Give me courage

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Music floats gently through the air as a summer rain shower washes the world clean. Culling our musical library has been more enjoyable than productive, I’m afraid. It certainly hasn’t resulted in very many selections in the garage sale stack. Actually, there is only one I’m willing to say sayonara to. I’ve sung, danced and cried throughout this day of reliving many wonderful memories through the melodies.

Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry. I cried at church Sunday, and it was also a good cry. Several people made decisions to follow Christ, which is always touching. But I could probably have sniffled unobtrusively in the pew if not for one little boy who just got to me. He was so touched by the Spirit that he couldn’t hold back his tears. I cried for joy along with him at his newfound faith. I didn’t think it was so noticeable until a lady sitting next to me got up to get me a tissue!

So, you see, it’s been an emotional weekend, one filled with touching moments and remembrances. It’s also been a weekend that I will look back on with great delight for another reason. I served as mistress of ceremonies for a Broadway to Nashville Cabaret fundraiser.

You’re probably saying “Big deal, so you were emcee at a fundraiser. What’s so special about that?” And you would be right that it’s not such a big deal, but…those who suffer from stage fright or other fears will understand.

I’ve been asked to speak at functions many times and always said no. Not because I didn’t want to help, but because the idea of speaking before a large crowd made me feel sick to my stomach. I taught school, but speaking in front of my students was different, somehow. I didn’t even like to speak at faculty meetings when I needed to.

Several months ago, as I watched Joyce Meyers on TV it was as if she was speaking directly to me. She said,” You will never fulfill your destiny if you don’t face the things that frighten you. Remember, you are a child of the King, and you can do anything God calls you to do. If there is something that you’ve said no to because of fear, then repent and trust God to help you.”

I knew what I needed to do. I decided that day that I would face this fear. I prayed and asked God to forgive me for my lack of trust. I also asked for opportunities to speak if that was His will for me. Mind you, nobody asked me to speak anymore because I had refused so many times. But, wouldn’t you know it, the invites started coming. And I started saying “Yes.”

I said, “Yes,” but my fear said, “No! Don’t do that. You will really look foolish when you mess up in front of everyone!”

The fundraiser Sunday afternoon was my biggest test yet. I asked my family and friends to pray for me, but seriously felt like chickening out at the last minute. Instead of listening to the voice of fear, I repeated over and over, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Throughout the years during trying times when I have needed a little extra bit of faith, the Lord has blessed me by letting me hear “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” I always smile when this happens and thank the One who loves me most. It was really uncanny, but a marvelous young singer having just arrived back in the States from studying in Rome was on the program to perform. At the last minute he changed his musical selection from a country ballad to… “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

My fear melted away in the light of His love.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at