This past weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster!
I went away for a clergy wives getaway, they said it’s called a get away because we’re not quiet enough to call it a retreat. Having gone on the ‘getaway’ last year, it is now something that will annually go into my diary, it is such a lovely relaxed time and I learn so much about God and myself.
On the Friday evening of the weekend there are 3 people asked to give a testimony of God in the last year, this year I was one of those asked. What a privilege!
When I was asked to give a testimony my brain went into panic, speaking publically was something I would have said, over and over again, was not my ministry. Notice I said “would HAVE”.
So, I was asked, my brain went into overdrive but my heart had a peace that was definitely from God, he was calling me to do this. That very night God gave me the words he wanted me to speak.
And then the weekend came along.
Friday night – I got up to speak, hands shaking and heart racing. I got emotional but I spoke the words God had given me.
Saturday morning – I woke up feeling broken and vulnerable, empty and unsettled. Why did I feel like this? I had done what God had asked me to do and now I felt like a shell, what was going on?
I kept getting positive feedback from the words I had spoken and all I could muster was a meek “thank you” feeling complete unworthy.
Saturday evening We had the wonderful Caroline Welby to speak. What a woman of grace, integrity, humility and wisdom. One of the things she said to me was that when we are stretched beyond our comfort zones, when we are uncomfortable, we grow.
Now I see the wisdom but at the time all I felt was that I wasn’t growing, I was shrivelling!
Sunday morning I had a gentle but honest message from a dear friend. She said that if I didn’t feel public speaking was my ministry (as I kept saying) then I shouldn’t do it. But, if I felt called to it but felt fearful and scared, then I needed to trust God to equip me.
Monday morning (back home) all the wisdom spoken has finally come together to give me a complete picture. Public speaking is way out of my comfort zone, I don’t like the sound of my voice, I think others could speak far better with a greater clarity and wisdom, I believe I don’t have the knowledge and my ‘go to’ answer is that Carl was the one called to be upfront not me! So it is way out of my comfort zone, does it then rightly follow that it is not my ministry? That is for God to tell me, not me to tell God. My heart is now open to what he asks of me and I will ask him to exchange the fear I feel for trust, faith and courage.
And the reason I felt so vulnerable on Saturday morning? Yes the words I had spoken were from God, yet I realise now that I delivered them in my own strength, not God’s. I gave from my own resource and not from God’s.
My prayer is that I have taken on board this lesson and in the future remind myself where my strength and help comes from.
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of heaven and earth