It had been a long week, and I wanted to cry or hide or both. I didn’t though. The task before me was clear. I couldn’t just ignore it.
People who back out of things at the last minute urk me. However, at that moment in time, I could definitely see the advantage of suddenly not feeling so well. Of course, a lie would compound my problem, and I really needed to not wallow or feel any more sorry for myself than I already did.
Normally, speaking to groups doesn’t deflate me. I have this secret dream of being really good at it, and a very vivid memory of getting first place in the state debate tournament which I’m sure means I have undiscovered potential. This particular speaking gig was normal and familiar, but I wasn’t the same.
The weeks preceding the commitment had dismantled me into a heap of questions and insecurity. Several things had chipped away at my armor—a comment here, a jab there, and I’d started to feel like I couldn’t do anything right.
So, I stood on the edge, looking at the job to be done, and I didn’t want to do it. My cup was empty, and I was pretty sure I had nothing to offer.
But I also was fairly certain God wanted me to do it.
With that pushing me forward, I did what any normal, rebellious insecure person would do. I told God I would do it, but I’d only be doing it because he told me to, and I wouldn’t like it. So there.
I had a similar conversation with God about eight years ago, when he pointed to obedience, and I pointed out how that wasn’t going to work for me. I begrudgingly obeyed and discovered how being obedient leads to so much more than I ever imagined.
But this was different. This was a blip, not a life decision. It wouldn’t even be thought of in a week or two. What did it matter?
Still, obedience isn’t really obedience if we do it halfway with a bad attitude and a chip on our shoulder.
That’s when it occurred to me.
Maybe this little event in my life could be more than grumpy obedience. Perhaps this whole situation could serve another purpose.
It could be a gift.
A gift to me of learning—to be stretched beyond my feelings and to see God’s presence even when I’m struggling (again) with being insecure. And a gift to Him, a simple abandonment to embrace what’s before me and live it to the fullest—all for him.
And with that, and several other little moments pointing the way, I conquered the speaking thing and found my word for 2019 — GIFT.
May this year be the year I see all of life as a gift and embrace it. And may it also be the year, I give more of myself than ever before—a gift to the lover of my soul, God Almighty.
Thanks to all who shared their word of the year last week (and invited me out for coffee!) I loved hearing from you all! Anyone else want to share your word for 2019? Or a story of obedience?
PS: I just thought of it, but the working title for my next book is ‘The Gifted One.’ Coincidence? Or a sign?