Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's your cliff?


Jim Rubart, keynote speaker at the Spokane writer’s conference, challenged us: “What’s your flip?

The amazing part of his talk last Saturday morning was how God orchestrated it for me. Of course, everyone else in that room would say the same thing, too.

Jim asked us what cliff we were prepared to flip off, as he did and were we willing to take a chance for the Lord.

My flip occurred at 2:25 that afternoon.

I’d had months to prepare my workshop and months to prepare my fears. Fainting was not an option. When I first heard my class was scheduled for later in the day, I was not happy at all. Too much time to worry. But God had other plans. He brought person after person to my side to encourage me. People I had never met before took a moment in their day and prayed with me.

Yes, God took care of all the details.

At 2:23, I made one last trip to the restroom and then made my way to the front of the classroom.

Gulp.

But this story isn’t about me. It’s a story about how God can knock on your heart time again until finally you answer his call. I’d turned him down before; I wasn’t going to now.

I pulled out my folder and adjusted it on the podium. Twenty five sets of eyes met mine. A deep breath and I began. 

My talk? How to use your emotions to write a selling story. Unfortunately my emotions weren’t cooperating. My voice shook. I paused several more times until finally, I felt it happen. The connection with those who’d come to hear me speak and support my efforts.

So I didn’t faint and by the time I finished my talk, I had accomplished what God had been asking me to do. I shared what I knew.

We don’t always get second chances in life to leap, I’m grateful I did. Will I do it again? I don’t know. I  probably won’t seek out an opportunity but if that knock on my heart raps as loud as it did this time, I’ll hold my breath and leap into the air again.

Thank you Jim, for inspiring me. Thank you God for being faithful.

What’s your cliff?

58 comments:

Jessica R. Patch said...

What inspiring words! God is so great about calling us and not forgetting to provide us with the resources (sometimes people) to get us through! Btw, I haven't forgotten I owe you a book! :) Glad you had a wonderful time.

Carol Riggs said...

Yaaaay, you did it! So glad you had God's help and another person's encouragement to do so. People are generally so supportive, even if your knees knock and your voice quivers! ;o)

Lynn said...

So happy to read you took that leap, Terri. I wish I could have been one of your encouragers just before, and one of your attendees. But God provided all you needed, knowing you could do His work He called you to. Awesome!

Karen Lange said...

Hooray! God is good. I knew it would go well; I was excited for you. :)
Hugs and blessings,
Karen

Shirl said...

Smiling for you, hon! Smiling!

Keli Gwyn said...

Yay for you, Terri! I'm sooo glad your presentation went well, despite the start-up jitters. I love hearing how the Lord brought along encouragers just when you needed them. I'm sure your workshop's attendees were blessed by what you shared.

Lin Floyd said...

sounds like it went well. I taught this past weekend for 4H leaders on writing a family history as I focused on them and what they wanted from the class-we all learned...

Lisa Petrarca said...

Thank you Terri for this post! It's the second time today that I've heard this same thing...hmmmm think the Lord is trying to tell me something?

I've finally made a decision regarding my book issue, please stop by & check out what I'm doing.

Thanks again, just what I needed!

http://lisapetrarca.blogspot.com/2011/03/making-changes.html

Lynda R Young said...

That is so awesome! God is amazing and wonderful. He makes everything possible!

BECKY said...

I'm so happy you had a great conference, Terri! Whenever I think of a Leap of Faith, I always picture that scene in an Indiana Jones movie. Have you seen it? I don't want to go into the description, but it was heart-stopping! Congrats!

Tabitha Bird said...

Yaaaaay! Leaping is hard work and yet you did. God met you as you jumped. He's good like that, hey.

B. WHITTINGTON said...

Terrie, I forget that we are not leaping alone when we leap in faith.
HE is leaping with us helping us land gently on our feet.
I'm excited that you've reached this milestone. Speaking is my worst fear as well. But like you if it's put on me to do it again, I will.
God is good.
God bless.
Barb

Retired English Teacher said...

I wish I could have been there to help support you. I am in awe that you are confident enough to participate in such an event.

We never know how much God is there until we walk forward in faith. I heard this versed today. I would like to share it with you. Proverbs 3:26 "For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught."

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Fear is a four letter word that has plagued me all my life. Grrrr, but I learned to embrace it. Not that I like it one bit, but I know it keeps me on my knees, before the throne, leaning on God instead of my own limited strength. Once I understand that, I can move forward in His power instead of running in the opposite direction ;)

Congratulations! I'm sure the students in the workshop were so very blessed.

Loree Huebner said...

Awesome! I loved that you gave the glory of this story to God. I’m sure your talk was a blessing to all who were there to listen. I believe that when God nudges us in a direction, we must obey Him. We must leap. I’m sure He was pleased. Well done, Terri!

Tana Adams said...

I love that we are all called to take our own cliffs for Him! Praise God you did terrific! I'm so thrilled for you. Wish I could have been there!

Nehha N Josshi said...

Well done! :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I love your bold obedience, even though you were nervous. Wish I'd have been one of those 25! I'm so happy for you and proud of you!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Ohhhhhhh, THAT kind of flip off :)

I love the old saying: "Feel the fear and do it anyway." I used to shy away from any such ordeal, but I've learned to lean forward and jump.

Way to go, girl!

Kathleen

Gina Conroy said...

Good for you, Terri! I know how hard it is to speak in front of a group, especially when it's really not your passion or idea! But it's neat to see when we do, when we flip off that cliff, God helps us fly!

Love Jim's topic. It works with the new theme of my blog, Defying Gravity. Taking that leap of faith to reach your dreams and God's callings on your life!

Heidi Willis said...

Congrats, Terri! I know that was a huge leap for you, but following God's leading is always a reward in itself! So glad you recognized the ways in which He led you there, encouraged you beforehand, and got you through.

I'm sure you were a blessing to many others.

Stephanie Faris said...

Public speaking gives me the same anxiety. They say the more you do it, the easier it gets, but I'm not so sure about that!

Kenda said...

Congratulations, Terri, and thanks for sharing :-) Your story of faith and taking the leap trusting that God would carry you is an inspiration to the those of us who might be facing our own cliffs...

Cheryl Klarich said...

Wonderful!!
So glad you took the leap!!

I don't like heights at all and my daughter's a pilot... I need to stop being such a fraidy cat!

Michelle Massaro said...

How exciting, Tiffany! I'm smiling reading this. =) Thanks for sharing this wonderful message of faith and encouragement! =)

Sally said...

Way to be courageous, step up and take the blessing. Kudos to you.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Terri,
Way to go! You faced your fear. And with Jim Rubart there to support you and prayer warriors surrounding you it's a win-win.

Be proud of your accomplishement? Others will gather strength from your example.

Diane Marie Shaw said...

So glad that you took that leap and that it went well.
Joyce Meyer says "do it afraid."
God is so good to send us words of encouragement when we are desperate need.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Yay....you did it, Terri. Did you feel my presence there, I was sending you loads of positive energy. Glad that it went well for you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I remember the first time I was asked to speak at a large gathering; I almost said "no." But the reason I didn't was that I was afraid if I did, I'd miss out on something big.

I was right. God crystallized something in my heart that day, solidified his calling on my life to know him more and then to share that "knowing" with others. That was my "cliff" or "flip" or "hinge" moment with God. Since that time, I've had a few moments of wondering if he "forgot" about that moment (of course I know that he didn't, but long pauses of silence can sometimes breed the question).

I know I will never forget that moment. It buoys me along when my faith takes a hit.

Blessed weekend rest to you. Way to go, sister. I wouldn't be surprised if other offers come knocking.

peace~elaine

Linda Hoye said...

Way to go, Terri! I have found that times we step out and do what God is telling us to do, when we have to conquer fear and uncertainty, are the times of greatest reward and blessing. You have great things in store!

Margo Berendsen said...

So glad to hear it went well, nerves are terrible things aren't they? And making a connection with a group is worth it all. Praise the Lord! Will you be sharing any content from your talk on your blog?

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, Terri, I am so PROUD of you. My "highest" cliff would be public speaking for sure. I just can't do it!!! So, you just amaze me! Blessing to you, girl!

Nancy said...

I'm so glad you accomplished your goal. It's so exciting when we finally get into the groove with our audience. I wish I had been there. Great job!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Congratulations!! I sure thought about you last week. Too bad you can't post a clip or a link for us so we could hear it, too. I'll bet every single person behind those 25 pairs of eyes received a huge blessing that day. I'm proud of you and so glad that He ordered your steps!

You go, girl!

Jill Kemerer said...

You are such an inspiration!! I knew you'd be great. Wish I could have been there!

K.M. Weiland said...

That's awesome! Good for you. I can't imagine standing in front of an audience. I'm sure I'd be shaking and quivering all over the stage! I'm sure your talk was fabulous.

Stacy Henrie said...

So glad it went well! What a neat thing to have that second chance. When are you going to share the notes from your class? :)

Vickie said...

Beautiful post Terri. I am glad you took that leap.

Blessings,
Vickie

LisaShaw said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Terri. As I read the words that came to mind was, step out and find out!

Thanks for being such a blessing!

Deb Shucka said...

What a powerful story of relying on God, and facing big fears to get there. I'm inspired by your courage.

My cliff? I think it continues to be allowing the completion of my book to be my focus, and trusting that whatever it becomes will show God's grace and love.

Heather Sunseri said...

That's awesome, TErri!!! I'm so glad your talk went off without much of a hitch! My voice always gets a little shaky at first when I try to speak in front of an audience. Good for you for making the leap. I'm positive everyone loved it!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Wonderful! It's such a good feeling when we face our fears instead of bowing to them.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Dawn Simon said...

Yay! Good for you, taking that leap!

sarah said...

Yeah Terri...you did it...you faced your fears...you let Him use you...hey can you hear me cheering for you!!!! I did the same thing..gave my first speech at Toastmaster's. Feel the same as you...and this wed...speaking to a group of 75 women....No more hiding...no more giving into fear....You have a message....a good one....I'm so glad you stood strong. ☺

Kathryn Magendie said...

*smiling at you, Terri*

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Yea! I am so glad you had a positive experience! Once you do one if get easier to do a second one. Having lead several smaller prayer workshops at our church and other Stephen Ministry Network continuing education sessions the first few times you step up to lead a class can be very daunting! I know all those who got to sit at your feet "so to speak" came away enriched!

Blessings
R

Julie Gillies said...

Oh Terri, I feel your pain! If I had my druthers I'd stay home and not speak. But since we both long to be obedient, we do the hard stuff, like you did...and then God shows up! I'm SO proud of you, and I just know you did beautifully! Oh, and the book club I belong to is reading one of Jim Rubart's books soon. Now I'll be thinking of this while I read!

Thank you so much for joining my celebration, Terri. I'm grateful to have a friend like you to jump up and down with. Your time is coming!
(((Hugs)))

Janna Qualman said...

That's wonderful, Terri! I'm so glad to hear this, that A) you're normal and can be nervous, and B) that you pulled through!

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing this, Terri. Speaking in front of people can be terrifying. God will help us to accomplish what He wants us to do if we can let go of our fears and let it happen. So glad you were able to do that!

Susan Roux said...

Hi Terri. I'm contemplating offering a workshop for the first time this summer. My emotions go back and forth on it. Chickening out seems to want to take precedence. Cliff? Yeah it feels like that.

Angela Ackerman said...

I'm glad it went well for you. I think there are a lot of things we are a bit terrified to do, but it's important to push ourselves. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm so happy your talk went so well!
Public speaking si definitely a cliff/flip for me too. I was asked last year to speak at my church on Intentional Living--not even a topic I was an expert in! But I prayed on it and finally had to give it to God. But when I did, the Holy Spirit filled me because it was not me giving that talk because I had never spoken so well in my LIFE. :-) After that, I really believe it was what God wanted me to do that day.

Jessica Nelson said...

I don't know what my cliff is, but WOOT, you spoke and I'm sure did an awesome job! How exciting! I hope you do it again because you have so much to offer. :-)

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

WooHoo! Congrats on your talk. Emotions are such a HUGE part of why we right, aren't they?

From the highest highs to the lowest lows emotionally, I want to write them down. Amazing how the Lord has placed that passion inside of us.

So, where's your talk huh? Post it up on your blog. I'd LOVE to hear it. This writer needs all the encouragement she can get!

Mary Anne Gruen said...

Congratulations! You faced your cliff and won!

For me, I think the cliff is finishing my present WIP and publishing it. It's taking waaay longer than I'd hoped. But that's what happens when you write long books and have to build whole worlds.

Janet, said...

Congratulations, I knew you could do it. I hate talking in front of people, too, it makes me so nervous. But, I usually find that if I take the leap, it's not all that bad. Taking that first step is what is hard.

Kaylus Horton said...

Again this question of what is your cliff and is similar in theme to "you must do the thing you think you cannot do", I am ever so curious of what's next for me.