I can't remember if I shared this before, but I think I did: I've always been terrified of speaking in front of adults. I was an elementary school teacher and could speak in front of children (no problem), but something about speaking in front of adults made me want to cry. My brother and sister will testify. My husband will testify. My comfort was that other teachers shared how they were also sweaty and afraid when speaking in front of adults. It wasn't just me!
Growing up, if you had left me in the corner, I would have stayed there nice and peaceful. Okay, I could get goofy and loud at times, but I was never comfortable in large group situations. You guessed it, they made me want to cry. But God. He wouldn't let me stay there. He kept pushing me into leadership positions. I didn't ask Him for those types of positions, but He seemed to want me there. Now, I can see His training in those areas of my life.
Becoming the samonim (pastor's wife) of the head pastor of a Korean church changed me even more. I had to speak to people, even though I wasn't fluent in Korean. At first I was terrified to open my mouth or make mistakes in Korean, and then God gave me freedom. I could speak and laugh, even though, no one understood me. It's okay. Puzzles my mind also, but it truly is a freedom that only God could have given me.
Over the past few years, I've been given more opportunities to speak to different groups. It's not from me, but I have noticed that I am getting less nervous. Here is an example of this change. A few years back, I went to a Korean pastor's conference with my husband. At the end, several others and I were asked to share our testimonies. A translator was standing next to me because I had to speak in English. I remember it being hard to make eye contact with the group and my hands being sweaty and shaky. This past December, I actually went back to that church in L.A. (so blessed by you, Cornerstone!) and was asked to speak briefly at the Korean service and to give my testimony at the English service. I was shocked. I was able to speak in Korean at the Korean service (hopefully people understood what I said) and was not shaking or wanting to cry. People, that is God!
This Sunday, I've been invited to share my testimony at my home church. Please pray. I'm really excited, but not my words but His be spoken.