Early in Dean's ministry, we started the tradition of me presenting the message on Mother's Day. Dean thought it would be neat to have it be from a woman's perspective. This was a challenge for me because I am a behind the scenes person, not an up front person. I did it, though, and gained a little more confidence each time.
Well, I have not done it since Emma died. In fact, I haven't attended church on Mother's Day since then. It is a rough day. I have spent the time Allie and Dean are at church just letting myself miss Emma and "cry it out" so I could enjoy the afternoon with Allie.
A couple of months ago I started getting that nudge I know is God speaking, telling me that it was time to do it again. I came across a verse that just spoke to me and grew into a sermon in my head and I believed He was giving it to me. I told Dean that I believed I was supposed to give the Mother's Day message this year. We started planning the music and the service around the theme I had in my heart.
Last weekend, I started doubting myself big time. I was thinking about everything. What if I freeze? What if I get too emotional? What if it is not good enough? What will I wear? What if people hate it and leave? Every possible scenario entered my mind and I started to panic. I finally told Dean I wasn't going to do it. I knew it was short notice for him but he's a pastor. He should be used to it by now. I felt such a physical and mental relief. I finally relaxed. In a way. I don't know if you have ever just outright told God "no" but it stinks. I felt like I was disappointing Him.
On Tuesday, I was doing my devotions and God hit me over the head. I was reading about the feeding of the 5,000. That is the story where the disciples want to dismiss the crowd to go eat and Jesus tells them to feed them themselves. All they are able to find is two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus says "bring it to me", and he feeds all 5,ooo people with that little bit. The author of the devotional was comparing it to how God uses whatever we give him, big or small, to accomplish great things. When I read that I knew He was speaking to me. He wanted me to give Him what I have and leave the rest to Him. I wrestled with Him that day and of course He won. I wrote in my prayer journal that what I have is His. I don't feel like it is much. I feel like it is so inadequate to be used by Him. But I give it to Him and I trust Him to use it for His glory.
That is not the end of the story. I noticed that the disciples still had twelve baskets left after all had eaten. One for each of them. God rewarded their efforts by feeding them as well. After my prayer time I went to check my email, which I do obsessively, and there was the email I have been waiting for! Our I600 had been submitted!! I felt like God was saying, "You gave me your all and now I am feeding you." I just sat there and cried. I felt God's approval. I am such a people pleaser and to have God's approval and reward that day was just what I needed.
So now I am back to my anxious misery of knowing I have to get up in front of everyone on Sunday morning. I believe I am obeying God but that doesn't make it any easier for me. Please pray for me this weekend. Please pray that God will use me to speak the words that at least one person needs to hear. I am feeling pretty emotional about Emma so please pray God will comfort me on that day. Please pray that I don't pass out!
Oh, and please pray that I will lose 30 pounds by Sunday...