Good Morning how are you? How are things going? Did you have a good Valentine’s day? My weekend was hectic. I had an event at work that I planned and help facilitate. It was a beautiful evening for my students who got to share a piece that they wrote, practiced, and performed in front of an audience. It was a lovely evening. And as I reflect on the beauty of this evening, I am struck with the beauty and strength one receives from sharing. 

Now, if you haven’t been here for a while, you will know that I am an introvert. If you are new here, welcome, my name is Danie, and I am an introvert. I don’t like being the center of attention. I don’t want people making a fuss about me. I also don’t like to admit when I am weak. I like to think of myself as someone who enjoys her privacy. Crowds make me exhausted, loud people make me exhausted, and being on for everyone makes me exhausted. I am also very creative. I write this blog, write poetry, write fanfictions, and love to talk about things literary or sign language-related. 

Why would I the queen of introverteness produce, plan, and execute an evening that required me to stand up in front of people and talk about myself? Well, for one thing, I have a story. I made a promise to myself that after the cancer treatments that I would use my gift and my story, which God gave me, every time an opportunity arose, I would not back down from the challenge. Now, this promise has to lead me to speak at my church, at my job, and finally, in this blog. I believe there are strength and beauty in sharing, especially the dark pieces of one’s heart. 

So 4 years ago I started this event at my work. And it became one of the most popular events at my job. I modeled it after the old recitation evenings small towns would host once a month, where people would dress up and attended in support of their community. In our community at work, I work with special needs individuals, I was unsure the first year how the evening would go. However, I soon realized that these individuals needed an outlet to show what was in their hearts and minds. 

Every year brought more beauty and strength with these unique individuals. I came to realize that this wasn’t just a need for myself to share my voice but also the beautiful adults. They needed to tell the world that even though they were scared that sharing creates beauty and strength. As I watched these people overcome stage fright, challenging topics, and sometimes sadness, I watched them stand and smile and be proud of themselves for attempting the impossible and achieving. But even more than that, they became someone that they were proud of. They grew in self-confidence. 

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

1 John 4:11-12 NLT

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