Public speaking has been something I enjoyed since childhood. At my Gram’s you could find me giving speeches, performances, and putting on a show in front of the chalk board, on the picnic table, under the willow tree, in the living room, or wherever we could set up shop.
My favorite part was doing the introductions, giving a speech, or teaching a lesson. My sister, Heidi, and cousin, Shawnacy, were the talented ones that could perform the routines we brainstormed together.
I remember taking public speaking at SUNY Oswego, we had to give a report. I spent so much time trying to find “something to hand out” when I finished as a reminder of the message I was delivering. The item I gave out…condoms! Oh yeah, one condom for each person in my class, and I even gave one to my professor. I was nervous yet passionate about the goal of this assignment ~ to educate, help, and save other teens and young adults from unwanted pregnancy.
What responsibility am I talking about? Easy – I want to deliver truth, encouragement, and passion with the facts to back it up. Unlike college, to share about my faith journey carries a greater weight then pregnancy statistics. Both are important but one is eternal.
For that first speaking engagement I read at least a hundred Scripture verses, if not a couple hundred. I don’t share this with you for praise but to illustrate the focus of this blog. Anything we do, if we are to do it well, requires preparation.
There are some who could stand up and speak and deliver their first message without spending this much time reading their Bible and looking up specific Bible verses but for me, this was necessary. My heart fluttered at the thought I wouldn’t do my best for Him. God called me to speak and write, the least I can do…is give my all, know His message for me to share, and have it founded in truth. I practiced and read the verses so much in the weeks prior to speaking that I barely used my notes the night of the engagement. God is good.
Since this first speaking engagement, I continue to go to my Bible for the message God has for me. It starts in prayer and then times of study and reading, more prayer, and then prayer with the verses that speak to me the most. Sometimes I share the verses that stood out to me within a handout and other times, they are simply on sticky notes, below the pictures, or on index cards tucked where I can see them ~ with no one “seeing” them but me. But I pray
that although no one can physically see or hear the verses address (where you find it in the Bible), I pray they “see” it, in who I am, and the way God uses the words in their own heart. I hope this makes sense to you.
As of today, I have two speaking events scheduled – one in April and another in May. I started praying for these events the day they went on my calendar. This week, God started to place ideas and verses on my heart at random times of the day. I’ve learned to write these down and make note because they may be the ones He has for one of these speaking events. It’s exciting to share hope with others and encourage them with the possibility of overcoming their losses or stressors in life when our eyes are fixed on the One able to help and heal.