Just after Christmas, Kevin and I were asked to come to an evening meeting at the church and share our testimonies. We've been regular attendees at the church we're going to now, since July of 2006, and had completed all the membership formalities except for doing that.
So, never having given my testimony in a public setting, I was a little particular about the things I wanted to share, the things I wanted to focus on most, and keeping it all short enough that it didn't feel like I was preaching. I have issues with women in a pulpit anyway, but a woman in a pulpit speaking in a preachy way just doesn't work for me - especially if that woman is me.
A couple close friends advised me in the same way: a little of where I was, a little more on how I came to know Christ, and a little bit more on what He's done since that time. With that in mind I sat down and wrote out my testimony (I've done this before but it was much, much longer), and prepared myself for the first public type speaking I've done since 1996. For a period of two years, from '94 to '96 I did quite a bit of radio & television talk/news shows on the topic of internet related harassment and stalking, and the state & federal communication laws we had in place in the US at the time. Some of those shows were live and some were recorded, but it never really bothered me all that much. The first live television talk show I did was nervewracking, but I got over it quickly and just focused on the topic (and completely ignored the packed studio audience, and the fact that I was on live tv.)
There is a monumental difference between public speaking on a completely non-religious topic, and public speaking on the topic of God's grace and mercy in the life of a rotten sinner. The former was rather easy, but the latter should leave anyone trembling, really.
The event of giving testimonies (in all there were 13 people scheduled!) had been delayed time and time again, due to typical Canadian winter weather, this time of year. It was once again rescheduled for last night, and the weather cooperated, and we all met at the church at 6:30. Typed testimony in hand, just before it was my turn to stand and deliver, I began to develop a tickle in my throat and a little cough. Great, I thought, just in time to completely mess up a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the telling of God's amazing grace.
When all was said and done, I did deliver my testimony with just a few tiny interruptions of nerves, and throat issues. I'm pretty sure no one noticed my knees shaking as I stood there and literally trembled before God.
One friend suggested I record this testimony and put it up here at the blog with a permanent link. I asked another friend if I should, and he said YES, that it would only serve as an encouragement to others. So I gave it some thought, and Kev agreed that it would be a good thing.
Lord willing, when the house is quiet and the audio recording program works properly, I'll get that done and post it here.