Last night was surreal in a way. For several years during my college and grad school days, and even a little past that, I had numerous opportunities to speak to groups, sharing from my heart and opening up the word of God with them. When I began teaching school, those opportunities diminished, simply due to time constraints, not lack of interest. Teaching a ladies Bible study at our former church resurrected that passion for a while, and last Spring, a friend invited me to lead a small group session at her church's ladies conference which scratched right where I was itching.
But, after a hiatus of more than seven months from teaching or speaking publicly, I felt a little "off my game" last night when I spoke at our Ladies Tea at church. I caught myself talking really fast a couple of times, due to the adrenaline rush of excitement and joy in sharing from my heart with people I'm growing to love more and more. Although I knew I was well-prepared, a couple of times I wasn't sure I was even making sense, but those were honestly moments when I felt the flesh emerging with self-conscious uncertainties. For the majority of the time, however, I truly felt used by the Lord, as he suppressed those anxieties with his calming peace and assurance. A couple of times (and this is the surreal part), I felt as though I was watching myself, because I knew it wasn't I who was speaking, but rather the Holy Spirit communicating through me. I was merely the enunciator of his heart and word.
I'm not saying I'm looking for a career doing this kind of thing, but I guess in some ways it is the culmination of what I trained for - a Bachelor's degree in Communication and a Master's in Religious Education logically work out toward teaching people from the most important Book ever written. What's funny about that is while I was taking those steps, I wouldn't have guessed what the Lord would add that up to. The only reason I chose a major in Communication was because my speech class was the one I most enjoyed in the first two years of college. (And if I didn't choose a major before the summer was over, they weren't going to let me come back!) And when I was pursuing my Master's degree, I had in mind to be a Children's Minister. While I still enjoy interacting with children, I learned that my giftings didn't match that role because it is so heavy in administration, not personal interaction with kids. (And I got sick of begging people to serve Jesus by serving kids.)
I am a firm believer that "God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose." While I may have plans about where God is going with his ministry in and through me, he adds up my training, skills and experience to fit the time and place he needs me most. It's the same for you, too. What is he adding up for you? It's an ever-expanding, never-ending summation of who you are - to equal who he wants you to be.
A Mad Race to the Finish Line
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