It was almost time for me to walk up on stage to speak briefly to about 600 women and men. 4 1/2 minutes to be exact, not long at all! Adrenaline pumped through my body nonetheless. I was extremely nervous and scared. This was the first time I would be in front of the congregation of my church. It was Mother’s Day, a day filled with strong emotions for so many. I would acknowledge both joy and sorrow related to the holiday.
I did not want to mess up. I did not want to turn into a sobbing mess, which I did, by the way, on my first rehearsal! I wanted to honor the women in the room well. Truth be told, I wanted to be excellent.
God prepped me for this. God used people around me and scripture to encourage me. God reminded me,
“This isn’t about you and your performance.”
“This is my message you are delivering, not your own.”
“I am with you.”
In my daily reading of the Bible that morning I read about Gideon. God calls on Gideon to do something. Gideon pushes back. Gideon felt abandoned by God. Gideon was an Israelite, and Israel was being oppressed by their enemies. The situation for him and his people was dire, extremely dire. In the Bible, in Judges chapter 6, God basically says, the Lord is Peace, I am with you mighty warrior. God wanted me to know He was with me. I could have peace because I wasn’t alone in this stepping out, doing something new and stretching. And I was convinced God wanted me to do it.
Right before I went up on stage, I was bothered by how nervous I was. I thought, “am I trusting God or not right now? Is this nervousness a sign I was not.” I realized although I was super scared, I wasn’t gripped by fear. Fear did not have a hold on me. This is hard to explain but there was a difference. The phrase coming to mind was “on the edge.” I was on the edge. It was scary but good. I was nervous but I was depending on God.
Afterward, a friend of mine gave me her bracelet. She said, “I sensed God tell me to give this to you.” It was her own bracelet with the word “brave” on it. My eyes filled with tears. “Wow, thank you so much,” I said. In my spirit God spoke to me, “Yes, brave, remember this. On the edge, this is where I want you to be and I will keep you and I will come through for you.” Scary and brave happen in many ways. What is scary to you right now? How is God asking you to be brave?