Friday at Allume {In Which God Breaks Me, Uses Me, and Gets ALL the Glory}

Today was the day. Today I had a chance to share my passion for people-centered blogging and my heart for serving over seeking fame with my blog. If I could just get the words to come out straight, I’d survive.

Oh, plus there was that whole other issue I’d been dealing with all weekend. (If you get my personal newsletter, you know about this already, but here’s a recap for the rest of you…)

Bigger than my fear of messing up my talk, was my fear of totally rocking my talk. Yes, you heard that—I was afraid of success, because I was afraid of pride. Remember last year at Allume? How prideful I had been? And how the Lord had been kneading humility into me ever since? Well, I was plumb terrified that if I succeeded in sharing my message in a cohesive manner—if my talk was at all passable, it would feed that pride I’d been a slave to, and I’d be back where I started—a stuck up snob, thinking of myself more than others.

But God.

But God had a plan. He had hinted of that plan Thursday morning, in the quiet of early morning in my hotel room, chiding me oh-so-gently for my lack of faith, for thinking that I could get back into the pit {of pride} He’d delivered me from, for thinking that I had to manage my own sanctification, for not believing that He had a plan. Some reason, I didn’t trust Him yet, and continued to fear.

Then, Friday at 11 am, just 3 hours before I was supposed to speak, you’ll never guess what happened…

Aunt Flo arrived at Allume.

I saw her step off the elevator (not literally, I’m just trying to make as light of this TMI detail as possible, people!) and I thought,

“No! Not you! Again!” (she’d followed me to Allume last year, too, the annoying relative that she is)

Then I thought,

“Bummer. I really wanted to be pregnant this month.”

Finally, I thought,

“Oh, my gosh, how embarrassing. I’ve been telling everyone I was pregnant. How in the world am I gonna save face after this snafu?”

(whoa, hold it—I didn’t even know that word was in my vocabulary—what’s a snafu??? Just a minute…OK, Merriam Webster says it’s “a situation marked by errors or confusion”. OK, yeah. Perfect word. Carry on…)

How do I describe the next three hours? I spent about half of it crying in my room, with my roomates gathered around me, comforting and praying for me, and the other hour and half trying to gather my wits and compose myself so I would be ready to speak at 2. I totally missed my friend Kristina’s session, managed about 4 bites of lunch, and finally made my way to the room assigned to my talk,  my prepared speech a crumpled wad in one sweaty, shaking fist.

The room was empty when I arrived, but slowly began to fill with the Gideon Band that God had gathered around me that weekend: Diane and Milan, September and Sarah, Jess, Mandy, and Kateri, all from my mastermind group and all with comforting hugs and promises to pray. Then Lisa-Jo arrived—Lisa-Jo, who had spoken such words of affirmation into me Thursday night, telling me how excited she was about the theme of my talk and giving me such a boost of confidence by assuring me she was going to attend. Kris was there, and Jodi, and Dana, and many of the other women I’d connected with already that weekend. I thought, ‘”Why should I be nervous, I’m just going to be speaking to a handful of friends!” But I still was. Because not only did I have a speech to deliver, I had a snafu to confess.

Yes, yes, I’m serious. There would be no attempt to save face. I felt the Lord telling me that my blunder was the perfect story to illustrate one of the key points in my speech—the call to embrace humility as a blogger. It was all there in my notes…

“Embracing humility means not shying away from those moments that show me and however is watching that I’m not the next mommy-blogger-superstar.

Embracing humility means thinking more of other’s needs and less of my own craving for attention and validation.

Embracing humility means seeing myself through God’s eyes—beautiful, worthy, a treasure, but ONLY because of grace.”

So, instead of figuring out a way to mask my blunder, and casually un-tell people about my mistaken pregnancy only if it happened to come up in conversation, I chose to take the grace the Lord heaps up for the humble, to go ahead and just be me, without the masks of having it all together. I could just be me and let Christ fill in the gaps with grace.

So I did. I shared with the women what had happened that morning, and I could tell from the gentle laughter in the room that I wasn’t the only one who’d ever done such a silly thing. I shared with them the choice I had to make: to fight a humiliating moment with more pride, or to embrace the grace to be humble. And I applied it to blogging—to the need to be humble and authentic with our stories, with our mistakes as we learn to navigate the land of tweets and statuses, and with every interaction with our readers and acquaintances. Humility is a key to having a Kingdom impact with your blog.

And some how the words came. It was just as Tricia and September and Jana told me—the Holy Spirit would give me words if I was just obedient to open my mouth.

And here was the mighty deliverance Gideon’s God worked for me that day:

He delivered me from pride, and the fear of pride, by gently bringing me to a place of utter brokenness and inadequacy, and then used me in that broken state to further His kingdom.

See, God totally rocked my talk, friends. And He did it all with a broken vessel who both felt ill-prepared and was an emotional wreck just hours before her talk so that when the words the He wanted said were shared, He got ALL the glory.

And I praise His name. 

It’s still unreal to me that I was a part of this awesome group of men and women–the speakers at Allume 2012. (I’m in the front, second from left–at the feet of Sally Clarkson, Ann Voskamp, and ProBlogger–great place to be!)

Recordings of all of the Allume sessions are at last available for purchase!(I know I told you they’d be free, but I was mistaken. Still, the content is gold, I tell you, pure gold!) I’m totally getting the package for myself for Christmas. Oh, yes. But watch this here blog for more of the content from my talk, which I’ll be making available for my readers in text form—soon!

Oh, and did you like this series of posts about my experiences at Allume? I hope so, because I have one more miracle to tell!

21 responses to “Friday at Allume {In Which God Breaks Me, Uses Me, and Gets ALL the Glory}”

  1. Dana Brown Ritter Avatar

    I am extremely behind in blog land. Thank you for the link and the love. You are such a beautiful woman, inside and out, and wow – am I blessed to call you friend! Merry, Merry Christmas Trina!

  2. Annie Avatar

    Loved this post Trina! So refreshing. I thought I was pregnant this month……turns out not! It’s encouraging to me to read your story :)). I didn’t go to Allume this year, maybe next year! Also, seriously loving your cookbook!!

  3. Rachel Avatar

    Oh, Trina! *hugs* Having dealt with infertility for 6+ years, I’ve done this more times than I can count! (Except for the speech part…the Lord has been gracious there. 😉 After a while I guess you learn when to keep your “news” to yourself until it’s been confirmed, but there’s also something comforting about the total removed of pride that comes along with such a snafu. I think it makes us more relatable as people. And how wonderful is it that you cried because you were NOT pregnant?? So many women today are just the opposite–so upset when they find out that they are. God will grant the desire of your heart in His own way…I am a testimony to that. Even with “empty” arms, He is so gracious and merciful and reveals Himself to me in ways I never thought possible. We serve a great God!

  4. Sandra at Thistle Co Avatar

    Now for the ‘rest of the story’…Regardless of what Webster’s says, the “word” snafu isn’t a word; it’s an acronym. It’s a military term and means “Situation Normal All Fxxxxx Up”…yes, seriously.

  5. Rebekah from Simply Rebekah Avatar

    I am so glad I was there to hear your speech. Truly.

  6. Stacey Avatar

    I’m so glad you had this experience. It sounds quite growing and enriching for you. 🙂 God is good like that.

  7. Jacqui Avatar

    Trina, I was laughing the whole way through this, because I had such a similar experience (except for the whole speaking thing). I had told one of my roomies I thought I was pregnant, hence all my crying and whacky mood-swings. Then, I got the visit, too! I missed your session, because I was too emotional and stayed in my room!! But I heard it was amazing! Thanks for sharing. I love your voice! Blessings!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Oh, Jacqui! Seriously? I wish I’d known–I’m sure it would have been therapeutic for us to laugh/cry together. simultaneously. at the same time. LOL

  8. Nancy smith Avatar

    Trina, Trina, Trina!!!
    Sweet humility gracefully done! He is smiling! Your presentation was devoured by everyone in the room. We all need a reminder, a kick in the pants that it’s for His Glory- we’re just basking in the reflection!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Love you, Nancy!

  9. Jess Avatar

    It was incredible {gah! I feel like I over use that word in regards to everything Allume, but I can’t think of one that works better!}

  10. Becky Daye Avatar

    Sweet sister! I keep finding more reasons to love you. And it makes me love our great God more too. Thank you for sharing this and for bringing glory to Him!!!

    1. Trina Avatar

      You are too sweet. I love you, too!

  11. Tereasa Avatar

    It was great, Trina! I loved the message along with the confession. And yes, you are not the first woman to make such a blunder! The first time I did that (yes, I said *first*) was in the grocery store when I ran into some old friends. Why did I tell them?!

    1. Trina Avatar

      It’s so nice to know I’m not alone. Thanks, Tereasa! LOL

  12. Amy Tilson Avatar

    Trina, this was beautiful. I hate I mussed your session, but I’m so glad the recordings are available and your wonderful posts. Thank you for being an example of living boldly in humility.

    1. Trina Avatar

      bold humility–ha! only God could think up a combo like that, huh? Thanks for your words of encouragement, Amy.

  13. Lizzie Branch Avatar

    I was in the audience at Allume when you spoke and God used you in so many ways. Thankful for you, Trina, pregnant or not!!!

  14. Jessiqua Wittman Avatar

    Haha! Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing, sister… Our loving Papa is sooo good to us. (even down to the nitty gritty life details…) 😀

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jessiqua…I love that you call Him “Papa”. Honestly, after the way He touched me and drew me close at Allume, I felt like I needed a new term of endearment for my Lord. I’m speechless in the face of His love and care for me.

  15. Traci Michele Avatar

    God is so awesome like that! Praise Him for using you in a mighty way! Love, Traci Michele

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