September 8, 2014

Stepping Out

I don't know how many of you just LOVE introducing yourself in a group, but it puts knots in my stomach, every time!! I can't even begin to explain what it does to me! As I have explained before, by habit, I tuck my feelings away... I am trying to improve in this, but to open up to a group of people that I do not know and be.. vulnerable.. is so difficult. Small group, 4-6 people, I can handle that, but this past Friday I was in a room with about 20 ladies and I only knew 3-4 of them. Around the room, each person took a turn telling who they were, how many kids they had, their ages, their names.. something interesting about themselves... I heard most of the introductions.. but as it got closer and closer to my turn.. I could feel my stomach tightening up and I began to question what I would say, how I would word my introduction to be sure not to exclude Brayden and Kenadi, but not to have to bear all the details of my "story" since I AM just meeting these people. I don't want to be misleading in any way, but I am not EVER going to leave out the fact that I have 5 wonderful children. I want to do just as you all do, "I am so-and-so, I have this # of kids named so and so and so and so,,,". I remember how difficult it was for me after the twins passed away and I was still pregnant with Kaidi. For 4 months I was asked, "Is this your first?" my reply, "no, 3rd" next question, "how old are your other 2?" it was a never ending cycle of questions that did nothing but make that person feel even more awkward with each answer. I hate making people feel awkward!. I guess that's the word that I know best to describe it. It doesn't bother me to talk about my babies or to tell my story of their life, their death, their legacy.. what bothers me most is the awkwardness for the other person. Making anyone feel uncomfortable and seeing "that look" that you get.. I suppose it's a look of sympathy? I'm really not sure. I try to think of how I feel when someone tells me of their tragic loss and what kind of emotion I show.. to be honest.. I avoid emotions that are related to loss. I have had friends talk to me about losing someone they love and I truly hurt for them and know what kind of pain that brings, but I always tend to "zone out" when people talk about death. It is something that is raw to me and although I may show no emotion towards someone's hurt, I feel it for them and I revisit the feelings I, too, have in dealing with loss. I've not been to a single funeral since the twin's. Just thinking about walking in to the funeral home again brings hurt. I'm not ready to put myself in the room that I last saw my babies in... The room I stood in and watched a casket close and my husband fall apart.. It's been 5 years on the calendar, but I can see it in my mind like it was yesterday.. It's a hurt that never leaves you.. God gives you strength to pick up yourself, every morning, and live another day. I have grown so much in the past 5 years.. There are a lot of things that I wish I would have done differently, sometimes, in these "awkward introductions". I think my genuine intro would go like this:

Hi! I am Meredith, I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Gregg, for the past 8 years and we have 5 beautiful children! Brayden, Kenadi, Kaidi, Asher and Atlas. Brayden and Kenadi are twins and God gave me 2 wonderful years with them before He called them to their eternal home in Heaven with Him. As hard as it was living without them, God had already blessed me with carrying another child and 4 months later I gave birth to my daughter, Kaidi who brought more joy than you could ever imagine! 19 months after she was born, He blessed us with my blonde headed little sweetheart, Asher and a surprising 11 months later, WILD baby boy Atlas arrived making sure to make such an entrance in to this world that there would be no more after him. We currently live with my parents until we figure out where/what we are going/doing next. 

Now, I'm not sure how great of an introduction it is (and to be honest, I would probably nervously add/change a few things) but it's simply stated and I don't feel like I have to explain anything more. I don't know why that would seem so difficult to say, but there's just something about it that makes me nervous! I can write all day long, but talking gets me every time! :)

I have been asked by a few different people about sharing my story in public. For years now, I have talked about how I was NOT a public speaker for all sorts of reasons. I can feel God calling me in that direction and I know that I need to be obedient to God and step out in Faith and trust Him, because He WILL provide and He will help me through. For so long I have "hidden" from much of "my story" because of my discomfort with public speaking, but I see now that God gave me this story and I need to share for those that need to hear of His never ending comfort, His Everlasting Love, His ability to take something messy and turn it into a message! Even if it is only one person who is meant to hear, it's worth it! I pray all the time that God would help me with this, that He would calm my insecurities and give me the strength to say, "yes" the next time I am asked.          

Do any of you ever feel inadequate in the things God has called you to do? Are you struggling with stepping out and having faith? Let this quote be an encouragement! :)

This blackboard was in a pub/restaurant in Devon, UK and I have kept the photo ever since to remind myself that I should not be afraid to try something new and that no matter how old I get, there are still new people to meet, experiences to have and things to learn every day!
I love this! How true it is! With God, anything is possible! :)

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