I'm digging deep into the Word. I have a Strong's concordance opened next to me, a notepad, and supplemental books spread around me. I'm so terrified that I'll quote something wrong or misinterpret a verse. So I study. I study the heck out of whatever the Lord has impressed upon me to talk about. I get an adequate grasp on the material, compile it into some kind of a cohesive presentation, and I get really excited.
I go over the material. And over it. And over it. At first I chuckle at my own jokes. Eventually they stop being funny and I wonder if anyone at the conference or retreat will laugh. I'm still excited. Out of my mind thrilled, really, that the Lord has given me an opportunity to share my deepest passion, Him, with a group of women.
Then, about 48 hours before the event, I start to feel an impending sense of dread. Why did I agree to do this? What was I thinking? I am ill equipped. I'm convinced that God sends this uneasiness so I remember that no amount of preparation makes a bit of difference if I'm trying to do it on my own. I beseech Him, "May you speak through me!"
This morning my eyes flew open at 5:28, forty minutes before I needed to get up. I couldn't fall back asleep. I rolled over and woke up my husband. "Will you go speak for me?"
"No." He mumbled.
"You can wear the heels," I replied.
He laughed groggily, "Then definitely not."
"I'm going to text Christina*. 'Can't make it today.'"
"I think that'll be the end of your speaking career," he said, the sleep lifting from his voice.
I laughed, "I think that would be the end of my friendship with Christina!"
I don't know why, but I was particularly nervous this time. There wasn't really an explanation for it. I packed deodorant because I was sweating profusely before I even left the house.
It's the same every time. I listen to several powerful worship songs. The songs vary but one thing remains the same, they have to be songs where I am thrown before the throne. I pray. I go over my opening in my head. I contemplate throwing up but decide against it because bits of regurgitated breakfast in the speaker's teeth is just never good. In the end, someone says my name and I walk forward. Usually I have the thought that suddenly I have no idea what I'm going to say. I think, "Oh God," and I'm not taking the Lord's name in vain. "Use me."
After my first session today I had the thought, "This afternoon I am going to bring it." Immediately I felt the Lord impress upon me, You are not going to do anything. You are going be quiet and let me move.
As I was telling my mom about the first session and the fact that God rebuked me when I said that I needed to bring it she said, "You need to pray that you would get out of God's way."
So that's exactly what I did. My mother is wise.
It's the same every time. I'm bouncing off the walls excited to bring God's word. Then I'm nervous as anything. Then the event actually happens and I get to tell people about my Jesus and what He's done. Then I am almost euphorically happy and I wish like mad that it wasn't over.
Heaven. Man. Eternal praising of the Lord. Eternal worshiping of the Savior who extends the free gift of grace to us. In heaven it will be all euphoria and no nerves. In heaven it will be Revelation 4:8 "...day and night they never cease to say, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!'"
Bring it, Lord Jesus. May your kingdom come.
*My friend who also happened to get me this particular speaking engagement.