When Crash began its “Free Speech” series a couple of months ago, Sam Coleman didn’t think it would personally impact her.
“I expected to learn about gossip ... but I didn't think I had to learn something huge. I thought I was pretty good in that area,” she said.
Sam came because after a year in Crash, she loved the refreshing authenticity and she “fell in love with the women.” She found each series to be challenging and interesting, so she gave “Free Speech” a chance.
After the second week, she met her table leader for lunch. She and Emily were part of a table for new moms — Sam is expecting her child in July. In an honest exchange, Emily shared how Sam had been taking the lead at the table and sometimes spoke over others.
“I didn't realize I was doing that,” Sam said. “I have the gift of encouragement ... I am very quick to speak life into someone's life. I never thought I could be doing that in a damaging way ... I never stopped to ask if the advice was wanted or needed.”
Through Free Speech, Sam began to examine whether God was prompting her to share, or if she was doing it out of her thinking and motives.
“God taught me when to not speak … not to speak out of my own knowledge or pride,” Sam said. She began praying and asking the Holy Spirit to guide her conversations.
“Now, I have this filter of Jesus.”
And how does she feel about her leader, Emily, after that tough conversation?
“I feel like God was looking out for my relationship with Emily,” Sam said. “She might have grown bitter without that conversation. Still, I felt the enemy was attacking me afterward saying, ‘Nobody likes you.’ But God said, ‘That’s not true. This is for your own maturity.’”
“Through the whole series ... God has helped me see that in your own gifts and own strength, you're not going to do that great. I’m now praying that God would help me use my gifts well.”