My heart was pounding so ferociously that it felt like it might burst from my chest, I could hardly breath. I wanted to cry.
I. was. so. scared.
The reality was starting to hit me smack dab in the face that a few hours earlier my worship leader had asked me to lead a whole worship service that next Sunday. Something I had never ever done. Here I was, fresh out of high school, seriously SERIOUSLY shy (as in, I’d been known my whole life for being “extremely quiet”), hated being in the spotlight, and definitely did not know how to lead hundreds of people in worship on my own.
I could think of nothing more than what would probably go wrong. In my mind I could not comprehend how on earth I could possibly remember everything it takes to lead a worship set. All these people would be staring at me, the praise team and musicians would be expecting me to give them direction, and there would be a good possibility that I could totally and completely tank the whole thing. Then what? Forever and ever these people would think of me as the girl who tried to do it but couldn’t quite.
I just couldn’t do it. There was absolutely no way.
That night I laid in bed with dragon-sized butterflies in my stomach. Sleep was a VERY faraway land. I could not get myself to calm down. I remember that I couldn’t even breathe rhythmically and normally. The nerves and fear were overtaking me as I tossed and turned trying desperately to just stop thinking about this seemingly enormous task I was faced with.
Finally, after hours and hours of this, the only source of solace I could possibly muster up was to decide I just couldn’t do it. I just was not ready. I would simply tell the worship leader that I was not comfortable leading a whole worship service yet. He would understand. Simple. Done. Not doing it. And that was that. At 2:00 a.m. I was finally calm enough to go to sleep.
Though I was young, I knew I had a heart for people. I wanted nothing more than to help create an atmosphere of worship in any way that I could. Over the years, my life had been so completely changed as a result of the time I had spent in the presence of God both in and outside the four walls of the church. The over-abounding amount of gratefulness that I had for this huge change that had taken place in me, had turned into a constant prompt toward facilitating this awesome atmosphere in which others could experience His awesome presence and also be changed.
But still, issues of major insecurity kept me from ever seeing myself leading a room full of people in worship. I was so afraid. I had been literally tormented in school because of my weight, extending all the way back to Kindergarten. While my mother was always telling me how beautiful and awesome I was, the excruciating words of my peers had been engrained into my mind and heart. I was fat. I was ugly. I was a laughing stock. People could not stand the thought of looking at me. People didn’t talk to me, and they certainly didn’t give a lick about what I had to say.
But the pull to give God my absolute best was still there. I was so afraid, and I honestly did not feel like I could do it. But deep down inside of me was this little, gentle and relentless tug to utilize the spirit of worship that was almost overwhelmingly placed in my heart.
Literally about an hour before I planned to tell the worship leader the news that I would not be fulfilling the assignment he had placed in my hands, I was stopped in my tracks. A prompt that I had not really experienced before. In that moment, I had a major lightbulb moment (we’ll call it that, but we all know it was Holy Spirit). It was then that I realized God had a specific plan for that worship service, and that He was bigger than all the fears that were trying to paralyze me.
So instead of backing out, I decided to press on. The fear had not gone away. I was still scared. Very scared. But I decided that if I was ever going to step out and answer the call, I was going to have to do it even though it meant doing it afraid.
Words seriously cannot describe what took place in that service. The atmosphere was electric, lives were changed, and hearts were touched. From the first word that left my lips, there was a boldness in my that I had never experienced before. It was just a little sneak peek from God, saying that He knew what He was doing, and He was not limited by the people I was ministering to, nor was He limited by my fears. Because while fear was happening on the inside, boldness like a lion was manifesting on the outside.
Over the course of the journey to becoming a confident leader of worship, there have been many stories like this one. With each “little” thing I was asked to step out and do, I became less and less afraid. This was definitely a process, as this road to confidence was not an overnight journey. But while there are moments of unknown, when I’m placed in new or unknown territories, my perspective has completely changed.
Today I can stand before five, or five thousand, and fulfill whatever task God places before me. Sure, nerves may come. That’s normal (and a good thing actually, if you ask my husband who is a public speaking guru).
But a shift has taken place over the years.
My focus is no longer on the fear.
My focus is now on the task at hand. My focus is placed on walking in the grace that God provides for the anointing on my life. My focus is seeing lives changed. Seeing hearts softened. Seeing chains broken. Seeing bodies healed. Seeing refreshing waters poured out. All of this in the awesome moments of His maniftested presence.
My friend, I say all of this to say:
Whatever God has tasked you with doing, whether seemingly big or seemingly small, do it. Do it. There may be a process (and time, and feelings of defeat) involved. You may not even feel like you do well at first. But allow room for the process of going from level to level as God guides you along the journey that He has so perfectly mapped for you. He knows where you’ve been. But He also knows where you’re going, even better than you do. Trust that He has you covered, and even if you have to do it afraid. Do it.
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