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"Let the Journey Begin . . . "

My Worst Performance Ever

I remember the night very clearly: I had prepared for weeks and was ready for this presentation. What an honor to bring God’s message to such a powerful group of people. These were cancer survivors, and my message was of hope. I was well versed in my topic, and would be including the story about Jezebel and how fear tries to overcome our faith. I knew God would be with me, and tonight was the night to shine.

It was quite a night, all right.

When you train and speak professionally, you move with your audience. You watch them; you feel their energy and emotions and shift with their momentum.

Cell phones don’t exactly add to the moment; they interrupt the momentum. That was the first thing that happened. It didn’t ring just once – it kept ringing. No matter how I changed my position and moved on the stage, my audience became distracted, and we all began to unconsciously look for the caller.

Then … the ultimate nightmare occurred. The heel of my shoe wedged in a crack on the stage, and I fell into the podium. Catching myself, I kept on speaking hoping to recapture the point of my story.

When things are working well for you, think long and hard before you change something. Trust me on this one. I had decided to change the way I used my notes at a podium. I lost my place and had an extended pause as my mind was reeling in my head saying, “You’ve forgotten something, but you’d better keep on talking.”

When my presentation was over, I felt so disappointed in my performance. Looking for validation, I kept asking different people, “Was it OK?” “How was it?” A wave of insecurity came over me EVEN THOUGH the crowd applauded and several people stood up. That was STILL not enough for me, and I lamented all the way home.

I asked God, “Why did all of those issues occur?” I knew the material. How could He be with me, and I perform so poorly? I realized I had to be patient, be “still” and listen for the lesson, because there is always a lesson.

Today, I got my answer. An email came in from the person who hired me. She wanted me to know that a member of the audience came to her and said, “For the first time in my life, I feel like I have hope. I don’t want to die.”

I got the lesson – loud and clear.

No matter if a cell phone goes off, no matter if you stumble, fall or lose your place, When God is with you, it is His victory and not your own. He was victorious.

Remembering the words of Mother Teresa, “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.”

We can never doubt. We must be steadfast in believing – having the patience, faith and courage to go on – to let it go and rest in His love and His promise.

“The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

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