I have this unfortunate habit of saying stupid things when I am trying to be funny. At a dear friend’s rehearsal dinner, I hopped up to make a toast, and ended it by saying something immature, which I am sure was really insulting to the groom. I am also quite sure that his parents who were footing the bill for everyone’s meal, including mine, were not very pleased with my snarky remark.
Years later, I had become embarrassed over it, and it haunted me. Have you ever had an embarrassing moment that was excruciatingly painful to think about? This is what I was dealing with, and it would come to my mind often. During these occurrences of remembering my embarrassing snafu, long dialogues of negative self-talk would ensue. I would tell myself that I was dumb, call myself an idiot, and convince myself that I was never going to be any better than that. I was pretty tough on myself.
Because my friend had married someone whom was an upper classman to us in school, I was not very familiar with his friends whom were in attendance at the rehearsal dinner, but for one. My dad knew his dad, and I had actually had a crush on him in high school. So of all the people present to witness my terrible toast, I probably cared the most about what he thought. I will call him Tom.
Like I said, it was about ten years after the fact that I had become extremely embarrassed over this faux pas, and by this time Tom had become an author himself and was now traveling and speaking with a team of professionals. While I was having these recurring episodes of embarrassment over my toasting mishap, I was also in the middle of writing my first book. I guess Tom had heard that I was now writing and doing some consulting work because out of the blue he reached out to me to arrange a phone conference to discuss the possibility of partnering up for some future speaking engagements. After we spoke, my husband and I decided I should instead stay focused on ministry work.
But do you know what that did for me? Tom’s invitation to join his speaking team released me from the pain of embarrassment over this incident that had been taunting me for the past year. Just like that, it was gone – poof! I can’t explain it other than to say that from that moment on when I would think about my terrible toast, I was no longer embarrassed by it.
What became clear to me was that if this one person’s opinion of me whom I valued was not negatively influenced by my toast, then more than likely few, if any, of those in attendance even remembered it. It is what I call a restoration moment. I felt restored in the minds of people, even if they had never thought another thing about me and my toast, and it was liberating!
It’s like experiencing a power shift. Before, the enemy was able to hang this moment of regret over my head, and there was nothing I could do about it. It beat me down, and made me want to hide. But after I realized that my moment of regret was not as powerful as I had made it out to be, thanks to my restoration moment, I was able to gain the upper hand in this situation. There was a shift of power; the enemy had been on top, but now I was. I felt on top of the world again!
The embarrassment over my tacky toast had made me feel less than who I was in Christ. It had made me feel inferior to my old high school friends. It had made me feel so stupid. But my restoration moment had restored my dignity, erasing all of those negative thoughts. I had felt “less-than”, but now I felt complete, again – whole! From this experience, I believe God was showing me that He provides restoration moments to set us free from our own mind’s negative self-talk as well as the enemy’s attack. We have been set free, and our heavenly Father truly wants us to live as people whom have been set free (Romans 6:18, Galatians 5:1). He did not send His Son Jesus to die on a cross so that we would live imprisoned by guilt, shame or embarrassment. We have been restored, and I believe He loves demonstrating that to us.
Because I believe that God gives us restoration moments, I think it is important to be aware of them. Perhaps God has given you a restoration moment to combat one of your less-than-finer-moments? Think back to one of your embarrassing moments and survey events that have since unfolded. Has something happened that gave you some relief?
For me, it was that one person who I realized was not fazed by my run away toast. Even if many people witnessed your faux pas, one person affirming you can be all you need to overcome that embarrassing snafu. One little thing can put the whole matter to rest for good!
Before you leave…
Because the November give-away was so successful, I decided that I would do another 5-book give-away of Organizing Your Prayer Closet in December, but with a little twist; I am going to up the ante this time. This drawing will be for my blog subscribers. If you are not a subscriber, you can become one here.This will be another 5-book give-away, plus one more special give-away for the subscriber who most creatively promotes Organizing Your Prayer Closet. Just email me with details of all the different ways you promoted my book, and my ministry board and I will name a winner on December 20th.
Whomever does the most and is the most creative will win this really cool ASK cross necklace (valued at $38) with a copy of my book!
Here are some idea starters:
- Tweet your love using #OrganizingYourPrayerClosetBook
- Post a picture of yourself with Organizing Your Prayer Closet Book on Instagram
- Tell me how many books you purchased as gifts
- Start your own small group of structured prayer journalers using my small group guide
- Mention Organizing Your Prayer Closet in your Facebook posts.
- Write an online book review of my book for Amazon or Barnes & Noble, etc.
- Write a blog post about it.
Thank you, friends!
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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
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