During my first job interview, the manager asked about my strengths and weakness. The company I wanted to work for was a family amusement park with bumper boats, miniature golf, a roller rink, and more. Not only did I enjoy visiting this place, but I thought it would be a perfect first job.
It was clear to me that my strength was working with kids. But when it came to my weakness, I wasn’t so sure. I ended up sharing that my weakness was getting in front of large groups and speaking. I probably should’ve mentioned that it also terrified me.
One time while in school, I got so nervous to speak in front of my class that I even forgot my own name! I actually said, “Hi my name is Jennifer. Wait, actually it’s Lisa.” I wanted to crawl under the school desk and hide. I had failed to even say my name in front of others. As a result, I wanted to avoid public speaking at all costs.
As you can probably guess, the job that they offered was to be a party host. The position required me to speak in front of large parties all day. I took a deep breath and, to my surprise, I said, “Sure, I’d love to.”
This was not the plan that I had. But over the years, I can clearly point back to this time in my life and see that God put me in that position as a training for the ministry that He would later call me to.
3 Story Changers
1. By Saying, “Yes!”
My personality is to be a planner. I like things to be organized and to follow a schedule. When I am asked to do something that isn’t written on my planner, my initial reaction is to say, “No.” But if you have been following God for even a short time, then you will know that He doesn’t want us to stay the same and get comfortable. He wants us to trust Him.
That means trusting Him even when the plans that I may have made change. Who knows, God might be opening doors for you in places that you would normally say no to. When we say, “yes!” to new opportunities, we are opening ourselves up to be used by God.
2. Be Teachable
When we are following our own goals and plans, we get to call the shots. But if we choose to trust God with our plans, it is vital for us to be open to learning new things.
2 Corinthians 11:30 says, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” When we can trust God in the areas of our weakness, He is able to show us His strength. I had to trust in God and ask for Him to give me the confidence to speak in front of others when I started my first job. When you are open to trying new areas that are a stretch for you, you will see the most growth.
3. Remember Where You’ve Been
On backpacking trips, my husband and I often say, “Don’t forget to look up and look back.” We can get stuck thinking about how hard the trail is or how far we still have left to go. Then we miss being able to celebrate how far we have come.
Philippians 1:6 reminds us that, “He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” As you continue to trust God with your story and your plans, remember to thank Him for where He has taken you this far. The areas in your story that may have started as a weakness could become a strength when you trust God.
I am so thankful that God didn’t leave me to just do my own plan. His plan has been so much better than anything I could’ve dreamed. Not only do I speak at conferences and at my church, but I enjoy it. If you had told me at that first job interview that someday I would enjoy speaking in front of others, I would’ve thought you had the wrong person.
1. Be open to saying yes to something that wasn’t necessarily part of your plan.
2. Find a mentor or coach that can help teach you and strengthen you.
3. There are also great books or podcasts that can help teach you new ways to grow.
4. Meet up for coffee with a friend or tell your team about your original plan or goals for life. Share how God has called you to serve Him.
God’s amazing story for you is still being written and might look different than what you had imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” I encourage you to trust Him and the amazing story that He has for you.