And no, I am not talking about the movie!
Ever have one of those moments you wish you could shrivel up and die?
One of those moments in time, you wish you could turn back and just delete?
That moment that you played out in your head 100 times, and it went nothing like you planned?
Well, that was me a couple of weeks ago. As most of you would know who have been following our journey, Phil and I have been appointed Senior Leaders at a Church in Te Awamutu and a couple of weeks ago was my first time sharing in a service.
Now I am not new to public speaking. It is something God has been
pushing guiding me into for the last few years. I have spoken at Women’s Conferences, Small Groups, Women’s Mornings and even been a guest speaker at other Churches……but I have never preached at my own Church!
Now really, this shouldn’t be much different right? Well, in my mind it was! This was my first time in front of our people. The first time they would hear what I have to say. The first time they would hear my heart!
Oh my goodness! The pressure I put on myself was huge. But I knew God was with me, so I knew I could do it. I practised all week (ok, for a couple of weeks leading up!) and I knew it off by heart. But I wanted notes to hold in my shaky hands, one to keep my hands from being visibly shaky, and two, to keep me on track. I figured technology would let me down and so instead of holding my ipad, I did it the old fashioned way and printed out my notes.
So the big morning came and I was all set……or so I thought!
I went up on stage, trying to not look like a bowl full of jelly, even though that’s what all my limbs felt like. Breathe Kathy, just Breathe. I told a couple of jokes. People laughed. This was a good start. I took a deep breath and just talked. This was going ok. Maybe I could get through this. Maybe the people would listen to what God had laid on my heart. Maybe I was going to be ok at being a Pastors Wife. But then, just when I thought I had it sussed, I turned the page and the next page was missing. MISSING people! Not just muddled in between some other page, but completely missing!
I just stood there like a stunned mullet.
Stunned Mullet: Dazed, stupefied; uncomprehending; unconscious. The phrase alludes to the goggle-eyed stare (and sometimes gaping mouth) of a fish that has been recently caught and made unconscious. A person typically looks like a stunned mullet as the result of a sudden shock or surprise.
I couldn’t move! I didn’t know what to do. I knew my talk word for word, but not having it in front of me just threw me. And so I stood there. It felt like I was frozen in time and I could feel the sweat starting to run down my back. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. I searched the back of my mind, knowing the words had to be in there somewhere…..but nothing!
A friend came up and encouraged me, and finally I opened my mouth and words started coming out again! Whew, I was back on track…..that was till I got a couple of pages in and another page was completely gone! By this stage I just had to wing it and give it all to God.
On the way home from Church I was in tears. They were streaming down my face faster than I could wipe them away and I was kicking myself for making such a stuff up. I was crying out to God “Why? Why did this happen on my very first time” and His response was loud and clear:
“Because they need to see you are not perfect”
But God, couldn’t they have at least thought that for another week or two? I guess I had prayed that I would be real and authentic, and well, that I was!
I had my very first Women’s Event the next night. Surely, it couldn’t be worse than my Sunday morning effort? But you know God is so good! As embarrassing as it was, God used it for His good. Women said how much they can relate to me, how their hearts went out to me and that they realised I was just like them!
I was able to joke about it with them and learnt that I have come along way in my walk with God, and can actually laugh at myself nowadays.
So something that didn’t quite go to (my) plan, God still used for good and the women at Church got a glimpse into the real Kathy.
It does make me wonder what else God has in store for me, and the women at Church. In the same breath, I also wonder what it may look like…..