Recently, in about the past month, God has been showing me little glimpses of what He is calling me to do in life. At first I was really excited, and then as things started to fall into place and His will got closer and more real, I started to get really scared. Like, panic attack, hyperventilating scared.
Here's the deal.. I'm extremely scared of public speaking. Even public reading! It's crazy, I know. But for some reason I get nervous about speaking or reading in front of people. I guess it's the idea of all the attention being placed on myself. I've thought and thought and I've tried so hard to figure out WHY but no answers have come. I remember one time specifically this year that I will not be able to forget. One of my teachers, who is a little wacky, picked on me to read in class. I told her I get really nervous, but she made me read. I kept telling myself, "being uncomfortable helps me grow" but that didn't change my breathing patterns or my heart rate. By the end of the paragraph I was reading one word, deep breath, one word, deep breath, stutter one word, breath... end. I looked up and every eye was on me. She stared at me in shock, and said "Well that was interesting.." I hated reading. I would always get called on, push myself to do it, but people would stare at me with shock on their face. I tried breathing patterns, I tried praying, but I was almost inconsolable. It made no sense to me! But I was told to keep reading.
I had felt God's calling on my life that I would one day speak in front of a significant amount of people. I don't know who, I don't know when, I don't know how many.. but I believe Him. I got excited too. How cool! What a cool calling that He has put on my life, and then things started changing and He started pushing me into it. And I didn't like it one bit! I learned what it felt like to argue with God.
In FCA, we decided to do a meeting for the first time ever at the Middle School. Just to disciple them, get them started and established. Monday night, 2 weeks before the meeting God spoke to me to share my testimony. I texted the girl in charge and told her I would without even realizing the commitment I had just made. I realized it in the morning though, that's for sure. I had headaches every night before bed for a week straight. I felt I was in a constant argument with God about how I was NOT speaking in front of those kids. I made up every excuse in the book. I wasn't ready, I wasn't prepared, I needed to learn more, I needed more practice.. Blah blah blah.
This is where it gets really stinking awesome. My devotion for Tuesday morning was about not fitting in, which is exactly what I was going to speak about at FCA. That afternoon I met with my Mentor. I explained to her what was going on, and she had a book for me. It was a book full of little segment devotions written by Max Lucado. The specific I was supposed to read was about lights. The power had gone out at Max's house, and he went outside to get candles. The candles started talking to him.. and the closer he got to taking the candles inside the more they attempted to convince him that they weren't ready to be lights. They weren't ready for that responsibly. They needed more preparation. They hadn't finished reading the book about how to be a light. They wanted more time to practice. Every excuse I had pulled was right there in solid words straight from God. I was blown away. The next day, Wednesday at church we started a new series by Francis Chan called... Courage, Standing Firm. I was so mad at God. Uhg, why couldn't He just leave me alone and pick someone else!! The whole lesson was about standing alone. Francis spoke just a little about Jeremiah and what he had gone through. Once again, the next day, Thursday (the day before FCA) my morning devotion was about... guess who!? Jeremiah. Mind you, this devotion is completely separate from the series we started the night before. AND.. guess what the main verse was.. I was over the annoyance with God and sent into a shock of awe when I read this: But if I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can't do it! Jeremiah 20:9
I still hadn't surrendered myself. Friday morning I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and prayed until 7. I was weary. I was tired and I was still in the battle. Between 7 and 7:40 I had already cried twice. The second time I was on the verge of a panic attack, and I'm not just using that term to exaggerate my emotions, that is truly what it was. Sarah spoke me through both of my "attacks", she kept explaining that all I had to do was surrender, deny myself, because God declared what was going to happen. I didn't until 2 minutes before. She told me I didn't have to be happy about obeying God, but I was going to do it either way. She stomped right out of the bathroom and all I could do was follow her. I sat there, my turn came, and... it all happened. God gave me words and AIR! I don't remember stuttering, or loosing my breath, or shaking. It was so refreshing. God used me. GOD used ME. When I was done, it took all my strength to keep the tears of joy from overflowing!
I can't wait to be used by God more. I love the growth. I love Him!
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11