In case you hadn’t noticed, Winter arrived in Michigan last night. It was wearing its “Go big or go home” t-shirt, puffing out its chest, and flexing its muscles to impress Autumn and Spring.
I don’t know what Autumn and Spring thought, but I was not thrilled.
In spite of the weather reports, I traveled yesterday. Trinity‘s Christmas Tea happens the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in Mount Morris and I was this year’s featured guest. Forty minutes of these women’s lives were set aside for me to sing and speak to them. We talked about being a daughter of God and I hope they left feeling a renewed sense of the love the Father has for them and how valuable they are to Him. That’s something that God’s been trying to impart to me all year. Funny thing is, the very act of talking about it made it clear that I haven’t got the lesson down myself.
Public speaking is not my favorite. No matter how many times I do it, it continues to freak me out. I rehearse what I’m going to say over and over and over. I tweak my notes right up to the last minute. My hands shake before, during, and after. I beat myself up over my use of non-words. I can’t decide whether or not to look at the two beloved people I brought with me because I crave their encouragement but simultaneously fear seeing my failure reflected in their expressions. I wonder if there was any cohesiveness whatsoever in what I said. It’s like a partial out-of-body experience where some of me is present in front of this huge room of people but the rest of me is watching myself and criticizing. Or like driving through a blizzard at night on the highway going 35 miles per hour and feeling both like I’m flying and that at any moment I’m gonna spin out of control and wind up in a ditch.
And of course, Winter would point and laugh. Just like that audience might…
Then I realized that all of those things are symptoms of another problem: a feeling like I can’t possibly have anything worthwhile to say. It astounds me that anyone would want me to be a featured speaker for any event. Who would drive out in the first blizzard of the year to listen to me talk? What do I bring to the table? I’m nobody.
Oh wait. Wasn’t that me telling those ladies that they are precious to Papa? That He loves them wildly? That He could never, ever forget them because their names are written on His palms? That there is nothing they can do to make Him love them more…or less? That they are infinitely valued?
Yikes. I am so thankful God is patient with me. That I’m a masterpiece He’s molding and shaping with each day and each experience. He’s really got His work cut out with this Amanda project…
Epilogue: It may have taken four and a half hours, but Winter did not defeat us. The dear ones who accompanied me on last night’s enterprise faced many harrowing and unforgettable adventures but all made it home safely. I am so happy to have them on this journey with me.