As a little girl I was made to believe that I shouldn't have a voice. I was constantly told to shut up and had my thoughts labeled as stupid. I grew up believing that my voice had no substance. It took years for me to realize that I did have thoughts that held wisdom, that my voice carried the answers that could change situations and cultivate circumstances; yet I didn't have the confidence that was required to move my thoughts out of my mouth. The label stupid remained with me.
"Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9
Every now and again the Lord allows a "sink or swim" situation to cross my path. I can recall a time when I was with a political organization in N.Y. There was an issue over redistricting. Constituents throughout New York State were displeased with the disadvantage redistricting had implemented on the power of their vote. There were protest at City Hall, discussions on the five o'clock news, and press conferences everywhere; one in which I was chosen to represent the political organization and the position we took on the issue. As my "sink or swim" situation would have it, the speech writer decides to write the speech right before I left the office for the press conference. This allotted me only travel time to become acquainted with the material. This was a huge moment for me, a press conference on a topic that all of New York State was buzzing about. All I could think of was the media coverage and how I was representing a political organization that had the ear of every Community Leader, Political Leader, and Elected Official in New York; I could not mess up, I just couldn’t! Confidence was beginning to elude me.
“I will go before you and level the mountains (to make the crooked places straight);
I will never leave nor forsake you” ~Isaiah 45:2, Hebrews 13:5
When I arrived at the press conference, I politely took a spot on the steps of the Queens Criminal Courthouse. As the cameras arrived and the reporters gathered, I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I took small breaths and held them and then slowly released them, trying to slow down my breathing. I was terrified. Finally I was introduced and led to the podium…
“For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” ~ Matthew 10:20
I remember hearing my voice, but I don’t remember saying a word, except for the words I fumbled at the end! As I politely walked back to my spot on the steps, I was encouraged by the cheers I received by my fellow comrades. Mission complete.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”~ Hebrews 10:35