I had all the symptoms: sweaty palms, a rapid heartbeat, and an unshakable knowing. It wasn’t the first time I experienced these physical changes. In fact, for most of my life, any time I felt there was something God wanted me to say, the above behaviors ensued almost immediately.
For the most part, public speaking has not been a challenge. I am a bona fide talker: born with a microphone in one hand, and rarely, if ever, am I shy. But there is a difference between talking and speaking the thing you know God wants you to say. On this day, I found myself feeling restless and uncomfortable with the idea of speaking in front of a group. It was the final night of my yearlong Bible study and the class was invited to share all that God had done in our lives.
My apprehension about speaking centered around my need for self-preservation. My year and subsequent study had been filled with challenges, including: personal, relational, mental and spiritual. This did not seem testimony-worthy.
As a result, I sat in my seat and rationalized for about 20 minutes why I wasn’t going to speak. When I absolutely couldn’t stand my body’s persistent attempts to get me off that pew, I gave in and made my way down to the podium. As I stood before a sea of women, I opened my mouth and took the plunge.
I talked about the rebellion I saw in my heart, my struggle to accept others, an unwillingness to seek peace in relationships, and my ever-mounting pride. It wasn’t pretty with a nice big bow on top, just an admittance of how much I need God. In fact, my testimony was more like a status update and an urgent SOS for the saints to pray for me. By the end of my mini soliloquy I was doing the ugliest ugly cry and clinging to the podium for dear life; it was anything but glamorous. My weakness was on display in grand fashion.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Sorin Sirbu