Step Out & Thrive Ministries with Bethany Boring
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Courage To Let One Stick

As I heard my name spoken out loud that evening, my hands trembled and my throat tightened to swallow hard. My mind was racing as I seemed to float my way to the front of the classroom one week ago on a selected Thursday evening – an evening I decided to let one label stick. 

A week ago, I presented my first speech, notoriously named “The Icebreaker” to affirm my new Toastmasters membership (a club for those wanting to find their public speaking confidence and voice). Never before had I ever shared a speech, let alone a talk about my life. As I peered into the eyes of my fellow club members, most advanced in their public speaking passion, I felt like an ant amongst butterflies…starting as a caterpillar even seemed too far of a stretch. 

Yet, I decided to share my labels because I finally allowed one to stick that I was proud of. 

Below is my speech transcript. A side note to those of you in the Limitless Life Study – this speech that God put on my heart was crafted and delivered before I even cracked the cover of our book. Just this past weekend my jaw hit the floor as I read through the introduction for the first time. Indeed, our God has us right where He wants us to be. 

 

In life, we are handed many labels, whether we like them to define us or not. Labels can be handed to us from circumstances, others or even our own markings. But tonight friends I want you to remember – 

A label can only define you if you allow it to stick. 

“Disabled”

I was born with vision-loss in both eyes, severe hearing-loss in both ears and a right arm that was considerably smaller (most would say even weaker) than my left. The label “Disabled” loomed over me like a brick. Yet, this label did have its advantages. I was able to purchase contacts for half-off being I only had good enough vision in one eye. Hearing the world for most was a necessity, but with hearing-aids any unnecessary noise for me could instantly become optional through the “off” switch. If you ever want to witness a stranger squirm, watch an instantaneous prayer circle as the new friend on my right tries to decide if it’s descent to hold my right hand or not (I for one have enjoyed this reaction). 

Yet, as I accepted this label, I suffered with feeling that I had absolutely no value. I heard the stories in church about this loving Creator God that made the moon shine bright as the stars. Yet, why would such a loving Creator simply stop when creating me? Why was I His mistake? The feeling and constant reality of my insignificance just ate away at my childhood. 

But, a label can only define you if you allow it to stick. 

 

“Wife And Mom”

I never dreamed of a wedding, or collected bridal pictures or even really dated anyone until college. Why? Because girls with disabilities are told by wise and caring individuals (all married by the way) that sometimes God calls people to a single life (advice – don’t ever pitch this line to a single girl). I’m so thankful God had other plans. Just weeks before I was headed off to my first full-time position deep West, my boyfriend asks for my hand in marriage. Because he was completing his last year of college back East, we spent our one year engagement period literally on opposite ends of the country. Now…

9 years 

9 moves

3 dogs

3 kids

3 states

and way too many goldfish later – God still has us together and I accepted my new role as wife and mom. 

Although I like this label a lot better than the previous layer, it too shared weakness. I am a wife and a mom that constantly fights to measure-up to that woman appearing all-together, always organized, meeting everyone’s needs and summarizes Proverbs 31 perfectly each and everyday. So many nights I would crawl into bed feeling so far from hitting anywhere close to the ballpark parking-lot with my husband and kids. It’s hard to have a label that you never feel like you deserve. 

But a label can only define you if you allow it to stick. 

 

“Cancer Survivor”

What started out as a month-long headache (literally) eventually revealed double malignant brain tumors. I did not welcome this label. Truthfully, there were days I could not talk to God because of the pain I felt was keeping us apart. I went from running around the yard with my two young boys to barely able to sit-up in bed without wrenching in pain. Lying next to my eldest son, then a 4 year-old, I was asked the question, “Mom, are you going to die?” For any mom to even think about this question, you honestly wish you could disappear just to allow your family an opportunity to move forward. Yet this question echoed in my mind the day I was told, “Mrs. Boring, we can’t locate the tumors on this scan. We will need to schedule a follow-up.” Many follow-ups later, with the same results, I finally entered into remission status. I wasn’t going anywhere and as a wife and a mom I gained the title of being a “Cancer Survivor.” 

As days, weeks and even months passed, I found it incredibly difficult to move past the trauma I had limped through. Under the “survivors pride” sat a little girl scared and frozen to move. Is this permanent? What can I do safely? Even with the unexpected birth of our third child, I wrestled through each rescan. I was defined by my past. 

A label can only define you if you allow it to stick. 

 

“Child of God”

There is one label I just recently allowed to stick, pierce my heart, root in my core and change the way I view my identity. Because of Christ, I have the right to be labeled as a child of God. This changes everything. 

This is the only identity that welcomes Truth and allows me to overcome my disabilities, be the best wife and mom I was created to be and encourage others from my past.
GOD SAYS –
I may have disabilities but I am valuable.
In my role as a wife and mom, I belong to Him first.
I am a cancer survivor and I have a future being written daily by His hand.

A label can only define you if you allow it to stick. 

I finally found a label I want to stick and I love the freedom it brings! 

And now Bethany, just as you accepted Me as your Lord, you must continue to follow Me. Let your roots grow down into Me, and let your life be built on Me. Then your faith will grow strong in the Truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

 

About the Author Bethany

I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. I am an author, blogger, ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach, Motivational and Inspirational Speaker and encourager. More than anything, I define myself as a child of God. I simply desire to use my passion for thriving (getting every single drop out of life) to inspire others. I have overcome disabilities (coloboma vision-loss, severe hearing-loss and a small right arm). I am a double brain cancer survivor. I use the story God has given me to move beyond what I am surviving and thrive in His promises. I enjoy being a wife to Steve for over 12 years and mother to three boys (ages 9, 7 and 4).

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121 comments
Julie says May 29, 2014

Wow! What a beautiful and powerful testimony you have. Thank you for sharing!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    HE gives it the power…that’s not me!!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Julie says May 29, 2014

Wow! What a beautiful and powerful testimony you have. Thank you for sharing!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    HE gives it the power…that’s not me!!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Sandra says May 29, 2014

What a testimony! Thanks so much for sharing.

Sandra says May 29, 2014

What a testimony! Thanks so much for sharing.

Angie Benjamin says May 29, 2014

This is beautiful Bethany, thanks so much for sharing. I’m visiting from the Bible Study Blog Hop. Have a blessed day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Angie Benjamin says May 29, 2014

This is beautiful Bethany, thanks so much for sharing. I’m visiting from the Bible Study Blog Hop. Have a blessed day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Michelle says May 29, 2014

I love when you said, “There is one label I just recently allowed to stick, pierce my heart, root in my core and change the way I view my identity. Because of Christ, I have the right to be labeled as a child of God. This changes everything.

This is the only identity that welcomes Truth and allows me to overcome my disabilities, be the best wife and mom I was created to be and encourage others from my past.”

So good…thanks for sharing!!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Love the parts you quoted!!!

    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Michelle says May 29, 2014

I love when you said, “There is one label I just recently allowed to stick, pierce my heart, root in my core and change the way I view my identity. Because of Christ, I have the right to be labeled as a child of God. This changes everything.

This is the only identity that welcomes Truth and allows me to overcome my disabilities, be the best wife and mom I was created to be and encourage others from my past.”

So good…thanks for sharing!!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Love the parts you quoted!!!

    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

melissasherlin13 says May 29, 2014

WOW! You sure hit this one out of the ballpark girl! What a beautiful and powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness and healing. I bet you were indeed floored when you read our first chapter. This really touched my heart, and I love your perspective. Thank you so much for sharing this. It has touched me deeply.

Melissa

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    God loves home-runs…right?! Many were grand slams on the hop this week!!!
    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

melissasherlin13 says May 29, 2014

WOW! You sure hit this one out of the ballpark girl! What a beautiful and powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness and healing. I bet you were indeed floored when you read our first chapter. This really touched my heart, and I love your perspective. Thank you so much for sharing this. It has touched me deeply.

Melissa

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    God loves home-runs…right?! Many were grand slams on the hop this week!!!
    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Tracy says May 29, 2014

Bethany, what an amazing testimony! The obstacles you have overcome, wow what an inspiration you are! I love how God confirmed your desire to not let the labels stick by leading you to Limitless Life! Big things are in store for you, thank you for sharing your story

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Love Proverbs 31 OBS! Every study we do seems to be at just the perfect time in my life!!! It is God all the way! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Tracy says May 29, 2014

Bethany, what an amazing testimony! The obstacles you have overcome, wow what an inspiration you are! I love how God confirmed your desire to not let the labels stick by leading you to Limitless Life! Big things are in store for you, thank you for sharing your story

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Love Proverbs 31 OBS! Every study we do seems to be at just the perfect time in my life!!! It is God all the way! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Elizabeth G. says May 29, 2014

Wow! This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Tears…are beautiful. It amazes me to see what God is doing! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Elizabeth G. says May 29, 2014

Wow! This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Tears…are beautiful. It amazes me to see what God is doing! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Susie Cobb says May 29, 2014

Beautiful!!!!!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Yes He is!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Susie Cobb says May 29, 2014

Beautiful!!!!!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Yes He is!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

nubcube says May 29, 2014

Wonderful blog, full of truth and encouragement!! Thankful for your story and your testimony!!

nubcube says May 29, 2014

Wonderful blog, full of truth and encouragement!! Thankful for your story and your testimony!!

momndad243 says May 29, 2014

What a great testimony, Bethany. You are amazing. Thanks for your encouraging words. It is amazing how God put this on your heart before you even started reading the book. WOW! I ail remember this “A label can only define you if you let it stick ” Praise the Lord.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    I loved how Gods timing just echoed through chapter 1…it is still resounding and I’m on chapter 3!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

momndad243 says May 29, 2014

What a great testimony, Bethany. You are amazing. Thanks for your encouraging words. It is amazing how God put this on your heart before you even started reading the book. WOW! I ail remember this “A label can only define you if you let it stick ” Praise the Lord.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    I loved how Gods timing just echoed through chapter 1…it is still resounding and I’m on chapter 3!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Maggie says May 29, 2014

Thank you for sharing your story. May God bless you and your family!

Maggie says May 29, 2014

Thank you for sharing your story. May God bless you and your family!

Meredith Baltz says May 29, 2014

Your story is so encouraging! Its hard to look past those labels when we are reminded of it daily, but that line is so true. A label can only define you if you allow it to stick. Which is easier said than done, but God does want to take this pain from us.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Agreed – is is much easier said than done…yet saying it, believing it and surrounding yourself with others that believe it and you…well, that helps get it done! I believe in Him…and I believe in you! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Meredith Baltz says May 29, 2014

Your story is so encouraging! Its hard to look past those labels when we are reminded of it daily, but that line is so true. A label can only define you if you allow it to stick. Which is easier said than done, but God does want to take this pain from us.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Agreed – is is much easier said than done…yet saying it, believing it and surrounding yourself with others that believe it and you…well, that helps get it done! I believe in Him…and I believe in you! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Cheri says May 29, 2014

Beautiful testimony! Thanks for sharing! God bless you and your precious family!

Cheri says May 29, 2014

Beautiful testimony! Thanks for sharing! God bless you and your precious family!

hopevarnedoe2013 says May 29, 2014

bethany you blow me away my sweet sister in christ – you are amazing and your testimony both floors and humbles me – God is doing such huge things in your life. keep following His lead and you’re going to go sooo far!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Hope – girl…this left me in tears! Oh my goodness…love you!!! We will support one another as we travel together down this writing journey! So glad you are in my life!!!!

hopevarnedoe2013 says May 29, 2014

bethany you blow me away my sweet sister in christ – you are amazing and your testimony both floors and humbles me – God is doing such huge things in your life. keep following His lead and you’re going to go sooo far!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Hope – girl…this left me in tears! Oh my goodness…love you!!! We will support one another as we travel together down this writing journey! So glad you are in my life!!!!

Kris Czerniawski Danko says May 29, 2014

Wow. Your blog has left me speechless. What an amazing story about labels NOT holding you back. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Kris Danko, Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team

Kris Czerniawski Danko says May 29, 2014

Wow. Your blog has left me speechless. What an amazing story about labels NOT holding you back. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Kris Danko, Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Speechless…I find many times God speaks to me through my typing fingers than through my mouth…it leaves me speechless too! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Julie Porter McDonnell says May 29, 2014

Amazing – there’s another label for you! You are an amazing child of God who was wonderfully made! Big hugs to you sister! So grateful to “meet” you during this P31 Limitless Bible Study!
~ Julie

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Love these “meetings” indeed!!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Julie Porter McDonnell says May 29, 2014

Amazing – there’s another label for you! You are an amazing child of God who was wonderfully made! Big hugs to you sister! So grateful to “meet” you during this P31 Limitless Bible Study!
~ Julie

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Love these “meetings” indeed!!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Rosemary (OBS small group leader) says May 29, 2014

Bethany, thank you so much for sharing. I am awed by your love of God and the courage that your life is testimony too. Your story is such an inspiration on so many levels. God keep and bless you.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Rosemary (OBS small group leader) says May 29, 2014

Bethany, thank you so much for sharing. I am awed by your love of God and the courage that your life is testimony too. Your story is such an inspiration on so many levels. God keep and bless you.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Mariea Thurlow says May 29, 2014

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    God writes beautiful stories…right?!?! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Mariea Thurlow says May 29, 2014

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    God writes beautiful stories…right?!?! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Sheri says May 29, 2014

Wow! Thank you so much Bethany. You are right you are a child of God. Powerful testimony. God bless you and your family.

Sheri says May 29, 2014

Wow! Thank you so much Bethany. You are right you are a child of God. Powerful testimony. God bless you and your family.

Daily Bliss says May 29, 2014

Thank you for sharing. You are inspiring!

Daily Bliss says May 29, 2014

Thank you for sharing. You are inspiring!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!! Inspiring…yes He is!!

bloggerlovestheking says May 29, 2014

What a beautiful, beautiful love story in so many ways. Thanks so much for sharing and for the encouragement. our grandson was born last year with some disabilities. You make dreams look possible. Debbie W. (Proverbs 31 OBS Ministry Team)

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Debbie – HE makes dreams reality…none of this has anything to do about me. There are days I look around now and go, “God, why did You rescue me?” I truly believe it is simply to give hope to those who feel alone, lost and discouraged. I’m not hope…but I know Who hope is.

bloggerlovestheking says May 29, 2014

What a beautiful, beautiful love story in so many ways. Thanks so much for sharing and for the encouragement. our grandson was born last year with some disabilities. You make dreams look possible. Debbie W. (Proverbs 31 OBS Ministry Team)

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Debbie – HE makes dreams reality…none of this has anything to do about me. There are days I look around now and go, “God, why did You rescue me?” I truly believe it is simply to give hope to those who feel alone, lost and discouraged. I’m not hope…but I know Who hope is.

Mary Bankert says May 29, 2014

One more step on the beautiful journey you are on. So glad I get to stand by and watch and cheer! Love you lady!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Oh yes…you have quite a view friend! God has put us on the same path right now for a specific reason. So honored to have you in my life!!!!

Mary Bankert says May 29, 2014

One more step on the beautiful journey you are on. So glad I get to stand by and watch and cheer! Love you lady!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Oh yes…you have quite a view friend! God has put us on the same path right now for a specific reason. So honored to have you in my life!!!!

sabrinaebert says May 29, 2014

You are absolutely amazing…your courage, your strength, your endurance through difficulties and trials makes me want to stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself. You have come such a long way, beautiful inside out, why because you display Christ like qualities. A strong tower and I’m blessed to have read this, blessed to have shared in your life story, blessed because you are indeed blessed, why because you are loved…and Christ lives in you…your labels are shed my COURAGEOUS sister in The Lord, to me you are a warrior…a true David who has stoned many Goliaths in your life. Big hugs….

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Your words are so humbling, encouraging and I sit here marveling at how incredibly awesome our God is! How great is it that He chooses to use ordinary yet equipped folks like us to do bigger things than we can ever imagine! You my friend have a gift with words and encouragement!!!

sabrinaebert says May 29, 2014

You are absolutely amazing…your courage, your strength, your endurance through difficulties and trials makes me want to stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself. You have come such a long way, beautiful inside out, why because you display Christ like qualities. A strong tower and I’m blessed to have read this, blessed to have shared in your life story, blessed because you are indeed blessed, why because you are loved…and Christ lives in you…your labels are shed my COURAGEOUS sister in The Lord, to me you are a warrior…a true David who has stoned many Goliaths in your life. Big hugs….

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Your words are so humbling, encouraging and I sit here marveling at how incredibly awesome our God is! How great is it that He chooses to use ordinary yet equipped folks like us to do bigger things than we can ever imagine! You my friend have a gift with words and encouragement!!!

Kim Labar says May 29, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

Kim Labar says May 29, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

Melissa says May 29, 2014

What a wonderful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless You.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Melissa says May 29, 2014

What a wonderful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless You.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cynthia says May 30, 2014

You are amazing Sweet Sister. Thank you for sharing. The Lord has given you a special gift. Keep listening and following. Love You!!!!!!!!!!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Cindy – you are my sister and my encourager!! Love you!!! Your words mean so much to me!!

Cynthia says May 30, 2014

You are amazing Sweet Sister. Thank you for sharing. The Lord has given you a special gift. Keep listening and following. Love You!!!!!!!!!!!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Cindy – you are my sister and my encourager!! Love you!!! Your words mean so much to me!!

Lisa B. says May 30, 2014

Thank you so much for being open and sharing this. We serve and amazing Lord!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Agree!!! His fingerprints never cease to amaze me!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Lisa B. says May 30, 2014

Thank you so much for being open and sharing this. We serve and amazing Lord!

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Agree!!! His fingerprints never cease to amaze me!! Thanks for reading, encouraging and commenting!!

Veronica says May 30, 2014

Thank you for sharing! It was truly a beautiful testimony! God bless you

Veronica says May 30, 2014

Thank you for sharing! It was truly a beautiful testimony! God bless you

Connie says May 30, 2014

Beautifully written and inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing.

Connie says May 30, 2014

Beautifully written and inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing.

cwallenbeck says May 30, 2014

Wow!! Thanks for sharing the goodness of our God!! <3

cwallenbeck says May 30, 2014

Wow!! Thanks for sharing the goodness of our God!! <3

LisaMac says May 30, 2014

Oh Bethany, you write so beautifully (another label). Thank you for sharing this.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks…but just really thankful for you and your encouragement. God has given all of us a story…thanks for taking the time to comment!

LisaMac says May 30, 2014

Oh Bethany, you write so beautifully (another label). Thank you for sharing this.

    abbasshoulders says May 31, 2014

    Thanks…but just really thankful for you and your encouragement. God has given all of us a story…thanks for taking the time to comment!

devonne ramer says January 9, 2015

So powerful! beautiful! God has blessed you with the words in which to write to bless others. You are an inspiration to me.

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