The song “How Far I’ll Go”, sung by the Disney heroine Moana, has become an anthem of sorts in my life. You see, in just a couple of months, I’m going to participate in something that is one of the most significant “step out in faith” things that I have ever done. I am so excited as the event approaches, but it didn’t start out that way.
I will be a participant in a women’s speakers conference led by someone I have long admired, Danielle Strickland. I have heard Danielle speak a couple of times and have followed her work for several years. She is an outstanding preacher, an advocate for women leaders, and a strong voice in social justice issues. She is connected with influential spiritual leaders of our generation and a highly sought-after speaker in places that are dominated by men. And what I admire most of all about her is that she seems so confident in who she is and Whose she is.
About a year ago, when I first learned she was hosting events to develop other women speakers, I literally had a fearful physical reaction. Something in my stomach became a little unsettled and tears welled up in my eyes. I took a screenshot of the announcement and sent it to Matt with a text that said, “I am NOT doing this.” He was working out in the garage and came back in with a very serious look on his face and said to me, “Oh yes, you are absolutely doing this.”
That was a year ago. God has done amazing work on my heart since then. I’ve had to be honest with Him about why I was scared to go. I’ve had to let Him instruct me on how to overcome fears and combat lies. I’ve had to let go of my thoughts that I have to go there and prove myself or be declared the best student. I’ve had to remember what He’s told me over and over again. What I remind myself of every time I step out and speak up that, “whatever happens out there, Angie, I just love you.”
And I’ve come to be at peace with attending this event. I’ve set aside the money needed to register and cover travel expenses. I’ve thought and prayed about the presentation I would put together in order to be evaluated and coached by Danielle Strickland herself. And all the while, I have listened to this song from Moana. I know that sounds a little crazy, but I believe God placed that song on my heart to remind me of His calling. He knows how far I’ll go. Not how far by the world’s standards, but how far in an abundant life with Him. And I’ll never get to experience all He has for me if I stand on the shore paralyzed by my fear.
So I’m going to Chicago to join Danielle, her staff, and thirty-nine other women at the Women’s Speakers Collective Bootcamp on October 8-9. I will stand before the group and give my five-minute presentation. I will work hard so that I might earn an endorsement from this prestigious speakers bureau. But I will not let my worth get tangled up in accolades from others. Because I am confident in this truth – I am valuable because of the inexhaustible love and mercy of the One who calls me to step out in faith.
If I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go. Thank you, Moana.