I was scheduled to speak at a 12-step meeting on the day that I filed the papers for my divorce.
I was to tell my story and offer the group my experience, strength, and hope.
While driving to the meeting, I started questioning why I was going. I was so down. I felt that I had nothing to offer. What could I say that would inspire anyone?
I pulled into the parking lot and mustered up the courage to go inside and tell my story.
As I stood at the podium, I noticed people listening intently. I saw people smiling and acknowledging what I was saying. Some even nodded and cried.
When I was done, many of the people I had just spoken to came over to hug me and thank me for sharing. Each one told me warmly that I had helped them with a problem that was going on in their lives at the time.
As the members of the meeting left to go home, I noticed one woman hanging back, waiting to talk to me privately.
I walked over to her and took her hand in mine. She smiled at me and said, “You are so courageous. I am so thankful I was able to hear you speak tonight. You inspired me to be strong. I know that I can get through this.”
As I walked back out to my car and started to drive home, I realized that my story didn’t have to be a pretty one or a perfect one to inspire another.
All I needed was the courage to tell it.
The courage to walk through it.
The courage to share it.
Courage means, “Strength of mind to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
I had done that.
I was courageous.
“Dear God, help me to have courage in trying situations. Help me to withstand my problems and triumph over them by having strength of mind.”