I’m a Christian Women’s Speaker. God called me to this profession 17 years ago but I argued with Him for 14 years before agreeing. I tried to appease Him by teaching Sunday school, bible study, kid’s clubs, and emceeing events but it wasn’t exactly what God had in mind. So I finally threw up my hands and said, “Fine!”
Desiring to be “real” I share much that makes me extremely vulnerable. Opening up and sharing personal stories can be scary and sometimes gets the best of my emotions, making me nervous.
So was the case when I spoke recently. After speaking the first night of a retreat, I became so nervous about speaking again the next day, I made myself sick. So I did what I always do when I’m scared. I called my husband, Craig.
I informed Craig that I had no idea why I was doing this speaking thing and I must have heard God wrong. After all, He wouldn’t call me to do something I hated so much. And I just wasn’t going to do it anymore after this weekend. My emotions were obviously in overdrive. Although I felt the need to share my feelings with Craig, I think he got the idea from the shaky inflections, short and breathless words, and just general panic in my voice. Continuing on, I filled him in on my plan of calling and cancelling all speaking engagements on my calendar and removing my speaking information from my blog.
Craig’s response? A very flat, “Uh huh. Whatever you think God is telling you.” He’s obviously heard this many times before and doesn’t realize just how serious I am. This time!
After saying goodbye to Craig, I picked up my bible hoping God would calm my heart enough to be able to sleep. I just opened my bible and it fell to Psalm 40:8-10;
“I delight to do your will, O my God, and your law is within my heart.’ I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, you yourself know. I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart; I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your loving-kindness and your truth from the great assembly.”
Seriously??? This bible roulette thing wasn’t working out too well. I was tempted to let it fall open again. However, I knew God had already said what I was supposed to hear. He really knows how to rain on my parade and my plans.
I texted Craig the verses I read. He wrote back, “So I guess you won’t be cancelling any speaking engagements then?” My response? A very succinct, “Well, duh!”
By the end of the weekend retreat, I left extremely blessed meeting so many wonderful women, hearing their stories and what phrases touched them, and filling my car with the gifts of chocolate (there are definitely some benefits to this speaking thing).
So I continue to speak. Unfortunately, I’m sure I will quit many more times in the future but these verses are ingrained in my brain now. God is in the business of stretching us. And although I may threaten my husband with quitting, he will not listen, God will continue to speak, and I will continue to obey.
Am I alone? Are you scared to do something because it will stretch you out of your comfort zone? I would love to hear about it if you’re willing to share in the comments below.
Blessings always follow obedience. Be sure to visit on Thursday when I share the unmistakable blessing that followed this particular time of obedience.
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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson