I have never EVER been able to speak in a crowd of people. This is so not like me since I have always appeared, and at times for good reason, very outspoken. The majority of people who know me or knew me would probably think I would have no problem speaking in front of others considering, before my Christian days, I always had to be the life of the party. You have to remember though that during those days I had to have liquid courage to do much of anything. Today not so much. I have His strength working in and through me ... no need for the liquid any longer.
Still, even with all He supplies me with, I still had difficulty speaking in front of others, especially when the whole focus was on me. Quite a turnaround from the old days ... then, if the focus was on me, it was where I thought it should be.
God shared a dream with me a few years back. I will not go into a long spew as to what it was about, but let’s just say I had no doubt then ... and I have no doubt now ... that the dream was from Him. I have since questioned the dream because of it not coming true as quickly as I thought it should, but on the other hand, it has also given me strength and peace during difficult days. I look back now, over the years, since that dream and I think I can see Him slowly ... VERY SLOWLY ... preparing me.
About two years ago I was asked to speak to a crowd of maybe 50 or more ladies to share some of my testimony. I can tell you I was so nervous prior to that engagement. I thought I would literally get sick as the time got closer for me to speak. Finally, I could take it no longer and I had to go seek His face about an hour or so prior to speaking. He gave me peace. I had it all planned out what I would say, but again He took control. I gave my short testimony and I felt so reassured while doing it. No nervousness or anything. I received some complimentary comments from it, and even a few people shared with me how it touched them in special ways. I was so on cloud nine after it was over. I wanted to dive right back in and do it again.
Nothing since then until now. Again I am in front of a crowd of people without liquid courage ... just Him. The rehearsal last night was great. No nervousness ... no jitters ... no wondering what people would think ... no second thoughts about it at all. He has certainly done a work in me. I simply smile and say, “God, what are you up to?” I know it is all Him. Then I think of the dream and I get all excited, but I have come to realize it has to be all ... I MEAN ALL ... Him and in His timing. No sense getting too excited because it is not going to happen until He says so.
Speaking of liquid courage ... I had another revelation at my niece's wedding two weeks ago. Again, you have to keep in mind what my life consisted of prior to giving it to Christ. It was all about the partying and drinking. Without the liquid courage, I could not do much of anything ... dance, bowl, play softball, play pool, etc. Before any event, I would just have a few drinks to loosen up and all was good. Since those days, I have had problems with doing anything. Always uptight, wondering if people were watching me ... was I making a fool out of myself. Gosh, the thoughts we allow satan to put in our heads to hold us back! My solution was not to do much of anything which is exactly what satan wanted. At my niece's wedding reception, the music was great and there was lots of joy and laughter. It was contagious and I danced my heart away. No liquid courage ... just fun. It may not seem like much of an accomplishment to you, but let me tell you my friends, it was a huge revelation to me of God's work in me. Those who I shared my party days with and those who are living that life now know exactly what I am talking about. I am here to share with you that He is more than enough ... He will give you all the courage you need to do whatever ... His strength is more powerful than any liquid courage I use to rely on.
I wish the rain had held off for this couple, but they had a back up plan. The wedding is happening at a Bed and Breakfast that is absolutely breath-taking. I got a tour of the home and grounds last night, and I have to tell you ... I could live there! The wedding will take place in the barn ... not an ordinary barn by any means. They have done such an awesome job decorating it. I cannot wait to share pictures.
I pray you guys have a wonderful day today despite the rain. Remember, regardless of what you are going through, God is the source of our joy. Find your sense of contentment in Him and then the weather will not matter any longer!