I’m still trying to understand the whole concept of a “calling” – what that means, what it entails, and what mine might be. But I do know this: God calls us into bigger and better things than we can ever imagine for ourselves; God calls us into the unknown, He calls us into the scary – because that’s where He tends to shine the brightest.
For me, that unknown and scary place turned out to be the stage of a TEDx event. For the introverted, awkward girl who stumbles over her words when talking to more than six people at a time, this was kind of a big deal. But God is in the business of working miracles, right? A miracle is the only way I can describe how it all came together. It’s the only way I know how to explain to people when they ask how I got chosen for something like this. Jesus writes an incredible story for each of our lives – it’s up to us if we choose to step into it. And I almost didn’t.
I almost let the fear and the doubt and the uncertainty talk me out of it. When just a week after putting ‘give a TED talk one day’ on my bucket list, my co-worker told me about, and encouraged me to apply for, TEDxUCSD, I wanted to write it off as a coincidence. I wanted to deny any divine intervention, deny that Jesus had anything to do with the curious timing. When I finally (grudgingly) applied to be a student speaker, I wanted to purposely mess it up somehow – so I could say I tried, but I would obviously not be chosen. When I was asked to audition, I only told three people. Three. Because that way, when I did a horrible job no one would ever know I failed. I would have taken a scary step by creating a nine-minute talk in a week’s time, giving a presentation to six strangers, and then be able to go home feeling accomplished. Comfort zone: officially stepped out of. End of story. Back to normal life, back to normal Krysti. This is the story my fears and insecurities wanted to write for me.
Yet when I finally stopped trying to control the outcome of my story, God stepped in and did some pretty amazing things. By His grace, I got chosen as a speaker for TEDxUCSD’s student salon event. Because of Him, I was able to write and memorize a 15-minute talk. Quite possibly the biggest miracle of the evening: I even managed to not trip while on stage! But the most amazing part for me was seeing my community rally around me in the midst of it all. The phone calls and texts, the support and encouragement I received meant so much. But most of all the unrelenting love and unending acceptance – the fact that people came from busy schedules and long days at work and even all the way from Downey, people who didn’t even know what my talk was about or if I was going to do a good job, people showed up because they know me and they love me. I may have given a talk on the Power of Story, yet I learned about the power of community that night. I was blown away by who Jesus is, what He calls us into, and how He provides for us along the way – a relational God created us to be relational beings. We may be called to step out of our comfort zones, but that doesn’t mean we are called to do it alone. The scary and the unknown is more easily navigated with loved ones by your side. Fears can write ugly narratives for our lives – sometimes you need the right people alongside you to help proof read and edit. Sometimes your insecurities want to stop you from taking a step of faith, and you have to take a deep breath and take a leap instead. Sometimes you need to stop thinking you know how the story ends; instead let God start writing for you, and see what He’s calling you into.
He calls us out of our comfort zones.
He calls us into community.
And, sometimes, He calls us on stage to give a TEDx talk.