people-I was the same way about piano recitals-actually- I was worse-I quit piano so I wouldn't have to do the recital-for real. I still am that way and I am a grandma now-sad but true. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to see the Easter pics of that sweet boy and hear the total of Coras for Calla fundraiser. Praying for you all.

April 9, 2010 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Kristi REDISKE said...

I have a question-just thought of it-would you speak at other churches for other ladies groups? Just wondering-we would all treat you right-:)

April 9, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Trisha Larson said...


I have been really struggling with my decision to speak about finding Joy after Nate's death to a women's bible study. Your words about God being perfect in your weakness really resonated with me. That's what God has been teaching me the past few months and I am already forgetting it.

I am glad that you got through it. I'm sure that I will too.


April 9, 2010 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

What an amazing opportunity!! I'm sure your story impacted each and every person in that room!! Proud of you!

April 9, 2010 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger The Farmers Nest said...

God used you in that very room in the hearts of those women and he uses you daily through your life shared on this blog. I am so encouraged by your relationship with Jesus and how he speaks to you.

April 9, 2010 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

Jess, good for you! Way to let God use you and listen to your husband's leading. Life is so funny in how it turns out so often not like we expected. God is good all the time. Kelly

p.s my word verification is "bleste" :) Kind of like blessed. That makes me smile.

April 9, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

So very proud of you. You have a great and hard earned story to tell, and I know that God filled the room with His presence as you shared. Those words will not return void without accomplishing what He sent them for. If you can post your "talk" to your blog I know that many of us would love to hear it.

April 9, 2010 at 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Ceri said...

Awesome, it is amazing what can be done with the power of God. Sorry Mr. Levi is sick that is NO fun. Do you have one of these? it is GREAT!

April 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

Good for you! I am very proud of you and so thankful to God for giving you the strength, ability and desire to share with so many.

April 9, 2010 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's wonderful that you are allowing yourself to be used by God!
Do you like to hear stories from people who read your blog? If so, here is one. When I was in college I had to take a speech class (like, giving speeches/public speaking) and I made it through the first one (introduce a classmate or something like that). The next speech, I stood in front of the class, couldn't think of a thing I was supposed to say, and suddenly ran out of the room. I never went back! I told the professor to fail me and I took the class the next semester. My husband thinks (now) that I should have gone back and faced the class. Maybe I could have, but it didn't feel like it. So...good for you for facing all the things that seem impossible. God truly is the strength in our lives.

April 9, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, Jess. We do overcome by the word of our testimonies and the blood of the Lamb.
I contemplate why we are so afraid to speak in front of people. Most of the time the people are quite receptive and kind, especially church women.
I think that you willingness to share your story will definitely strengthen and bless you. I will continue to pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen you to share.

April 9, 2010 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger merlin said...

Cora continues to impact lives, including her mother's.

Will you be able to post a video of your talk?

April 9, 2010 at 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Diana said...

Good for you! Proud of you! Wish I could have heard you. I'm sure those in attendance were greatly blessed. How could they not be... since your blog blesses so many of US with your words and what God gives you to say!

Can't wait to see your Easter photos!


April 10, 2010 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

I'm glad you did it and, for you, I'm glad it's over! :)

For Levi... do you have a Nosefrida? I tell people every chance I get to buy one for their kids for when they're sick/stuffed up. It rocks & you'll never look back.

April 10, 2010 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Krista Hutton said...


Thank you so much FOR speaking. You did an absolutely amazing job and I can promise you that your words and your story touched many many women that day; I know you touched me. If it weren't for the fact that you mentioned you weren't a public speaker (nor am I, I can feel your pain here:)), I would have never known. Thanks so much for stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing your heart.

P.S. It was nice to meet you too:)

April 10, 2010 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Brown Apples said...

so proud of you Jess- God is doing amazing things through your life!

April 10, 2010 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Like I told you on Tuesday, you did an absolute amazing job! God is for sure teaching me so much through your life, as I know he is others as well. I've been thinking all week that I sure hope I didn't freak you out when I hugged you afterward. I think I've had that hug waiting for you for as long as I've been reading your blog. Over a year I think. Thank's again for sharing! You blessed ALL of us who attended!

April 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Way to go, I would have loved to hear you speak!

April 10, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

What a blessing that you got to share your story in such a way. The Lord is sufficient and he sees us through the hardest times. I'm sure that you were amazing. Although as a member of the audience, I don't think that I would been able to keep it together to hear you speak about Cora.

Give Levi bunches of hugs.

With love and prayers,

April 10, 2010 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow--that is so wonderful Jess.
The Lord is using you in mighty ways.

April 11, 2010 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Lindsey Burr said...

Jess! i didn't know you were sharing until after the fact. I was working in the nursery watching kids that day. I am sure you did a great job and were a real blessing!


April 12, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

I've been praying that you would share your story through public speaking. I listened to a women speak on the loss of her child at one MOPS meeting a couple years back and it has forever changed the way I look at my children. I know it's difficult but I am glad that you did it. You just never know who needs to hear your story.

April 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Bridget said...

Good for you! That sweet baby boy of yours is just too cute with his chubby cheeks and gorgeous eyes. Our God is an awesome God!

April 13, 2010 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, a friend sent me the link to hear your speech and I just want you to know that God used it in a mighty way in my own life with some struggles we are going through. It was amazing how your words fit our situation, even though it's nothing like what you and Joel went through. God spoke through you in a powerful way and I am changed because of hearing your testimony. Maybe someday I'll have a chance to tell you all the details--if not here on earth, then I'll catch up with you in heaven. ; ) Just know that your words reached out and showed me God's love and care for me in a way that I'm still in awe over. Thank you so much for being obedient to share your testimony even though I know it must have been terrifying. You did a FABULOUS job!

April 24, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

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