Like so many others in the world, I struggle with low self esteem. Most people probably have no idea because over the years I have learned to mask it, but, I do let my feelings of insecurity hold me back from telling my story, from even being involved in conversation. I avoid being on social media often because I am afraid of offending someone or speaking only to air because people might drop out or not even join at all. But following God's call is forcing me out of my comfort zone BIG TIME. He reminds me that even if ONE person is blessed, then the words He has given me are not wasted.
My own lack of self confidence makes me extremely fearful yet I am called to speak out. God reminds me in little ways that He loves me and sees me and wants me to keep going. Keep doing. Keep sharing. Sometimes He speaks to me in BIG ways, like sending a prayer from a dear friend who had no idea I needed it right then. This has happened a few times in my life but this time was only 2 days ago after I had attended a zoom conference to test my equipment and lighting for the upcoming virtual summit. I was asked to talk about how to use my book, Raising PEARLS. Nothing went right. My internet kept kicking me out. By the time I got off the call I was an emotional wreck for several hours but had to stay calm and collected to take care of my children. After not being able to fix my equipment issues during their nap I ended up putting a signing-time video on for my little ones so I could close myself in the bathroom to cry. I can only hold in my emotions for so long. That's when that unexpected prayer came from my friend.
A few minutes later I received encouragement and prayer from another friend and my Mom called after I asked them both to pray for me. She reminded me what God said about the lily - that they do not toil or spin and yet our Heavenly Father takes care of them. He cares for us MUCH more. As I was talking to Mom, my adult daughter came in (I had moved to the kitchen by then) to give me a Tiger Lily that she found growing in a parking lot all by itself. Orange tiger lilies are a symbol of confidence! My daughter had no idea what was going on in my head when she picked that flower for me. I put it in a glass of water and set it up on the shelf in my office where I could be reminded as I work.
That night the tiger lily bloom closed, but there are five other buds on the stem. The largest one opened and spread it's beautiful orange petals this morning - Day 2 of tech testing for the Summit.
When I opened my Bible App to today's reading in the 2-year Bible plan the first words that jumped out were "SHOUT IT ALOUD, DO NOT HOLD BACK. RAISE YOUR VOICE LIKE A TRUMPET", Isaiah 58. And the new testament reading was from - guess where - - Matthew 6 including verses 25-34. The "Do not worry" section. If I'm being totally honest, I have been worrying a lot the past month, not just about speaking live in front of a lot of people, but also about many other things. To my human mind they are big because I can't see how to resolve them. But to my God who sees everything? He says "....indeed your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matt 6:32 & 33
Coincidence? Nope. God calls each of us to make a difference in the world somewhere and He puts opportunities right in front of us at just the right times to grab if we will keep our eyes and hearts open to receive them. They are often very hard because He wants us to acknowledge that we need His help and can't do it without Him. That's how we get to see His power at work! Wow! How exciting it is to see Him reveal Himself in little or GIANT ways. He still speaks and we are not alone.
I have a story. You have a story. We all have something to share that will bless others and He will show us how.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13