Monday, February 22, 2016

Face To Face: Use Your Voice!



The Book of Ecclesiates says that there is a time for everything. A time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to sew and a time to reap harvest, and a time for sun and a time for rain. There is also a time to write and a time to speak (not exactly in the book of Ecclesiastes).

That was me a few months ago. Here is a little story of how I overcame my fears and opened my mouth about Christ.

I’m walking anxiously, but eagerly, to the Birch Lounge on campus. My heart feels like a stampede inside of my chest. I knew I had properly prepared, at least the best that I could. I prayed and Prayed, solicited advice and encouragement from loved ones, and even made an outline of the study that I’m teaching. Why am I so nervous?

It is my first time teaching a campus Bible study group. Ever. Strangely, though, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited, yet terrified simultaneously.

Teaching a Bible study for the first time may not seem like too big of a deal for some, but for me, however, it was a milestone; a step closer to greatness, a step closer to my destiny. I knew that I wanted (and needed) to do this. I knew that I have to be bold for God especially in the last days. I know that God is the last one that I want to disappoint. He desires to use me so I will happily (and reluctantly, to be honest) yield to His desires. It is not about me, but about Him; it is about others and making Him known.

As I’m getting closer to the Birch Lounge, my heart is pounding more intensely and my body is growing cold with anxiety and fear. I don’t want to do this tonight, can I wait another week? What if I blank out mid-sentence? I want to quit right now, what in the heck did I sign up for?? Those are the thoughts that float around in my head as the Birch room appears around the corner. Just relax, you are going to do great.

I finally arrive and am greeted enthusiastically by my sisters in Christ. I relax only a fraction. This is the first actual study of the semester and God designated me to teach about self-love. if God wants me to do something, I do it, and what a blessing it is to be a vessel for His glory.

A little over a year ago, God nudged me on my arm and told me to step up and be a board member for Pinky Promise UNCG. I did not do it right away of course. “But God, are you sure? My shyness, my aversion of public speaking, why me? Surely someone else could do the job better.” So I meditated and prayed asking God if I should really do this. I asked if He is really telling me to step up and lead. The possibility of doing so was so heavy on my spirit that I could not ignore it. God had his way of telling me why I would make a great teacher/leader, perhaps a quiet leader:

I have given you such unique gifts and abilities that you may not notice until you take that jump.
Your quiet leadership is needed. People will listen to and receive what I have to say through you.
You will inspire many; your insight from Me will reach and teach many.
You are patient and you listen to your intuition. You think carefully before you act and speak.
You deeply love and care. You are very sensitive to the needs and emotions of others.
I see every reason why you will be great. Why doubt? Don’t be afraid and put your trust in Me; My way leads to life and peace.
                                                                                    ~Says God

I gradually start to feel more comfortable and look forward to journey of leading. At the end of the spring semester last year, I boldly stepped up and took on the role of secretary of Pinky Promise UNCG (University of North Carolina at Greensboro). During the summer, I was already preparing topics and visualizing myself speaking confidently in front of our group. I was increasingly getting eager, but more anxious. Anxiety, though, was a good sign because it meant that I will be migrating outside of my comfort zone and finally being bold for Christ.

God called me to write and to teach for Him. But He looked at me and my progress in Him and said that it was time for me to open up my mouth and speak His word and not just write it. He has given me a voice, a mouth, and a tongue and it was time for me to use it. It was time that I take that leap of faith.

Back to my story, that leap happened the night when I introduced the topic of discussion to my Bible study group: Self-Love. God had put it on my heart a few months prior to that night. Right when I spoke, the butterflies flew out of my stomach. With every word I was saying, I relaxed more. I was still feeling uncomfortable, though, because speaking in front of others is not my milieu. But I didn’t feel the urge to flee from the front of the room and have a near anxiety attack! As I looked out at my audience of eleven people (which is the average capacity of our group), they were engaged as though they were taking in what I was saying…and they were! Some of them were even smiling and saying “amen” and “that is true.” It felt amazing. I ended up saying things that weren’t even planned on being spoken that night. Perhaps there is a way you can tell when God is speaking through them because the Holy Spirit intervenes while you’re communicating and you end up surprising yourself with the worlds that come out of your mouth. God is just so amazing…

I walked home that night just thanking and praising God for doing His work and feeling so relieved for finally taking that step of faith and using my voice. “I could definitely do this more and more. I will do this more,” I thought. “It really is an amazing feeling living out loud for Jesus.

Now God using someone like myself…? That was a task! At one moment I questioned God. Why would He want to use someone like ME? Someone who was always unpopular in school, overlooked, and walked on pretty much my whole life? Introvert. Shy. Why would God want to use someone like that? That was a mystery to me for a while. But—thankfully—God chose me, someone who never even got chosen for a project partner in high school and had to end up working with the sketchy kid. Me! Who am I that God will look upon me and choose me?! God could have easily overlooked me by saying, “Nah, I don’t’ think she can do it, she doesn’t seem good enough. Too quiet, too sensitive, too flawed.” BUT INSTEAD He looked right at me, seen the woman inside of me that He created in His image and said, “She is the one. I will show her and many others that My strength is made perfect in weakness. I want her to work for My Kingdom.”

Isn’t God just unspeakably AMAZING???!!?

Like Moses, I was very reluctant and filled with so many excuses. I didn’t feel as though I knew enough to reach, but God guided me graciously and gave me the words to speak, the wisdom to teach, and the courage to stand in from of people and speak boldly about Him to others. He showed me the depths of His power by using someone who doesn’t like to talk that much and has a strong aversion to public speaking.
Like John was eager to actually speak face-to-face with his audience in the opening verse of this post (2 John 1:12), we should be eager as well to speak face-to-face with our audience. Writing is a beautiful gift to have (that is, if you have that gift!) don’t get me wrong, but there is just something so powerful, so riveting, and so inspirational about physically opening our mouths and speaking to our audience. Whether it is a small audience of 5 people, 20 people, or a whole congregation, there is a powerful effect taking place and you can just feel the Lord’s presence in the atmosphere. It can even be a video, or a Vlog, when your audience can at least see you and hear your voice. Your audience would love to see you speak, to hear your voice, to feed off of your energy, and to feel the emotion and power God seeps through your speech. They can really see God work and move through you.

If writing is your niche (because it is definitely mine!), that is incredible. Keep using that gift! That is what God has called you to do. But every once in a while, we must open our mouths and speak. Your spoken words are just as powerful as your written words. God has given you a physical voice…don’t be afraid to use it. Like me, I’m sure you will feel much better after breaking out of your comfort zone and living purposely for Christ. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that you’ve made Him proud.
Is God calling you to open up your mouth and speak to your audience?

**Are you shy? Does the mere thought of witnessing to others, teaching/preaching, or evangelizing make you want to run and hide? Do you desire to be bolder for Christ and develp into the strong, confident believer that God sees inside of you? I will be writing to you very soon on my next teaching, “No More Shy Christians.”

**Feel free to follow my blogging account on IG: @livingabeautifullife_blog and my personal account (I recently created a new one) at @brittmichelle___ (three underscores).
**Also if you have any questions, prayer requests, or anything you want to talk about feel free to either email me at brittany.orie@yahoo.com or you can comment below!


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Subscribe and Follow on Bloglovin'





Hello everyone! This here is a quick post to notify you all that I have joined Bloglovin', a site where bloggers share their blogs, search and follow many other blogs of all genres. It's very much like Pinterest, but for bloggers! Haha. I'm excited to finally be a part of the family and to share of a larger scale. I have added some Bloglovin' widgets so other bloggers or readers can follow and subscribe by email. That way, you can get notified whenever I publish a new post.

Here is the link to my account: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/brittanyorie-17760655 

Just letting you all know. Thank you to all readers and supporters!!

Love and peace,

Brittany