The Refilling

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Fear, His Love, Unworthiness | 4 comments

The Renewal Conference
 
The party’s over, guests have dispersed and fatigue is now threatening to do damage if the refilling doesn’t come soon.
 Six days ago I pulled out of my driveway prepared to speak at The Renewal Conference for early educators in Sacramento. I have to admit my anxious heart seemed as full as the trunk of my car when I left. I’d carefully packed all the necessary things – appropriate clothing, powerpoint equipment, notes and every other item I thought would adequately equip me– but my heart knew better.
Truth is I’ve never considered myself a speaker. It’s something I do but find it difficult to claim as something I am. A close friend of mine once told me I was very brave, that what I did took courage. She’s right. Every time I head out the door to present to a group – any group, I’m terrified. Whether it’s an hour before stepping forward or the moment an invitation is extended, eventually terror hits. The familiar numbing paralysis usually enters the deepest core of my gut, slowly creeping up my throat and settling in my mind. Doubt whispers, “Who do you think you are – you have nothing to say”.  And it’s right.
Not too long into the three hour drive I heard those words again.  Accusation of unpreparedness and incapability set the stage for the real message – unworthiness. As cars race alongside me and the freeway drones on reminding me that there’s no turning back, I’m trapped with my thoughts. Knowing I have a commitment to people I care about, this giant must be slain. Bravery must surface.
The shield of bravery is not self confidence in either my abilities or past accomplishments. I can’t drum it up by rereading my notes or plunging into more research. I must own the fundamental truth that my fears are warranted, I’m not worthy. I’m not adequately prepared – and by myself, I have nothing to say.
It’s said “perfect love casts out fear”. I claim that. Love is what propels me to say yes in the first place. Love is what keeps my car pointed in the direction of the conference. Love makes me brave. It’s more than a motivation – it fuels purpose and forms message.
Without this fundamental core acceptance I am not a speaker and in fact, cannot speak. Bravery is acknowledging without Christ I can do nothing. He encases everything I say and do. Love is my motivation and my message.
Standing in front of an audience pouring my heart out takes a tremendous amount of strength. It takes courage. But when I visibly see life and love take root from my words into someone else’s soul I’m energized with the same fuel it takes to remain standing and speaking – love fills us both. It’s an unmatched satisfaction, a force bigger than my own fear.
With an empty car and poured out soul – I wait.
I wait for the refilling that comes from him. Gratitude and solitude prepare a place.

 

 

4 Comments

  1. A lovely and encouraging post…how often we need to be reminded that it is not as we see ourselves but as God sees us.
    G.K.Chesterton said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

  2. You and the life giving words of G.K. Chesterton melt my heart. Thank you, Diane.

  3. I am so glad you are brave Pat. So are many many people who heard you speak on Saturday. May you know that your faithfulness and courage have equipped others to stand courageously and press onward in a profession where so often the words “you’re not worthy” are so prevalent. After all, preschool teachers aren’t “real” teachers, we don’t have “real” jobs because to so many, we’re glorified babysitters. But to those that heard you speak, that know you and saw Jesus being poured out to them, refilling their spirits, we are so grateful that you offered yourself up in an act of love and bravery. Thank you for emptying yourself so others could be renewed. May your act of love be refilled and repaid in you 1,000 times over.

    • I love you Jessica and I love your heart for kids and teachers. I don’t think anyone left the conference untouched, I sure didn’t. So many individuals – which included many teachers, some of the speakers, the conference team, even the cook and a few volunteers, ministered directly to me. It was honestly a sensory overload. I can’t wait for next year!