What’s got your stomach in knots?

Fears. We all have those things in our life that cause us fear and anxiety. Some are big things, others are smaller and just plain silly.

Mine is public speaking… and that is exactly what I will be doing in front of over 50 women every Tuesday night for the next 10 weeks. I think back to the days, not too joyfully, of Public Speaking 101 in College (and high school) when I’d literally have nightmares the night before and be terribly anxious for days leading up to it. When time came, my stomach was in knots, I’d start sweating, my chest turned red, I’d feel like I couldn’t breath and my adrenaline was out of control… and not in a good way. I’ve been told I make funny faces and that dreaded word, “Ummm” comes out ever other word. It’s a glorious sight as I’m sure you can imagine!

Speaking in front of people is a common fear. Why do we make it such a traumatic thing? I believe it’s because we all want to portray ourselves a certain way… PERFECT! We want to impress others and for them to think that we have it all together. We are so worried about what they think and we let that dictate WAY too much of our lives.

THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT. Despite my traumatic experiences in the past, the cool thing is…. I’ve been at peace this whole time and I’ve had plenty of chances to get myself worked up. I’m trusting and truly believing that this same peace will be there while I speak.
 
God has called me to this specific role for this season of my life and I KNOW he will provide all that I need to carry me through. So, tonight, I CHOOSE to not worry about…..

Whether my armpits are sweating

Falling over a chair

Running out of breath while I’m talking (even though I’m more winded now since I’m pregnant)

Saying something that makes absolutely no sense OR completely forgetting what I’m supposed to say

Bottom Line: I CHOOSE to not worry about whether I’m a good or bad speaker. I CHOOSE to put my focus on God, for He is my audience of One. 

This study I’m leading is not about me or my great speaking abilities. It’s for His glory, not mine. It’s for His Kingdom, not my resume. I’m asking for more of Him and less of me. I am thinking on this and keeping my focus on where it needs to be… On Him and not me. I look forward to reporting back to you after the big event. (written Tuesday, Sept 18th 2pm)

(Bright and early Wed, Sept 19th) I”m completely amazed. I was NEVER nervous. I NEVER lost my peace. Even when I put my headset on upside down, even when I almost lost my balance and fell over, and even when I caught myself saying “ummm” in the beginning. I just kept going and relying on Him. Thank you God for your faithfulness!  Wow. How, absolutely cool. It is so true… He will equip you with what you need when you need it. Our job is to just surrender and trust it!

This past weekend, my dear friend, accountability and co-leader had gave me this verse which I thought on and reminded myself of often.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Brothers and sisters, when I came to you I didn’t come with fancy words or great wisdom. I preached to you the truth about God’s love. I made up my mind to pay attention to only one thing while I was with you. That one thing was Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. When I came to you, I was weak and afraid and trembling all over. I didn’t preach my message with clever and compelling words. As I preached, the Holy Spirit showed his power. That was so you would believe not because of human wisdom but because of God’s power. (emphasis mine)

What if we truly lived life this way in all things? Not just when we have to speak or lead something. But when we are raising our kids, have any big or small undertaking, have a big day ahead and much to get done, talking to our neighbors or just simply enjoying time out with our friends. What if we truly lived to be a vessel allowing for Him to lead? What if we made it more about Him than us? Seems like life would be much easier. We are the ones making it so hard.

If we’d just do things in His name and strength and not our own we would find constant peace.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

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