The perfect storm for a bomb.

on September 27, 2012 in AnnieSpeaks with 7 comments by

That title makes perfect sense.

Read on.

[First of all, I know I’ve neglected my blog for a few days. Forgive me. It’s not you, it’s me.]

Two years ago, in the winter of 2010 [so almost three years I guess], I had a speaking event that I was beyond excited about. A big crowd, full of real life friends, in an area of the country that is very near to my heart.

I prayed and prepared and was ready for a serious home run.

Instead,  I bombed.

There were a lot of factors: the financial agreement was not kept on their end, I put A TON of pressure on myself to make this THE MOST IMPORTANT FORTY MINUTES OF MY LIFE, the crowd was not the size promised – I’m talking, it was supposed to be in the hundreds and it was in the tens- which affected my mojo, the technology component didn’t work while I was speaking, I stumbled through two stories and messed them up, I didn’t like my outfit, people in the crowd fell asleep while I was talking.

Yes. Horrible. Some my fault, some other people’s, all of it squashed my confidence to a pile of goo.

I mean, it was the kind of bomb experience that, had I not already been scheduled somewhere else, I may have hung up my speaking hat.

No kidding. It was seriously bad. I was ready to quit.

. . . . .

[Look! It’s me speaking last weekend! If this was a hashtag moment, I’d say #bigscreenstuff.]

At every Girls of Grace event, someone asks, “Do you still get nervous about speaking?”

My answer is always yes. I am a little bit nervous all morning, sick-to-my-stomach nervous for about an hour before I speak, keep-it-together-you-are-a-professional nervous for 10 minutes before I speak.

And I tell them why every time. “I get nervous because of Winter 2010.”

Because I didn’t see the bomb coming. It wasn’t until about twelve minutes into my talk that I realized that the best thing to do would probably be to exit stage right and walk immediately to my car and drive away.

And I worry, every time I speak, that Winter 2010 will happen again.

. . . . .

Saturday is the perfect storm for a bomb. While I have fixed the factors that I can [preparing more, picking outfits I like, not making a powerpoint, etc.] and the church is already doing far more than necessary to make this night awesome, I’m still scared to death.

I worry no one will show up.

I worry no one will laugh at my jokes.

I worry that people will fall asleep.

I worry that I will fail.

I can talk in front of 3000 strangers any day of the week, but a room full of people who knew me while I was LIVING through the struggles I write about in Perfectly Unique? That’s, well, a unique situation.

It feels like the next closest thing to the actual bomb of Winter 2010.

. . . . .

A smarter speaker/author wouldn’t tell you all of this. But here’s the truth- this job is awesome and I love it, but it isn’t always easy. I have good days, great days, and less than days. And I think it is only fair that you get a peek into ALL those days…. even the “Oh please heavens don’t let me bomb in front of everyone who has known me since I was a kiddo I am so nervous I wish we could just cancel but that would be dumb but I still may puke” days.

I’m smart enough, and I’ve had enough experience at this point, to walk on stage Saturday night full of confidence that God has plans for the night that I can’t even begin to understand and know that He is in control, not me. Off days happen to speakers and artists all the time- but God’s grace is bigger than that.

Also, luckily, this time I’m sharing the stage with Ellie Holcomb and she is flawless in presentation and kindness and joy and singing. It’s like being friends with Snow White [or an equally pure and wonderful Disney princess]. So, even if I bomb, she won’t.

But I will pray so hard. I will pray that God would do good things in the hearts of people in the audience, in SPITE of me- whether I’m having a good day or a bad day or whatever kind of day.

This is all for Him anyways. And He doesn’t fail.

. . . . .

If you live in or near Marietta, GA, I hope you’ll join us Saturday night at RiverStone Church. Just pray and keep your fingers crossed that I don’t embarrass all of us. 🙂


  1. merideth
    posted on Sep 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM  |  reply

    Annie, I love your honesty. I wish I was that open. Please know I’ll be praying so much for you for this weekend. Remember everyone here loves you no matter what happens, and more importantly God does. It’s going to be a great event girl!

  2. KR
    posted on Sep 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM  |  reply

    Praying for your peace that surpasses all understanding, that God will bring exactly who He wants there, that they’ll all be coffeed up, and those who come will hear a word from Him and be changed. Thanks for being His humble servant. If His hand is in it, it will be a success. Period. Thanks for sharing the bad & ugly with us as well.

  3. Beth
    posted on Sep 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM  |  reply

    Annie- I am praying, sister. The very nature of Jesus is to resurrect- believing that the slow death you died that time several years ago will be the last one of its kind, as Jesus continues to resurrect gifts in speaking engagements that will continually wonderfully surprise you in His grace. You can DO THIS, sister. So proud of you!! Redemption is waiting at this next event- can’t wait to hear about it 🙂

  4. posted on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM  |  reply

    I’m so sad that I can’t be there.

    • cbed
      posted on Oct 01, 2012 at 8:37 AM  |  reply

      You would have loved it. Everyone Downs had on purple Converse. Annie was funny and serious and adorable and funny. She’s funny.

  5. Amy
    posted on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I’ve followed the bloggy rabbit trail to find you today, instigated by my email notice that Jeff Goins was guest blogging somewhere. I attended the Quitter conference in Nashville last weekend and was reminded by Jon Acuff that we all have those “7th grade birthday party” moments. Winter 2010 was one of those. I’ll be praying for your audience to hear what needs to be heard, and for you to feel assured of that.

  6. Kenda
    posted on Oct 01, 2012 at 6:35 AM  |  reply

    The night was perfect. I hope you felt as loved as you are. I know 7 girls that couldn’t stop talking about the evening. Powerful words from both you and Ellie.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.