Just Another Testimony

I’ve had stage fright since sixth grade. I also had a slight lisp and a stutter. As soon as I’m in front of a crowd, my hands shake and my back gets sweaty and my knees buckle. Sometimes I get dizzy, nauseous, light-headed, and feverish. Once I threw up a tuna sub from Subway five minutes before speaking. Another time, ten minutes before a Sunday service, I had a meltdown and called my mom and told her that I quit life (seriously). She convinced me in nine minutes to go out there and kick butt.

I don’t know why God would appoint me to do something that’s totally against my nature. Maybe He’s just funny that way. But every time, I’m humbled by the privilege that I get to speak to other struggling human beings and that they would even give me the time of day. I’ve tried to never take this task lightly, and I never want to take it for granted. It’s a big deal to share life, faith, hurts, and this wonderful journey together. It still makes me nervous to speak, but I’ll gladly endure it for the sake of proclaiming grace, truth, and the love of God.

You might have been given a tough task: but stay humble, be thankful, and persevere. If God has gifted you, run with it all the way and let God take care of the rest. Amazing things happen when you tackle fear to the floor and let yourself out to play.

— J

9 thoughts on “Just Another Testimony

  1. Thankful for this post cuz I can totally relate! I took a homiletics class and we all had to preach. On the day I was to preach, I threw up in my hands that morning. I’d thrown up in the trash can if I could’ve got to it soon enough. haha! That would be the second time I threw up in my hands that year. The first time was on an airplane, but that’s another story. Why, indeed, God would use me to speak to people when speaking in public goes against my nature, I have no idea. But all glory to Him for using us in our weakness that His strength may be displayed! Blessings to you!! Thank you for your honesty! 🙂

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    1. Wow that’s crazy. In my first speech class in community college, a wonderful lady began sobbing hysterically and shaking. We all cheered her on and she made it. Apparently public speaking is the number one fear in all surveys, even ahead of death. People would rather die than speak publicly.
      What you said reminds me of a quote by Matt Chandler:
      “One of the great paradoxes of Christian faith is that our weaknesses edify and encourage one another to greater holiness. Isn’t that strange? That strengths, perceived, and in particular, projected strengths could actually, at times, hinder growth in the things of God. Whereas honest weaknesses have a way of stirring us up towards greater holiness, creating safe places for us to experience the grace of God.”

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      1. Awwww!!! Poor lady! That’s great the class broke out in cheers to encourage her. That’s awesome! Yes, I can see why people would rather die than speak in public! haha. I joined a group called Toastmasters International a few years ago to work on my public speaking skills but I’m still slow to get up there at the podium. Great quote by Matt Chandler! We all have weaknesses and pretending like we don’t doesn’t really help anyone, does it? Thanks for your comments and for sharing the Matt Chandler quote!

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  2. I don’t know, I’d rather share words with people than give a music recital- but both aren’t comfortable, especially as the size of the audience (and therefore the potential impact) grows.
    Sometimes I wonder why God would pick me to focus on such a controversial topic. It took a few weeks before being willing to put my work out there for the skeptics (we all know how friendly that bunch is) to find. But at the same time I can see it is much easier for me to show Jesus’ care to such people than the guys who are raring for a fight- they tend to come across as most unChristlike.
    That probably has a lot to do with why God chooses those of us who aren’t good at things, we aren’t going to have the baggage the “naturals” usually carry. 🙂

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  3. Thank you for your honesty, bro. I needed this today. Tonight I told my hubby that I think only 5 people in the world truly care about me. I was bummed and wondering why I do most of what I do if I’m invisible. Which I know that everything should be done to please God and not people. But there’s something about depression and loneliness that makes me want to shout in a crowd “I’m here!” I long for social interaction but it scares me and I really have to push myself. Usually I feel awkward. I understand the stuttering thing. In person, I forget simple words when talking. I feel so silly. I guess that’s why I like email and text better. God bless!

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    1. Thanks Amber. I think it’s okay to feel those things, and it takes time to wrestle from their control. I’m sure you know that already. Maybe our feeling of “invisibility” is heightened because so many of us measure our worth on blog stats and likes and comments. I’ve had to quit measuring myself on those impossible scales. I used to beat myself up for bad sermons or low blog views — but we’re not doing it for that anyway. As you say, the High King lives!

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      1. So true bro. It is a struggle. It’d be nice to overcome it already…to be able to have confidence in what God thinks and that’s it. Though I do know we were all made for relationship and with people too. I guess it goes back to balance. Relationships are weird these days….friendships measured by Facebook messages. It was never meant to be that way but our society has become that. I’ve got such a love/hate for technology. Please keep me in your prayers and I’ll praying for you too.

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