One of the first times God led me out of my comfort zone, I had been married a few years to a Pastor. As First Lady, people automatically expected me to be a speaker. The reality was I hated speaking in front of people. Actually, I was terrified to speak before a crowd. Our church members knew this and accepted the fact. I started to get invitations from other churches to speak at their women’s events and, I turned them all down. I was not a speaker.
Then one year my members asked me to speak for our Women’s Day program. You already know what my answer was. “Thank you, but no.”
Usually it didn’t bother me when I turned down speaking invites, but this time I started feeling guilty, and one Sunday, one of the older women pulled me aside and said that if I was asked to speak, then God would give me the words to say.
The next time I was asked to speak for a Women’s Retreat I said yes. Let me tell you, on the day of the event, I was one of the seven speakers. They were all ministers. I was the only one who was not. As each woman went up to speak, I felt my fear growing. They were powerful and had the women on their feet all fired up. The speaker before me was a friend. She was older and also a Pastor, but most of all, a dynamic speaker. God really does have a sense of humor. I was supposed to follow her with my tame little message? As I sat there, I thought about just leaving. I didn’t think they would miss me. The chairperson must have noticed my fear, because she came to me and asked if I wanted prayer. “Yes please,” I said quietly.
I followed her to another room, where several other women joined us and they prayed for me. As they prayed, I started to feel better, and when I stepped up to speak, I had no fear. Not only did I use my notes, but God gave me words to give to the women that had them nodding and saying Amen and some were even standing to their feet.
That was the first time that God took me out of my comfort zone and reinforced that if I trusted him, he would not let me down. This happened over 15 years ago. Back in October I was at a conference and a woman walked up to me. Can you believe she remembered my topic from that day so long ago?
God has taken me out of my comfort zone many times. Whenever he does, I always think of Esther. Esther is an example for us. God took her out of her comfort zone but, she trusted and believed. That’s what we have to do. We have to trust and believe. God is true to His word and if He is leading us to do something, He will provide what we need to accomplish it.