Missed “March 5th, pt I”? Read it here.
Something that is only too apparent to those who know me is that I’d FAR prefer a root canal to public speaking. I don’t know why … my husband is the exact opposite … but public speaking petrifies me.
This was my biggest obstacle: speaking as Daryle had asked me to speak had to be done, but I really, really wasn’t looking forward to getting up and speaking in front of the whole church. The date was set for Sunday, March 5, 2006 (trust me, this date IS significant … but also for a future blog), so I had a week or so to prepare my thoughts and come to term with my nerves.
The morning of Sunday the 5th, I was overwhelmed by God’s grace. I was not alone in any possible way. The entire elder board as well as my parents stood behind me as I spoke briefly. Daryle had prefaced what I said with some thoughts on church support, encouragement, and most importantly accountability (this is a word that you, if you’re around me for any length of time, will hear me use a LOT). After I spoke, they gathered around me and prayed for me, my precious daughter, and our church.
These few sentences seem to be way too short a description of that incredible morning. It was a momentous day but, in truth, I remember very little of it. It passed in a blur. I recall impressions, like hearing my own voice, the heat of the lights on the stage, appreciating our college pastor’s hand on my arm while praying as I started to feel faint, the almost deathly quiet in the room, the absence of fear, feeling no condemnation.
God’s lavish grace and faithfulness through my church family was incredible. Again, I was overwhelmed. They gave me a baby shower … so many people and so many gifts … as I looked around my living room late that night (after the shower) and saw what I would learn in future was most of my baby’s first year of life completely provided for, all I could think of was Isaiah’s response to the Lord’s presence in Isaiah 6: he realized his own sinful heart in the presence of God’s holiness. Yes, baby gifts are hardly holy, but God’s provision for the sake of His glory is. I was humbled in such a beautiful way.
Why discuss in such detail the role my church played in these months? My hope then – and now, even as I write this – is that my talking about what happened in my life and seeking accountability will encourage others to do the same and/or reach out to those around them in need. We do need each other, and as my wise father often says, “Churches should be hospitals for sinners, not museums for saints.”
“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (James 5:16-17—The Message).
I spoke publicly. The issue was an issue no longer. It was now a picture of God’s faithfulness.
The baby could be anticipated with joy.