By Shayne Moore
“What are you an authority on?” she almost sneered.
It was a sunny day and I was innocently walking down the sidewalk of my hometown on the way to get a cappuccino when I ran into the mother of a childhood friend. We stopped to visit and exchange what I thought were pleasantries.
She asked about the kids and my husband Johnny. We played catch up about this and that and then I shared the news that I had just received a book contract.
“A book? Really? What are you an authority on?”
I felt the sting of her comment. Either I was in shock and too slow to come up with a witty response, or simply too afraid of conflict. So I laughed and stammered something about how I am not an expert on anything.
I had never written a book before and I was full of self-doubt as it was. Her comment slogged around inside of me for a long time. The book I was starting to write was based on the concept that as regular women – for me a mom – we can really change our world with our efforts.
In the end, her comment helped to form and shape the book because I had to wrestle with what makes someone worthy of writing a book. I’m not an international policy expert; I do not have a degree in humanitarian or community development. I have only traveled to the developing world a handful of times. Who did I think I was?
As I wrestled and wrote, who I was became apparent. I was simply a woman with a story to tell. Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World is Easier Than You Think is a book about how I woke up to the reality that I could engage issues of human need on a global level. It is a story of my heart being broken by the things that break the heart of God - like extreme poverty and disease. A story about how I began to educate myself and, in the process, became passionate about educating others, particularly women just like me: busy soccer moms going a million directions yet who still wished to engage these issues in a meaningful way.
I learned that my voice matters and I got more and more involved with the grassroots advocacy group The ONE Campaign, now simply called ONE. I traveled to Africa and Honduras to see the HIV/AIDS pandemic first-hand. I was invited to attend G8 Summits in Europe to talk to press and put pressure on world leaders to keep their promises to the world’s poorest people.
The book comes out January 2011 and as I have journeyed my confidence has grown. I have come to believe I am an authority. I’m an expert on my story and on my heart. And that is no small thing.
I now write a column for FullFill™ called Worldly Women. I relish this opportunity as it gives me a space to do what I love the most: talk about what breaks the heart of God on a global level, educate others, and inspire everyday women like myself to real action. I believe as we live out our collective influence, and as we engage our stories with the stories of need in the world, we can and will make a difference.
Shayne Moore is the author of Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World is Easier Than You Think (Zondervan 2011), an original member of the ONE Campaign and an outspoken advocate in the fight against extreme poverty and Global AIDS. Her website is www.shaynemoore.com.