Today was the day. The Yarrow MB Church was to have their morning service with a Thanksgiving lunch to follow. During dessert, it was time to talk about the reno project and watch a slideshow on the events taking place. It was speech time for me.
I knew this was upcoming quite awhile ago. Many times I found myself muttering to myself on how I'd start, finish, add, not say. I haven't had alot of practice public speaking, but knew this was one I wanted to make.
It was important to me to show the others what their kindness and generosity had been doing for me. This was very big for me indeed.
I invited my Mom to join me and picked her up Saturday night. Sunday Am was abit of a blur as it was all about getting up and ready rather quickly. But I was rattled. I mean, very. I had been relatively calm for days before. Even the night before, but today felt different. I felt unprepared.
So 15 minutes before we were to dash out the door, I sat and wrote out my speech. Putting it all down clarified the points I wanted to make. I was feeling 'abit' better...
As we were dashing out the door, I started to read what I wrote. Problem with following notes is, you must read it word for word or you forget stuff. So I tried that to myself, but it sounded like I was reading a book. Hmmmm... not liking that either.
Thanksgiving lunch was nice! But those that sat around me knew my mind was drifting off. In mere minutes, I was to get up and deliver my most heartfelt message I could. And I didn't want to miss anything, yet I didn't want to sound like a book either. I knew it was time to wing it once again.
Pastor Eldon stood beside me and knew what to do if I stumbled. So I talked about the project. The good folks that are in my life. My story on how I got this far.
Many that know me laugh at the way I misplace my glasses. Honestly, I'm not sure if they were on my head or in my hands. There was no podium in front of me to place things down, so I clutched my kleenex (in case) and notes and just spoke from the heart.
As I looked into the faces of so many good folks that have helped me along the way, I felt intense pride. I was proud of them and all they have been offering my way. I'm so glad I was able to use this opportunity to express what they meant to me and how they've touched on my life.
Then the slideshow began. Three songs long and the project wasn't even complete yet! Pastor Eldon did a wonderful job combining song to pictures, one of which I chose, Amanda Marshall's If I Didn't Have You. That song represents my early struggles of trying to do things on my own, when suddenly you are there. Many special faces flash through my mind whenever that song is played. The other two songs were “My Friend” – Groove Armada and “Anyway” – Martina McBride. Perfectly chosen and said!
While I watched the slideshow, the memories were brought back right to the beginning. I sat and just marvelled at what a wonderful story this really was and life isn't even finished yet. How when you're at the bottom, the only way back is up. And with the help of many wonderful folks working through God, just how amazing it can transform your life.
Afterwards, many came to me to introduce themselves, say job well done, just thank me for my story. I felt very cared for yet again.
For anyone who's guided me in the early days on how to fix things, right down to installing my new toilet or sorting seeds at the Church, I sincerely thank YOU for enhancing Cody's and my story. The story of a girl that lost her way for a short awhile, but had been given the chance to grab the roadmap that will take her to where she needs to go and grow and enhance other's lives the way hers was touched.
I was proud to have my Mom by my side. She was able to witness a very big step in my life once again. And hopefully quell her fears. She worries about me. But today she got to meet so many wonderful people that oversee her daughter's wellbeing. I know it made an impact on her and she now has a wonderful story to share with others.
Thank-you for the opportunity to allow me to speak to all of you from the heart today. Without cue cards. :)