I was in 3rd grade when I realized I had a real problem.
I knew I had a speech impediment because kids on the school bus had pointed it out – but it hadn’t really bothered me much…until the day speech therapy began. I had trouble with the letters “s” and “z”. For some reason, I said them out the side of my mouth.
Once a week in my public school, I left my class and friends and headed to the speech therapy room where I wore headphones and repeated over and over…and over… the “s” and “z” sound correctly. My speech therapist was kind. We played games and I said “Sally sold seashells down by the seashore” over and over…and over. I practiced at home, I practiced at therapy and a few long years later – voila – no more impediment!
But then a new issue arose. I started losing my voice on a regular basis. Losing my voice has been a regular occurrence in my life since about 5th grade. When I get a cold – it goes straight to my throat and voice. And so about once a year, I lose my voice. When I say lose it – I mean gone – not a squeak comes out. I am silent for about 5 days. Tea and honey are my friend.
The week of my book launch, I worried and worried – about losing my voice because I had radio shows booked BUT I did not lose it and all was well. Praise the Lord!
Does anyone see the irony in the fact that the very thing I love to do – speak – is the very area, physically I am weak. My youtube channel has over 1.2 million views now…but I should take no pride in that because God has humbled me in this area. I mean really – I couldn’t talk straight as a kid and when I finally could – I started losing it!
God has kept me dependent on Him to have a voice. I am sure that this weakness is God’s way of keeping me at his feet in prayer – remembering, He is the one who has given me my voice and he could easily take it away. My voice is His.
I am reminded of Moses in Exodus 4:10-12:
“But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
And Moses’s response in verse 13:
“Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
Moses doubted himself and his abilities. While it’s good to be humble…to be filled with self-doubt to the point of not following God…is sin.
To worry like I did, all through my book launch, about losing my voice for the radio interviews…was sin.
When I was younger, I really feared trying to lead because I felt like others saw me as too young and immature. While this didn’t stop me from leading, I had a lot of insecurities I wrestled with for a very long time. I clung to 1 Timothy 4:12:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Have you felt overlooked at times to lead because of your age or weaknesses?
God does not look at birth order and background. Often he chose the “overlooked” of this world to lead. In a culture where the the younger served the older –Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David were all the youngest in their families.
It’s called grace.
By the grace of God, He uses anyone willing to surrender their life to Him.
It’s easy to see a need and say – “someone should do something about that” but then to step up and say, “Here I am Lord. Send me.” as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6:8, takes great courage.
And so I wonder…are you one of those who is doubting your abilities?
This is your call to courage.
You are unique. God created you with your special skill set, that only you have, for His very purposes.
Even your weaknesses were fashioned according to His plan for you –not so you’d shrink back and quit but so you’d trust Him as you step up and lead.
Your very weakness is what will reveal without a doubt, it is God working through you, when you see fruit from your labor.
We reap what we sow.
If we sow seeds of fear and self-doubt, we reap nothing.
If we sow seeds of courage – we will reap a harvest that glorifies God.
This is your call to courage.
Whether you are just beginning your journey as a leader or you are in the middle of leading and feel weak…
Don’t shrink back.
The enemy would love for us all to hang our heads and hide…but God is with us and if God is for us, who can be against us? Even the wind and waves obey Him. May God find us obedient to His call today!
Walk with the King,
Do you have an area where you feel weak? Does it affect the way you serve?
How are you in need of courage today?