I wanted to give a brief update of what’s been going on with me lately.
I feel like this year, God is bringing me into another level of my calling. Specifically, the area of public speaking. To be honest, this is something I have been running away from for years. I have tried to escape that place of influence for several reasons. #1… I never thought I was worthy enough to speak… I thought, “who am I? I am not qualified… I am not anyone special, and I am not any better than anyone else.. so why should I be the one to speak?” This is the unhealthy mindset that I am still battling to overcome, because it is rooted in false humility. It is a lack of faith in God’s ability and too much dependence on the human flesh. The revelation I got of this is what inspired my most recent Facebook status. Usually when I post anything online, I am preaching to myself.
A friend of mine came over last night for some facials and baking. As I shared with her my spiritual dilemma… she voiced a very valid point… my fear of public speaking, shows that I have forgotten the importance of God’s grace to do anything He has called me to do. This resonated with me so much. It is only by God’s grace that I can do this. It is not by my own strength, my own will, and not even because I deserve to or have earned the privilege to speak, but is only by His grace.
All of these memories of me running from my calling always replay in my mind. In high school, I was nominated as the president of our christian club. It was my responsibility to come up with bible studies to share with the group, and sometimes I even had to speak in front of an even larger crowd at outreach events. This was very short lived. After months of speaking and sharing the gospel with students at my high school… I resigned from my position as president of the club. I felt unworthy. I didn’t feel like I deserved to be the leader. The advisor for our group was very disappointed. She said that I was making a mistake, that I was called to do this. I didn’t believe it.
Soon I discovered my gift for spoken word poetry. I loved spoken word because it allowed me to share the gospel in an artistic way vs. sounding preachy. I switched high schools and at my new school, I would stand up in front of everyone in the lunch room and share the gospel through spoken word. I loved it. It was such a great tool to witness to students who were lost and didn’t know Christ. When I got to college, I did the same… I often performed my poem in front of hundreds of students on campus… a majority of them, unbelievers.
Then something happened. The grace that I once had to easily write life transforming spoken word pieces, just left me. God just stripped me of that gift… and I was discouraged because it was the only outlet I knew to share the message burning in my heart. Imagine have writers block for 5 years! That’s about how long it’s been since I’ve been able to write and finish a powerful spoken word piece. So after I realized that gift was taken away, I started this blog so that I can share the gospel by just plainly writing it out. This was my next outlet and I’m still using it to this day.
I feel like God graced me to do spoken word for a season so that I could get my feet wet. Yet, He didn’t want me to get to comfortable with spoken word, because He has called me to speak with boldness… even if there aren’t any rhymes or metaphors attatched to it. So last October, He called me to have my first conference, “The Deliverance Conference.” The whole time leading up to the conference I was dreading that moment where I would have to get up there and speak. I actually wanted to take my face off the flyer at one point and get someone else to be the keynote speaker.. but they turned me down and said they didn’t feel led to… so I was forced to take up the task at hand.
Ten minutes into my message… I started getting attacked in my mind…
What are you doing Karolyne? What makes you think you have the right to stand up here and speak? You are not anointed for this! Go sit down.
And with the following words I ended my message prematurely, never getting the opportunity to share the message that I spent an entire week fasting heavily for and praying over.
“I’m not gunna prolong this ummm… I’m gunna keep it simple …. and I’m gunna close early cause I feel led to.”
I didn’t feel led to. I was afraid. I was in the flesh. Yet again, I was running away from my calling. So I passed the mike over to the guest speaker and I literally let her take over and close out the conference that I was called to execute.
To this day I still beat myself up about it and I was hesitant to put the video on YouTube but I realize that it’s not about me so I uploaded it anyway. Now this year, I feel that the urge is stronger than it’s ever been. I will be speaking at the Pinky Promise conference, all my writers retreats, and a women’s conference in New Orleans this April.
My husband has also been a great influence in this season and one of my greatest motivators. He has poured into me so much and encouraged me to speak. He knows the struggles of my past, so he is leading me to face my fears and stop running. I am so thankful for a husband that is willing to affirm the call of God on my life. In everything I do, I gladly do it in submission to him, my head.
I am being stretched so much in this season. If it we’re up to me, I would stick to blogging and YouTube videos. It’s easy to do something from behind the computer, camera, or in the comfort of my own home… especially since I’m an introvert. But, there is something about coming face to face with human flesh and blood. There is something special about seeing the souls that you are impacting, eye-to-eye.
Any-who, this is what I am working through as of now. I am trying to get my mind ready for what’s ahead and I am learning to practice speaking in BOLDNESS. If you are a prayer warrior, please lift me up in your quiet time as I transition into this new season.