After a negative experience at 13 I knew I would never stand up in front of anyone again and I didn't for 20+ years. The fear of public speaking paralyzed me for 30+ years. Do you know how hard it is to graduate when you get 0's on oral presentations?! College classes could not include oral presentations. The fear was so bad I would not even go forward for communion! After my cancer journey I felt a calling to speak to women's groups. I began writing women's retreats and leading them. God was pushing me out of my comfort zone!
Looking back God had me start Sunday school classes and women's groups and kept me too busy organizing to think about having to do the opening prayer and facilitate. I wouldn't think about those things until the night before when I would freak but it was too late to back out. Little by little these situations became more manageable. I would not do it for anyone but Him and I stand by that today! At 33 I was asked to give a talk on a spiritual retreat weekend. After a week of crying and wrestling with God I said yes. I was physically sick for six months. Over the next 20 years I was asked to speak a lot and only did it there for God!
In 2020, God put a female clergy, Libby, on a retreat with me and she asked me to speak at her church. While praying about it I remembered being 17 and telling God (didn't talk to Him often and definitely didn't listen) that I wish I believed in something so strong I could stand in front of people and talk about it. I knew I had found that something and that is why I only talk for God. For the first time in 30 years I remembered the rest of the story. God told me that one day I would speak in front of groups of people. Maybe I blocked it out or just didn't believe it. I said yes to this speaking engagement to 200+ ladies. I was not physically sick and was even a little excited. Afterwards I had several invitations to speak at other churches. I decided maybe this was the desire of my heart from God! That weekend Covid locked us down.
Since Covid I was constantly asked when I was going to speak. During one night of revival, I had two visiting pastors (one didn't even know me) and three church members come to me telling me that I had been anointed and I was to be speaking. I asked them to pray and I know several of them are! Along with Covid I had been dealing with the enemy not wanting me to speak. I did not understand why God would bring me this far for nothing. It was frustrating but I know God wastes nothing and He was teaching me a lot as I waited, including topics to share! God reminded me that if He has a plan for our life then no thing and no person can stop it! What the enemy means for harm, He can bring for good! As we wait for His perfect time, we just have to trust Him! Lamentations 3: 25-26, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” I didn't realize it but while the enemy was messing, God was blessing!