I’ve been a housewife and stay-at-home mom for over twenty years now. And in filling this role, I’ve spent a lot of time, well, at home. Through the years, one of my favorite splurges has been to take an afternoon nap. Before I would take a nap, I would shut the garage door and lock all the doors. I would check to make sure that the windows were shut and the children were playing peacefully. As I would go off to sleep, I would rest securely knowing that my children were safe inside our home. We were all “snug as a bug in a rug.”
For the last few years, I have chosen a word that I want to define my new year. There are books and websites that describe the process of choosing your word, but in the interest of time, I just pray and ask God what my word will be. Last year it was “Belief,” and looking back I sure was challenged and I grew in the area of belief. This year my word is “COURAGE.”
Courage. Most people think that the word “courage” means the absence of fear. But that is an incorrect assumption. Courage means “the ability to do something that frightens you.” I was struck by the phrase “the ability” – to be able to do something that frightens you.
I walked around my house chanting, “I am braver than I think. I am braver than I think.” I didn’t feel brave, but I was trying to convince myself that I was. My heart was in my throat, and I felt sure that I was going to have a panic attack. My 18 year old son wanted to drive to a friend’s house for the first time. The friend’s house was on a busy city street that was near “the projects” on the other side of the railroad tracks. And it was dark outside. I was desperately trying to be brave, but all I could envision was him being lost in the city in the dark in the projects. I was an emotional mess.
“In Jesus Name, Amen.” I came down from the stage, took off the headset microphone, and breathed a sigh of relief. I had just completed teaching the first week of an 8 week Bible study. I had expected to teach to a crowd of around 40 people,and around 80 showed up. The teaching had gone SO WELL and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I should be on cloud 9, right? Instead, I was an emotional mess.
That night, I could not sleep. I could see the room full of people. I heard the words I had spoken over and over. My insecure self, that Lisa that I have been trying to banish for 44 years, questioned everything that I said and did and made note of all of my mistakes. Why did I say THAT? What are people thinking about me? And what was I thinking, agreeing to teach an 8 week Bible study? Clearly I was NOT thinking. My stomach was a ball of nerves as I considered being on that stage again, seven more times, in front of all of those people.
Facebook and I have had a rocky relationship which can be described as me shunning and abhorring Facebook. For those of you who were willing and eager to join Facebook, that may be hard for you to understand. I am a reluctant and unenthusiastic Facebooker. I joined two days ago, kicking and screaming.
The stage lights are up and the stage sits empty, waiting for her to come up. She is praying fervently in her seat that it will go well. She looks to her husband and friend and whispers, “Pray for me.” It’s almost time. She studies her notes one last time and prays for God to give her the words to say. And then it is time. The pastor of the church calls her up. Her heart flutters as she hears his words:
“Lisa, come on up and make the announcements.”