I'd like to ask anyone who reads this to say a quick prayer for me between now and June 17th...
We have a couple of different occasions during the year when someone other than our pastors take the pulpit. Our men present the service on Mother's Day, we ladies take over on Father's Day, and our Youth Sundays are handled entirely by our young adults.
I've spoken in front of our congregation before, with my own testimony and with our Youth Group after my first mission trip. And I've done the devotional at our Women's Group meeting before. I usually have something to say in Sunday School and Bible Study. Basically, I love to talk! :-D
But this is another world to me. I'll be giving the message on Father's Day. I've got some tough acts to follow from previous years. We've had really great messages brought from members of our congregation for these special days, and I can't even discuss the Youth Sunday messages without getting emotional!
I know that this is something God wants me to do, even though I'm a little nervous about it right now.
How can I be so sure of that?
The very first time it was mentioned in church a couple of months ago about Father's Day coming up, I thought to myself, "Maybe I should volunteer to give the message this time." Then the doubts started up - I'd never be as good as our other speakers have been; I'd never come up with a "real" message on my own; I talk too much anyway; there's probably someone else who really wants this opportunity; and on and on and on.
I worried this around in my head for days; should I or shouldn't I? Finally I just gave up and said, "God, I'm so undecided about this. But if you really want me to do it, I'm not going to just up and volunteer. I want you to have someone ASK me to do it." Basically, I figured that wasn't going to happen and I'd be off the hook, so to speak. And nobody would ever have to know that I'd been struggling with this decision!
Literally two days later, as I was walking to the Fellowship Hall for our Women's Group meeting after morning service, our pastor's wife just said out of the blue, "Would you give the message on Father's Day?" It was all I could do to keep from laughing, but I figured that would be kinda rude, so I accepted and then explained to her what I'd been going through! She was as tickled over it all as I was, because she said her question had just kind of come out of nowhere! But we both knew who was behind it all...
I said ALL that to say this: my prayer request is that I step back and let God give me the message that HE wants me to bring that morning. I've been given a big responsibility, stepping into that pulpit, and I want to do it the right way (which means putting ME out of the spotlight and bringing GOD into it instead). I'm sure I could come up with a thousand things to talk about (remember, I LOVE to talk!), but they'd be MY words and not God's.
I appreciate your prayers and good thoughts! And if I can have just a tiny bit of that spotlight, I'd like for my dad to be able to turn to God that morning and say, "She did good, didn't she?"
Love you all!