The last time I prepared to head out on a speaking road trip, a beautiful thing happened in my bedroom.
(Hmmm… maybe I should rephrase that. Nah. Stick with me, you’ll see where I’m going soon enough.)
Two things have to happen before I’m ready to give a presentation:
- I have to get quiet enough to prepare the message.
- I have to figure out what I’m going to wear that’s going to be cute and comfortable and make me feel confident when I deliver that message.
The first one seems legit. We would all expect people to take time to really focus on their presentation before actually delivering it.
The second one seems a little vain. Who cares what I wear? The audience isn’t rating my outfit. (Yes they are, but that’s a thought for a different day.)
So, after creating my message in the solitude of my office, I walk into my bedroom, pull out my suitcase, open my closet door and start pacing back and forth like a wild animal.
Within two minutes, I’m on the edge of a full-blown panic attack.
It’s not that I don’t have anything to wear. I have plenty of things to wear. It’s just that I can’t figure out what goes together when I’m stressed out or pressed for time. Nothing fits right, nothing looks good, nothing seems to match.
All of sudden, I’ve spiraled from “can’t figure out what to wear” to “Why did God choose me for this job? He must have made a mistake. I’m totally incompetent.”
So… this is where I was a few months ago when a beautiful thing happened in my bedroom. I was preparing to head to Wisconsin for a week-long speaking road trip.
It was a Wednesday morning and I was just wrapping up a bible study at my house when I mentioned my angst about packing to the other women. The next thing you know, my five friends are cozily sitting on my bed while I’m trying on a myriad of tops and bottoms.
They took a Yes/No vote, picked out jewelry to match, snapped pictures of each outfit (so I could remember what went together), and literally put the clothes into my suitcase.
All of a sudden I was done. The fear left and I found myself instantly excited to see the precious people who would be at each event.
Shortly after my friends sat on my bed and built up my confidence with their kindness, I ran across a verse that reminded me of what is truly important as we prepare to face the day — or a crowd of strangers.
“…dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.” Colossians 3:12 (MSG)
The paragraph continues and I want to share it with you, because it’s so beautiful.
“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:13-14 MSG)
I put those verses on my bathroom mirror as a reminder of what people will truly see when they look at me.
Will it be a well-cut blazer or will it be the light of God?
What about you? Sure it’s fun to look good, but at the end of the day, do you think people will remember the top they complimented you on, or will your kindness, humility and quiet strength be what follows them home?