So far, speaking in front of an audience was the bravest thing I've ever done.
I took a six month theology class several years ago. I love to read and study, so I thought this would be a piece of cake. An ordained pastor, who was very knowledgeable in the word of God taught this class, and there was never a boring moment. My brain enjoyed every minute that I took in the word and the understanding that came with it. I was excited when I showed up to class....until four weeks before the end of the class and he told us that we would have to prepare a lesson, or a "trial sermon" to give in front of the congregation. My excitement went from yippee to oh my Lord!
Over the next several weeks, the only good thing about this pending assignment was that I was picked to go next to the last person to speak, so there were four people ahead of me. I studied, and I prepared my talk. I practiced, and each time I practiced, my knees would knock a little harder, palms would sweat more, and I worried my little self silly.
I think my dad must have picked up on this from two towns over where he lived, because three days before I was to speak, he called me and proceeded to give me tips on what I was to speak about. I couldn't tell if he was more nervous than me or what! Looking back I believe that side of him was the parent side that must have felt that their child would be put on display to speak in front of people and with any mistakes made, that child would be held accountable, or worse case scenario, mocked for what would have seemed like the rest of their life! Papa Bear wasn't having it, so I think he was more afraid for me than I was for myself.
What my dad didn't realize is that I wasn't afraid of what I had prepared and the accuracy of it, I was more afraid of standing in front of my friends and family that were invited and the 75+ additional people that would be there. I prayed, God give me the courage to do something that I am afraid to do.
When my day came, after my introduction, I got up from the chair I was sitting in next to my teacher, and I walked to the podium. I look at the front row, where my dad, mom and step-parents were sitting. My dad bowed his head with a short smile, and right at that moment, my spirit led me to take off my glasses. See I am near sighted, i'm unable to see distant objects (including judgmental facial expressions) (LOL) clearly. When I realized how God had answered my prayers by having me to take off my glasses, which caused the entire congregation to look like a blur, I felt I had a new found freedom that gave me the confidence to do what I had to do. I did it afraid. I spoke to all those people and I sounded like I had been doing it for years...plus I got an A. Bravest thing I ever done.