From as far back as I can remember I have been reserved. It was easy to let my classmates fight over who would answer our teachers’ questions. It was comfortable to stay in the shadows and let others lead. It was painless to hold back and wait. Someone always jumped to answer. As I sighed with relief I was glad that it wasn’t me. I never wanted it to be me.
Was it because I was the middle child? Or maybe because my personality is naturally quieter? Or was my fear of drawing attention to myself inherited from others? I have no idea. But this I know. It was the way I found to life my life with less stress. And it worked. For me.
Until my junior year in high school when I was challenged to run for student office.
“I’ll write the speech,” my classmate encouraged. “All you have to do is give it and you’re sure to win.”
The idea was tempting. All I had to do was stand up before an auditorium full of students and faculty. And give the speech.
For the first time in my life I wanted to be able to do it. I’m not sure exactly why but something inside me longed to be able to do it.
With a zillion doubts and fears I said yes. Made the colorful posters announcing that I was running for office. Memorized the speech my kind classmate wrote. Kicked myself again and again for putting myself in a position where I might possibly fail.
Failure – looking foolish in front of my peers and teachers and family.
I honestly couldn’t imagine anything worse than stumbling in front of the entire student body. The closer the date came the more I dreaded it.
I had no self confidence. I had no spunk or ability to realize that just doing my best was enough.
But I had one thing. Just one. I believed in a God Who knew my longings and fears. I believed He could do anything. And I knew if He wanted me to win that election, He could do that. Even with quiet, scared me.
The day came to give our speeches. My knees were shaking loudly and my hands trembled as I gave that speech. But I did it. Yes, I lived through that whole experience. No one was more surprised that I won the election but that wasn’t what was most important to me.
No, what changed my life was in stepping out in faith to take a risk and discovering that God was greater than all my fears.
That was a huge turning point for me. It opened up a world of adventures where I trusted the One Who was more than able to strengthen and help me,