Encircle in Provo is a little home that has been transformed over the last year from a run-down old house into a place that is going to change the world for the better. The other night, Kris and I had the best experience there; one that will leave a lasting impression on both of us. We got to talk to a great group of people and share our story.
I have to admit that I am horrible at public speaking (I get extremely nervous), but I was really excited to do this! Kris, on the other hand, is a natural when it comes to public speaking and has no fears. I am totally envious of this gift he has. He can talk to any audience, about anything, on a whim. So lucky! I totally freeze up, stumble over my words, and tend to get my thoughts out of order. (And let's not talk about how sweaty I get...gross!) And that's even after planning, thinking, and practicing what to say. Nerves are the worst!
I received some good advice from a young gentleman that came that night. We were talking before the event started, and he said, "Just speak from your heart!" So simple, right? Well, it was just what I needed to hear and it helped calm me down...a bit!
The Encircle home is so welcoming and full of love and light. After being there for a few minutes, I knew it was going to be a great evening. And it totally was! After we finished talking (which was, like, 2 hours later - our story is really long, even condensed), we got to talk to everyone who came to listen, and it was so overwhelming how well our story was received. We felt so much love from everyone there. It makes me emotional just thinking about it now. Emotional because, when you open up and are vulnerable, it can be a really scary thing, but I think you grow and learn the most in these situations. When you are vulnerable and open yourself up to rejection, most of the time something magical happens - you find people who can relate or understand, and then you realize you are not alone. Then it's all worth it. It's a beautiful thing to relate and connect to others who understand. And luckily, that's what our scenario looked like - positive, start to finish!
"Encircle coordinates programs, services, and events focused on making the homes, schools, churches and society of Utah more safe and welcoming to LGBTQ members. We work with community leaders to increase cultural competency and forward thinking." -encircletogether.org
I can't wait to see where the path takes the creators of Encircle. I believe they are only at the beginning of their journey. God has something big planned for them, I just know it! That's why I said they are going to change the world! But for now, they are changing Utah and saving lives one day at a time.
I highly recommend you check out their website at Encircletogether.org