I had a speaking engagement coming up. I was to be the keynote speaker and was being paid well for it and the audience would be larger than most audiences I’d spoken before. It was an honour to be asked and I was excited about it.
But the day that dawned found me not in a good state. I wasn’t feeling very well in the morning and as the day progressed I found myself to be teary and anxious. Clients were ringing and demanding my time and I just didn’t feel like I was in control. I was getting easily upset and watched the clock anxiously.
I had my stuff packed – books, order forms, magazines, one of my awards in a frame to show, my presentation had been written several days before. I had everything ready, it’s just that I didn’t feel ready.
I sought prayer from a couple of women’s groups I belong to and my husband prayed for me in the morning before he left for work. He rang me about a half hour before I was due to leave.
The trip was almost 100kms and I allowed 2 hours to get there – I had thought it should take about 1 3/4 hours. It should have, but didn’t. The traffic was bad, the wind very strong and I got lost in a town that I don’t know very well. I had instructions and had looked it up in the Melways but somehow I was looking for a street on my right instead of on my left and before I knew it I was heading back out of that town so did a u-turn and was heading back in the direction I’d come. Where had I gone wrong?
I sms’d my husband to say I was lost and then rang the Telco company to get connected to the venue and the receptionist there talked me in over the phone. How embarrassing! By this time I was crying and in a real state. Hubby rang me just as I was finding the venue and wished me all the best. As I walked up the steep hilly road from the nearest parking spot I could find I hoped that my makeup hadn’t streaked and that things would get better from hereon.
I couldn’t even unpack my display of books properly for sales or anything – only a few things on the space they’d left for me on the table and then I was rushed to my seat so they could start the proceedings. All I could do was sit in my seat and think I hadn’t even been able to grab my prepared notes or anything and God, what am I going to do?
Well, I calmed down and was on after the main meal, nearly an hour and half later. I had a brief opportunity to grab my notes but didn’t get to read them I did get to listen to the other speakers (it was an awards night) and I found a common theme amongst all of those who spoke briefly and even the women at my table. I prayed briefly, got up and opened my mouth to speak and before I knew it I was being signalled there were only 10 mins to go, 5, then 2 and I finished. Where did that time go? I was able to refer to those others who had been up before me, engaged the audience in answering questions and shared information I’d learnt from the woman sitting next to me less than an hour before. It seems the whole night was the perfect match for what I knew I needed to talk about. I spoke about dreams and visions, and passions and how your passion is really your vision for life. I quoted from Proverbs 31:10 at the end of it. I had people laughing in the audience, people looking thoughtful, nodding their heads in agreement when I spoke of the value of women being in the home and how our children benefit from that. At one stage you could have heard a pin drop – it was awesome being up there in front of over 100 people and not a person was moving or talking – all were listening. What an amazing experience that was.
Afterward a young teenage girl in school uniform came to ask me if I am a Christian and she was excited as she thought I was. We had a lovely conversation about her plans, dreams and vision. Others were inspired to come tell me they’re going to pursue their dreams – one woman in her 40s who had always wanted to tap dance. I told her to go for it! Another spoke of how she’d always wanted to write.
God was there and it went well, and it had to be from Him because I was in a mess leading up to the event. Isn’t He good? Just goes to show you have to let Him take the lead and when He does, no matter how well prepared you are, or how badly things seem to be going, it will turn out in the way He had planned. You have to let Him take the lead.