Embracing Stage Fright

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8

So, a few weeks ago I had to go to this class in Baton Rouge with some coworkers. It was somewhat of a traumatizing experience for me... Those of you who know me really well will completely understand this... Near the end of the class the words "role-play" came up... I immediately felt my heart rate increase, and feelings of intense dread and fear began to take over as the time drew closer and closer. Really... I know sometimes I over-dramatize things, this is not an over-exaggeration in the least... I told my group members that if they chose me to do the role-play I would break out in a sweat and walk out, ha! Pathetic, right? Well... the time came, and they all looked at me to go up there!!! This is embarrassing... I adamantly shook my head "no," and actually got wispy like I was gonna cry! I was SO embarrassed, but it was like I had no control over the fear that overcame my body and mind... Now I can laugh about it... A LOT... but in that moment, I just sat there and counted the seconds until the class would end and I could get away from these people who saw how weak and afraid I was... Haha, oh man, I guess my shyness hasn't completely escaped me just yet... Gosh, remember when I used to actually not talk at all...? to anyone?? I've come a long way, for sure.... but I just can't seem to get rid of that pesky stage fright...

A couple of days after the traumatizing experience, Chris and I were listening to Lecrae's newest CD, and these lyrics played:

I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead?
It's evident You run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I'll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I'm sticking to Your script, and I'm reading all Your signs
I don't need my name in lights, I don't need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I'm just gonna lose my soul
Yeah, so if you need me I'll be stage right
Praying the whole world will start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
'Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessing
That I'm not that impressive...............

I started thinking about my stage fright problem in the realm of my faith... maybe it's not such a bad thing.... (of course, the whole 'fear of man' issue involved in the role-play scenario is a whole different email, ha!)

Recently, I've been miserable at work, overwhelmed and burnt out in a big way... I've had several interviews and ideas of ways to get myself out of there, and I've found myself asking God often... "Why am I a receptionist...? I know this isn't my calling, and I KNOW I didn't graduate from Mercer with a degree in psychology so I could answer phones at a Honda dealership! When are You gonna get me out of here????" It's as if I think I could do it better on my own... I mean, I have lots of really great ideas... I spend a lot of time formulating different things I could do, and how to accomplish them... I would LOVE to be a stay-at-home wife, and focus my energy on serving Chris and helping him with the youth ministry... I spend A LOT of time trying to convince him that MY IDEAS are the right ideas....

...and for some reason, I'm still at Honda... answering phones. What could be the cause of this...?

I know, oh Lord, that a man’s life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Jeremiah 10:23

I know that there is some beautiful purpose for my being at Honda... Can't I rest in that? I actually know a good bit of why He directed me there, He has done incredible things in my life and the lives of others since I started, and has brought some of the most amazing people I know into my life. I've actually seen lives change for Him that wouldn't have changed if He hadn't brought me to Honda! In one case, He introduced us to somebody, Chris and I showed her a webpage, she went to Camp Eagle and was used to introduce high school students to Jesus last summer. Would that have happened if I hadn't followed God and gone to Honda?? What a blessing it has been to see the fruit He has produced through something that seems pointless and that 'I don't like.' I'm so grateful for that!

I love that verse up there. I love how plainly it displays that my life is not my own. It's become my daily prayer that I can live that verse out in my life... that I can take the background, and let God take the lead... Cause I KNOW that if I were to take the lead and actually get to write out the way I want my life to go, I would totally get in the way of His work, less people would know Him, and I wouldn't know Him as well as I do today.

I'm so good at stage fright... I'm trying to become just as good at it from an eternal perspective...

What would happen if every time we tried to push God to the side and take control of our own lives, we had the physical symptoms of stage fright... our heart rate increased, we broke out in a cold sweat, cried and ran the opposite direction...? I bet we would make a lot of different decisions for our lives.

The funny thing is, often He makes it so very clear what He would have us do in different circumstances. We've just become so confident in our own ability to do this life, that we don't pick up on it at all...

Will you pray with me this year to begin embracing stage fright? How our lives will change, and the lives of those God puts our paths, when we take the background and follow HIM where He leads us.

So... on another note, it's already looking like this is going to be an incredibly blessed 2011 for Chris and me! It is SO MUCH FUN to see Him work all around us and in the lives of the students He's blessed us with. I'm so excited for the possibilities and because of your faithful prayers and how the Lord has used each of you, I'm excited to keep all of you in the loop! Actually... I'm trying to start a blog to do just that... I know, I know... it's a little bandwagon-y, and I try not to jump on those, but I love reading them, and if I can make the commitment, I think I'll love writing one too! If you want to follow it, you can find it at hismagnificentsprinkler.blogspot.com.

Each of you has played such an awesome part in my life, thank you so very much for loving us and praying for us the way that you have.

Love you all so much!

Anna Kathryn

"I thank my God every time I remember you!
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy!"
Philippians 1:3&4