It was the perfect storm. Eye infections and coughs popped up on Friday hammering all three of my kids. We brought in a foster baby Friday evening to Sunday morning with ice-piercing blue eyes to care for… who also happened to be sick. Then Sunday morning both my husband and I began fighting head colds. And I was about to leave for the next four days.
Part of me didn’t want to leave. But away I went. Because I knew God wanted me there.
At this conference, I learned valuable lessons, insights, and technical skills needed to move forward in my calling to speak and write. It was uncomfortable at times, stepping up in front of small group of six other bright, gifted communicators. I had to present a three to five minute speech I’d barely practiced, on three different occasions. On top of a head cold. And lack of sleep. Did you know the #1 fear in this world is public speaking? #2 is death.
I can’t say I’m absolutely fearful of speaking, but I definitely have my insecurities with it. I suppose it’s rooted in a type of fear I’ve recently come to understand more about. What is it you might ask? Fear of rejection.
I’m afraid I’m not eloquent enough to say what it is I want to say.
I’m afraid others will think I’m doing this for my glory instead of His.
I’m afraid others might actually be right, that my motives are impure and selfish.
I’m afraid I will say the wrong thing and forever damage my credibility.
I’m afraid this responsibility is too heavy for me to carry with three young children and a husband to nurture.
When I look at these fears, I need to get honest and do a heart check, and verse check, in order to discover the truth of my beliefs and motives. What I’ve found is I’m not the only one who has struggled with this issue.
In the Bible, Moses also feared public rejection, especially through verbal communication. God was calling Moses to do a great thing, bringing the people out of slavery and teaching them about the true God of the universe. And yet, Moses doubted His calling. He doubted his ability. This is literally the dialogue Moses had with God:
But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else. (Ex. 4:10-13)
God has been using the example of Moses quite literally in my own life, teaching me about myself and my insecurities. In a nutshell, this is what God is telling me instead:
I will be your mouth and tell you what you need to say.
This is not about you, but about what I AM doing through you for MY (God’s) glory.
As long as you keep your eyes on me, I will give you a heart of humility, so do not fear.
I (God) am with you. I can and will turn things around for good, despite your mistakes, if you continue to seek me out of love for me.
Speaking truth and hope is a huge responsibility, and not one to take lightly. I’m so thankful you are already aware of this, which is good, and you are ahead of the rest. I have called you to this, therefore I will be the glue to hold it all together when you feel like you will not make it.
Perhaps you aren’t being called to go write and speak God’s hope, light, and truth to the world in the ways God is calling me to.
But I bet God is calling you to do something that feels scary. Which is exactly what He wants, so you are forced to trust and rely on Him.
Or maybe He desires you to lay down a dream for now to do the good work that’s right in front of you? Is God calling you to step out, or step back, doing something that requires sacrifice, or something that seems outside of your skill set or comfort zone?
Moses was not an eloquent speaker, and yet God used him despite His insecurities and inability to speak well, bringing about a plan so much bigger than Moses thought possible.
In the same way, God wants to use us despite our insecurities and our lack of _____(fill in the blank). God does this reveal more of Himself as we do things we never thought possible. Because it’s not about what we do, but what God is doing in and through us which magnifies His character and presence.
Through prayer I have continued to step out and do the uncomfortable or inconvenient because I sense God’s invitation for me to do so. It hasn’t been easy. It’s required leaving the kids home with the husband sick at times while I go and grow in the ways God desires. It often requires sacrifice as I have less time to do the “fun” things in life, and yet this kind of work brings me such a deep satisfaction and joy I don’t mind being out-of-the-loop by not watching This Is Us (I know, I know… who is this person?)
Don’t worry about what other people may think of you as you step out and do the uncomfortable things you’ve been invited to do.
Don’t worry about being the “odd one” of the group as you serve in ways that may go against the grain of society.
Don’t worry about your lack of whatever you feel you’re lacking in because God will use you despite what you feel.
But sit and pray; be sensitive to God’s invitations. If God is calling you to it, He will help you through it, as long as you remain focused on Him.
Then step carefully out onto the path He’s beckoning you to.