Crown of Beauty Magazine The Brave Issue - Page 62

putting myself out there and exposing myself to criticism. After all, my comfort zone was a safety net that protected me from embarrassment.

When the time finally came for me to give my first real presentation in front of the people who really loved me more than anyone else on earth... my entire body shook, my heart pounded in my

my chest, and I'm quite lucky I didn't puke all over the front row audience members.

But I did it. And it was exhilarating.

All I can remember clearly of that day now is how it felt to let go and just live what I'd never allowed myself to live before out of fear. I learned that I had the ability to make people laugh. I heard what applause sounded like when it was for me. It was a turning point in my life I will never forget.

I ended up taking the speech to the 4H state fair and winning first place in the speech competition there. Again, not because I'm amazing, but because my God is amazing. I prayed my way through the entire competition, and He, knowing exactly what I needed, allowed me to receive the blessing and reward of my hard work.

You would think I'd be over my fears by now, but I'm not. I don't think God ever expects us to be anything more than human. He knows what we are. He knows we need him. He is not surprised by our weaknesses, and he doesn't think less of us for them. Our shortcomings are just another opportunity for Him to be glorified.

what we are. He knows we need him. He is not surprised by our weaknesses, and he doesn't think less of us for them. Our shortcomings are just another opportunity for Him to be glorified.

What God has taught me is that you don't have to be ready. In fact, I never would have been ready to stop being fearful. You don't have to be fearless and bold and confident. You only have to rest in God.

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