Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Don’t Want to Be a Jonah

Lately, I’ve been afraid. I’ve been afraid of stepping into what God has ordained for my life. The pastor’s wife, who is technically one of the pastors of my church, came up to me during service one Sunday and gave me a Word from God. In this Word, she emphasized that she believed God wanted me to speak in front of the church one evening service for kind of a discussion about angels because she believed that God had given me a special insight into them because of my book series, Entertaining Angels

Let me pause a moment and say that I’ve felt a pull of sorts to speak about my story after I wrote Entertaining Angels. I always thought it was to help women/teen girls/girls see their worth in themselves and in the eyes of the Savior. I never once thought that I knew anything more about angels than any other person. To be honest, I’m still not sure that I do. 

Okay, let’s go back to what my pastor’s wife was telling me. She believes that God has given me some insight into angels that our church needs to hear. Now, as the mighty woman of God she is, who am I to disagree with her? She knows that God wants me to do this. To be honest, I know that He does as well, but I’m scared. 

I’m a terrible speaker. I get nervous, and I mess up my words. I don’t look at the crowd when I speak, and I sound very canned and unnatural. Not to mention, I feel like everyone is judging me based on my looks and everything about me. (Yes, I know I preach loving yourself, and I do love myself. Some things are just harder to overcome, but I’m working on it.)

Why would God choose me to do this? I’m better at typing out my words than I am at speaking them. I’m no expert on angels, and frankly, I’m unqualified. But then I was reminded of a few things. 

One of them is that none of us are qualified in the technical sense. We’re all as unqualified as can be, but that doesn’t mean that God hasn’t qualified us. He has. God has taken the most unqualified people and qualified them to do a job FOR HIM. I have to remind myself that I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for God, and He will give me the words to speak to His people. Whether it’s for this speaking engagement or others. Even with my books. 

Another point I was reminded of was that Moses was chosen to lead the people of Israel, and he felt the same way that I do. He had a stutter, and he wasn’t that great of a speaker, but his brother, Aaron, helped him speak. I have people around me who can help. My dad, he’s my spiritual leader, and as a preacher, he is in this position a lot. The people at my church are super supportive. They aren’t going to cast me aside if I mess up a few words or stutter. They aren’t going to make fun of me, and I know that even though I feel like Moses, I can do this. Just like he did. 

And then, there is Jonah. We all know that Jonah ran from God when He wanted him to go to Ninevah and preach. And we all know what happened to Jonah for his disobedience. He was swallowed by a whale and spent three days in the belly of it before he was vomitted back on land where he made sure he got to Nineveh faster than it was supposed to take! Am I saying that God will cause a whale to swallow me? No, but I’m saying that I can relate to Jonah. I know how it feels to not want to do something that God has asked you to do. I know how scary it is to step up and face your fear. 

Even as I type this, I know I will do what has been asked of me, but I also feel very nervous about it. I’m unsure about the task ahead. How am I supposed to give a speech about angels? What do I talk about? What if  I get something wrong and share a misconception instead of a fact? But I have to remember, God WANTS me to do this, and He WILL equip me for this. I know one thing for sure. I don’t want to be a Jonah. 

Whatever you’re facing today, just know that God is the one who qualifies you. He is the only One who knows what you need more than you do, and He’s the One you’re working for. Because when it’s all said and done, you’re doing this to glorify Him. We have to keep that in mind as we step into whatever God has called us to do. Whether it’s preaching, teaching, speaking, writing, God will provide the answers you seek, and He will give us the strength and means to do whatever He has sent us in the world to do. There’s one thing I know for sure. We got this.

It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:32

As a side note, my books, Entertaining Angels and Before We Say I Do are free. Tomorrow's the last day to get them, though!


  1. Emerald, I am so glad you shared this. The same thing happened to me ten years ago. An elder in my church asked me to speak in front of women during a six week women's workshop about friendship. Of course, I had only good things to say about friendship, but only while sitting in a room WITH my friends, NOT standing in front of a room full of women of all ages.

    I explained to the elder that though I did sing in front of people, it wasn't the same as speaking, and that I had never done so, and I actually had a fear of public speaking. She told me that God told her he wanted to stretch me. I told her, she must have heard him say a different name and got confused. :-)

    She went on to say that I should just think and pray about it. Well, I had just written my first book, but it was for children, and I had only spoken with them in small groups in a little chair with them surrounding me. I didn't fear that, so I prayed, and God gave me the ability to do what he intended me to do; and that was that. I did an okay job, but I was in no rush to do it again, but I proved to myself I could do it, more importantly, I did what God intended for me to do.

    Seven years later, I wrote another book for an older audience, and have since had over twenty-eight speaking engagements this past year alone. Therefore, my words to you are, God is stretching you. :-) You're gonna be great!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so nervous, but I've been praying about it. I already have some ideas, and I'm just preparing myself. God did say that this would be a promotion for me, and I don't want to miss out on that because I'm scared.

      Your words are truly a comfort. Thank you again!! I'm so glad that you've stepped into you calling and allowed God to stretch you. I'm ready to be stretched as well!

  2. Looking forward to reading your blog about it. :-) Here's a tidbit of advice. Tape yourself, and count how many times you say, "UM." That should help you greatly reduce them when you go live. Haha

    1. Oh! I didn't think of that! Thank you! :)