I knew as I pressed "Send", I was responding from a place of personal fear. There wasn't any way I could envision myself being able to answer this request in a positive way. Just thinking of fulfilling this responsibility made my palms sweat and my heart race. Feelings of disappointing the Lord filled my heart, but I just couldn't do it.
Each year mothers from our congregation are asked to take part in the special Mother's Day Services. One will read the Scripture. Another will pray. It is a lovely blessing being asked to take part. Several years ago the invitation was extended to me. I felt honoured to be asked, but the thought of standing on the church platform in front of so many people absolutely terrified me.
I know that sounds strange coming from someone who actually speaks at Women's Events, but it is true. Most often when God invites me to share at ladies events I take my trusty stool with me and speak from a sitting position. This keeps the audience from seeing my trembling legs. Not only that, but I've only spoken to groups of women. This would be reading and/or praying in the presence of both men and women. I couldn't do it. Thinking about it made me nauseous.
Over the past year the Lord has been daily asking me to trust Him more. He has been asking me to abandon self-reliance and abandon myself to Him. Recently I told the Lord that if such an invitation was ever extended to me again, without hesitation I would respond favourably and rely on His strength.
I think in many ways the Lord has been preparing me for the invitation to come. Early February I trusted the Lord as I stood on this very same platform as my role in Women's Ministries required I act as welcomer and announcer for our large ladies event. Early March I spoke at a ladies retreat for the entire weekend without using my stool. More recently I've had to fill-in on Tuesday mornings speaking to approximately 150 ladies at our weekly Women's Bible Study gatherings. Step by step God has been asking me to trust Him and in His strength alone I've been obedient. Anyone without this disabling fear may not understand, but it has seriously controlled many of my decisions and I've missed out on opportunities to allow the Lord to work through me.
When the phone rang this morning I had no idea what the call was going to be about. I recognized the number as being our church phone, but was not expecting the request about to be made. Actually, when I recognized the Pastor's voice on the phone I assumed he was calling concerning something entirely different. However, within seconds he asked if I would be willing to say a prayer at our Mother's Day service.
This time initial fear collided with overwhelming delight. So humbled, when by God's grace He offers a "do-over". An invitation that was met with my "no" years ago, was extended again to me this morning. There's no guarantee opportunities like this will come around a second time. Still feeling anxious, but I responded with an enthusiastic "YES". Immediately I recognized this as a gift from the Lord. God is redeeming a fear and He alone will help me walk this out in faith. "He is my personal bravery..." Hab 3:19 (AMP)
Is the fear still there? Most definitely. But so is my God!!!! Greater is He who is in me. Praise His Name!
I would so appreciate your prayers as I prepare for this day and trust Him. May I not live these in-between moments with anxiousness, but KNOW the Lord who has issued this divine invitation will fill me with His courage.