Sometimes we experience moments in our lives that are so profound, so impactful that we can’t help but be affected by them.
I experienced one of those moments today.
My husband, Bill, faced some of his biggest fears today as he humbly yet commandingly held the attention of a room full of people, sharing his story of growth through community over the past 6 years.
When our pastor and friend, Ryan, called Bill 3 weeks ago to ask if he would share his story at church, he stepped up to the challenge, despite his fears and reservations.
Like many people, Bill has had a lifelong fear of public speaking. And like most men, he wasn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity to share his thoughts and feelings with a room of over 100 people. When Bill was first asked, he panicked and decided he needed some proper training, so he spent the following twenty minutes googling public speaking courses. He found some good ones, but they were all UK based (Here’s some great public speaking courses to attend in London if these are of interest to you!). However, I managed to calm him down and he came round to the idea of no training and just practicing with me instead.
Being emotionally vulnerable isn’t something our culture encourages men to do, and those who do put their fragile egos at risk.
Bill opened up by highlighting the irony of how he can easily speak in front of a room of elementary school students in his job as a phys ed teacher, where conversations typically consist of debates over who did what, who likes whom or who has to go to the bathroom.
Speaking in front of a group of peers is an entirely different ballgame.
He shared how he used to be terrified of speaking in public. He would intentionally sit on the outskirts of a room full of people in our small group, sometimes dozing off as a result of the heat in the room, hoping to go unnoticed and not be asked to contribute to the discussion.
He got choked up as he shared how he felt years of emotional burdens lifted as he and the guys in that group shared their stories and struggles with each other.
He opened up about the impact of a retreat we went on last September on our ability to communicate more effectively and lovingly as a couple.
Sometimes what we are so afraid to share with other people is the very thing that will connect us to them, the very thing they are so frightened to unveil themselves.
Sometimes it just takes one person with the courage to be vulnerable.
I’m so proud of my husband for being that person.
I’m proud of the man Bill has become and the leader he is in our relationship, in his job, and in our church.
I’m proud of the example he sets for what it means to be a humble, teachable, gracious, forgiving, kind, caring and loving man.
I’m proud to be his wife.
Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky.
I wanted to celebrate him and what this milestone means, so we grabbed brunch at one of our favorite places – Atwater’s – and I gave him a card letting him know how proud of him I am.
When we got home, I served him this pie. Bill and I both love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate, so we had eyed up this recipe before. I thought today would be the perfect day to make it for him.
If you like peanut butter and chocolate, you need to know about this pie. Talk about an indulgence! It’s chocolately, peanut buttery (trust me, it’s a word), and decadent.
**I added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the filling. For the crust I ground up 1.5 cups of whole almonds in my food processor until it was a fine consistency because I didn’t have any almond meal. Then, I just added the other crust ingredients to the food processor to combine them before pressing it into the bottom of the pie plate.