Friday, February 12, 2010

Public speaking nerves, but sincere thankfulness.

I had my first experience speaking in front of a large audience today. AAAAGGGGHHHH its ok I'm still alive and functioning;) Hillcrest (the high school where Troy taught) had spirit week this past week and today was the last big day of events. Mr. Chamness (the principal) had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he might want to me to say a few words, but I hadn't heard anything this week. So I a let out a huge sigh of relief thinking I was in the clear. Not that I didn't want to thank them because I really did, but public speaking not my forte. Well every year they have a student/faculty basketball game and if you knew Troy you knew he was a HUGE basketball player. Last year he played in the game and from his version a big hit;) This year Todd was asked to play in his place. I being the ever supportive sister-in-law was going this morning to the game to cheer him on and show my support for Hillcrest. When we arrive I'm informed of a slight change of plans "pep rally this morning, basketball game this afternoon, and we want you to say a few words before the rally starts." Okay, okay I can do this ummmm slight problem no speech prepared. This is where my panic level went from zero to five in matter of seconds. Don't think it can rise that fast trust me it can. I tell Todd that I really want to be able to share why we know Troy is in heaven, but not having anything ready I don't know how to do this. So Todd and I pray that God would give us the right words that would bring all the glory to Him. So sitting there watching all these kids pile into the gym and now panic level is up to about an eight. Hands are shaking and I haven't even gotten to the part where I will be standing in the middle of the gym. "Lord, I know this is about You so could please help me stop thinking about me" Wish I could say that this calmed my nerves, but no still in shaking mode. Mr. Chamness announces me and Troy's family. Panic level now officially reaching a ten!!! Todd and I get up and walk to the center of the gym to a standing ovation for Troy. What a moment! His students and faculty truly loved him and I feel so honored to be a part of it. "Okay Sarah this isn't about you at all." Unfortunately that message in my head did not get sent to the rest of my body. So standing in the middle of a gym full of two thousand people, I have the microphone and every part of my body is shaking. Didn't know it was possible to actually feel the muscles of my legs shake. Guess what? They can! The saying about knees knocking mine were;) Have no idea what came out of my mouth, but don't worry my loving mom has it captured on video. She is planning to share it with the world as soon as she can figure out how to get it off her camera to the computer. I'm not going to help her with this one so maybe it will take her a while haha;) I know I was able to thank the students and faculty so much for all their support, encouragement, and efforts to keeping Troy's memory alive. I was able to tell them how much he has changed my life in knowing that we are not guaranteed tomorrow and that we know he is in heaven with our Savior probably smiling down right now. I know if he could have seen me he would have been laughing at my nerves. Thankfully Todd is a much better public speaker and he was able to clearly lay out the gospel of why we know Troy is in heaven and if they ever wanted to talk please feel free to contact us. It wasn't exactly what I would have said if I had a speech prepared, but I think the points of thankfulness and the reason we have hope were clearly expressed. After out speeches, we handed the microphone over, took our seats in the bleachers, and I think I started resuming a regular breathing pattern again. I could never express in words the honor I felt from his high school. They are truly an amazing group of people who have reached out and encouraged more than they will ever know. God has given our family such a unique opportunity today and for that nerves and all I was sooo thankful. So that in a nutshell was my first public speaking experience. Minus a couple of minutes of pure nerves (which may have shaved a couple of minutes off of my life) I was glad to be able to tell them how much they have meant to me over these last couple of months. To anyone from Hillcrest reading this: Thank you does not seem enough, but I know no other words so know from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! Anything that was done today from me and Troy's family was all to point upward to the person who gives us strength, peace, hope, and most importantly salvation. On that note, my warm bed is calling my name and hoping tomorrow to enjoy some of this beautiful snow God has given Greenville:)


  1. Sarah - I am so thankful you are sharing on your blog. God is at work in your life in such a powerful way - and it is changing those around you. I will pray His message reaches those hearts Who needed to hear the truth of the gospel and the HOPE of salavation.

  2. Sarah,
    Good post. I'm so glad to hear that you are using your platform to share God's plan of salvation. The best way to honor Troy is to honor his Lord. Keep it up, and know that I pray for you often.
    (We got a lot of snow in Union too)

  3. Great Job Sara!! I hope your mom can post it soon as I want to see it :-) Love you!!