“Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but we are in speech purgatory…”
I had typed the words in jest to a friend, however, there is really nothing jovial about seeing your kid stressed out of his mind. This week is speech week at school. The dreaded week when high schoolers must present a 3-5 minute speech they have written themselves. This might not sound like a big deal to some, but to those of us card-caring introverts who struggle with public speaking and would rather have a root canal than stand in front of a group of people, this can be excruciating.
My son has dreaded this day since this time last year. And yet, he loved the act of writing the speech (wonder where he gets that from! 😉 ) In fact, from the first day of the assignment he knew what he wanted to write about. He chose to write about the danger of trying to become like everyone else. He wanted to write about the benefits that can come from being brave enough to be yourself. To be who God created you to be.
I was shocked and excited about his topic choice (since he’s not normally one to “put himself out there” like that.) I was blown away by what he wrote. I wanted to stand up and cheer the first time I read it.
But no sooner than he had saved the document, he realized he would have to present it. And suddenly it felt too hard, too risky, too….much.
He practiced over and over. He fretted. He plotted how he could get out of it. He endured his parent’s “help” and advice.
But in the end he just had to do it. (cause, yep…that’s pretty much how this life goes)
But here’s the thing….he did it!!
Now, we prayed A LOT! Like a lot, a lot. In fact, I don’t think I’ve prayed as hard for something to have a good outcome since my first phone call with Tyndale!!
And yes, it felt a little silly to pray over a speech. To look to Moses and Jeremiah and Peter and remember how God spoke through them and compare that to a 9th grade speech. But here’s the thing…God cares as much about my son facing his biggest 9th grade fear and He did about those Bible people facing theirs and as much as he cares about you facing yours.
So that thing you are terrified of doing. That thing that gives you hives just thinking about. Talk to God about it. Cry out to God. Admit that it is bigger than you. Admit that you can’t do it in your own strength, and then ask Him to do it through you.
Prepare as best you can and then….rest in His strength. Rest in His power. Trust in His love. And then just take that first step and invite God to knock your socks off!!
I don’t care if my son gets an A or an F on his speech (ok…I will probably care a little if he gets an F 😉 ) What I care about, what I am so proud of, is that he did it. He faced his fear, he did the hard work, he trusted God and he showed up.
(I am so proud of you buddy!!!)
In fact I’m so proud I will post his speech here tomorrow! 😉