I recently spoke at a women’s event, presenting a 45-minute Bible study I wrote myself. It wasn’t my first time speaking to a group of women, but you might not believe that if you saw my hands tremble and heard the nerves in my voice. Every time I speak, I forget to breathe for the first few minutes. Then, I get into a groove and I’m able to relax. Somewhat.
For years, after I began writing to encourage women in their faith journeys, I wondered if God might ever lead me to speak. I’m not sure why I felt like this was something I wanted to do because holding a microphone made me panic. (And that’s before I even tried to speak into it.)
But God has a unique way of putting a dream in your heart that terrifies you. Those dreams are not meant be accomplished alone. God designs them so that you can work on them together—with Him.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
How often do we forget that wherever He leads us, He will continue to walk with us every step of the way?
The first time I was asked to speak, I almost said no for two reasons—fear and self-doubt. Then I remembered that I’d been asking God about an opportunity only days before. Now, He was opening the door to what I’d asked for…and I was going to decline?!?
Fear and self-doubt are dream killers. They say everything is about us, and they keep us from what God has planned.
When God has planted and nurtured the seed of a dream, He does it knowing that with Him, we can take that step forward. Sight unseen. Outcome unknown.
Like a child learning to walk, God coaxes us along. You’re okay. I’m right here. Keep going. Wait, don’t run ahead too far! He encourages us to step out of our comfort zone, but also reminds us to stay with Him.
That first time I spoke, I kept reminding myself that if God didn’t think I could do it, He wouldn’t have showed me the opportunity. He wouldn’t have nudged the person who invited me to speak to even think of asking me.
With the encouragement of God and a friend who believed in me, I took that step. It was far from perfect, but I survived. I didn’t die of embarrassment, didn’t trip on cords or fall off the stage, and I didn’t pass out because I forgot to breathe. That first time gave me a taste of the dream God had shown me and I loved it.
If I had given in to my fear and self-doubt, I would have missed out on that first experience and the opportunities that followed. God knew what I could do with Him, but sometimes, I have to discover it for myself.
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” Matthew 21:21 (NLT)
Shared by: Laura Rath