I clasp the microphone as I catch a glimpse of the Star Wars band-aid on my thumb. A deep breath calms the butterflies in my stomach as I scan the room.
I’ve given this speech hundreds of times. But today is different.
Today, the man who built my company is sitting in the room.
He’s retired now, but 17 years ago he saw a vision for a low-income assisted living program and invested his time, money and energy into building an industry leading company.
Today, I get to talk about his vision while he sits idly among the crowd.
It doesn’t seem right.
I took this job, not necessarily as a career, but as a means to make ends meet.
An opportunity for advancement.
However, I fell in love with the industry. I love placing low-income seniors into safe and beautiful surroundings, but I also love the fact that I can go home of an evening and spend most of my weekends at my leisure.
He built a company. I receive the privilege to represent it.
But in his presence, do the words I speak even matter?
As a marketing representative, I spend time learning the industry. The rules and regulations. I study our competition and create ways to promote our strengths. I invest sweat, tears and sleepless nights into building a platform for our community.
Most importantly, I craft the fine art of telling our story.
Because there is power in a story.
But even more powerful than telling a story is living a story. Telling the story you are living is far more powerful to the listener than sharing the experiences of another.
Which leaves me to question. Am I telling my story? Or am I telling his?
Think about this carefully in terms of faith.
The stories are very similar. We stand for the same cause, purpose and goal. But merely telling his story is a simple restatement of facts, not a living breathing demonstration of a life affected and changed.
So today, are you telling your story, or his?
Telling my story through the power of my savior means I have surrendered my brokenness and traded my shame for healing happening at a heart level intensity. I have chosen to believe his promise that I can walk with courage and confidence in a savior who witnessed the disorder of my heart said “I’ll take your place. Just believe I am the only one powerful enough to take this all away.”
Life change transforms into an adventure.
Handcrafted testimonies are authored while comfort zones are challenged.
Seeds are sown into the circles we influence while patiently we wait for a harvest we don’t labor to produce.
I push intimidation backstage as I begin to speak with hard-won authority and confidence. I’m honored to share space with a man who gave me this opportunity but I won’t let his presence affect the speech I am about to share. Deep down I know he authored a story nowhere close to completion.
I am merely a character, chosen in a time such as this, building on to a legacy.
So today, with a Star Wars band-aid on my thumb and butterflies in my belly, I will tell my story. And by authentically sharing my story, I too am sharing his.