I didn't even notice Jesus was training me….isn't He sweet like that? If we knew where things were headed…We would probably freak out.
That's how I found myself sitting on the front pew, low-key praying not to throw up or trip, but most importantly, to say nothing that would fall anywhere outside of the boundaries of God's truth to a church full of women.
Me...Speaking...In public...Like a grown-up. I was shaking when worship began. I love to worship: to get lost in it, picture it, and let my mind calm and settle into whatever image or memory the Lord brings to mind. Eyes closed—just us.
Jesus, I'm scared. I don't feel like I am gifted at speaking. I'm barely two years into sharing the things I write…and edit..and can delete. What if nobody laughs at my jokes? What if I say something dumb? What if…..
I realize I've shifted into neutral…singing worship while flipping out inside. It's an older song, one I can sing in my sleep "How Great is our God?"
"The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice
All the Earth rejoice….
He wraps Himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice…."
Those words hit me with the authority and boldness of the Holy Spirit, reminding me of truth. The Lord whispered:
"Darkness is the only thing trembling today. Go be brave."
So I did; because I will follow Jesus anywhere, even when I'm scared, even when I'm not good enough. Even when a million people could do it better, even when…
You know the Holy Spirit is moving in your right now when you shock yourself with wisdom that comes out of your mouth. I shared a truth with 131 women that day that blew my mind even as I said it. I want to capture it so I never forget.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 says, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I heard my voice tell the women in the room: "it's our nature to work hard to hide, disguise, ignore, and deny our weaknesses. Here's the problem: if we have never been willing to put ourselves in a situation where we are weak, we have never felt the strength of God in our lives." I stood before those ladies, transformed from a girl shaking and worried about the throw-ups to a girl tingling with the confidence, power, and JOY that flowed by His strength covering my weakness. His promises are intertwined and true. "The joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10.
It was my honor and delight to speak at the Southside women's conference. I debated sharing this because it was so thrilling I worried it was braggy….except 'I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power will rest on me.' It's how I've come to trust Jesus with the things I feel tempted to run away from because every time, He has my back. I've tasted it, and it's better than I imagined.
Thank You, Jesus, for training me to do the scary things. Without teaching small groups, kids, and paint classes, if I didn't have a church that invites me to share ponderings on stage occasionally, without the work we do in Rwanda, I would have never been ready to say yes to an opportunity like this. He's a good Father. He doesn't push you out of the nest; He leads you down paths of righteousness for His sake. Our job is to say yes and follow. What is the scary thing you've been asked to do? What's the timid dream you wonder if you should even say out loud? Does it line up with His character? Talk it out with someone you trust to pray with you!
Then be brave. Darkness is the only thing trembling today.