It's really something to do hard things for God and relying on His strength!
Everyone should try it.
So, today was the day of the speech.
Honestly, at the start of the day, I had felt so unprepared.
Last week and the days leading to the competition were marked with extensive over time at work even on the weekends which didn't really give me much time to practice.
Prior to today, I had memorized the speech little by little but still came up with total blanks when speaking them out purely from memory. I was plagued with fear that I would go totally blank and be embarassed. I was worried about a speech that was too long (by the way, there was no time limit after all; I found that out on the contest proper itself hahaha). Or speech that was too meager and all those stuff.
But today, today was just amazing.
Last night I prayed asking God that He take charge.
And when I woke up this morning and started speaking out lines from memory, I didn't get the blanks like I used to... that was a great answer to my prayers!
The day was a busy day at work so I didn't have lots of time to go over the whole speech as a whole. Before the lights went back on after lunch, as I was napping (well, pseudo napping), I thought up of some actions and how I was going to vary my voice and give it expression and where what emotion should go where... All throughout the day, God gave lots of people who supported and encouraged me. Thank you so much guys! CTS team, NSP friends, Joyee, Mayee, Ms Grace, Senseis and sempais, co-participants, and all of you who really supported. But I had this moment in the CR when it hit me. The exact contents of my speech. I couldn't continue thinking this way! I had to pull back because how could I say one thing and do another thing? My speech was about "faith and fear cannot go hand in hand" and here I was in a flustered mindset! So there, that was quite sobering.
Then my friend gave me a verse from Philippians 1:20 that really really sobered me up.
I couldn't screw up by taking stuff out of God's hands. So I had to surrender. And surrender God made me do.
As I walked up to the podium, one thought consumed me... do it so people will know about God.
So I went at it... the silence was queery. I didn't know what to make out of it.
Did they understand? Was God moving in ways I couldn't imagine?
I continued... up to the last part. I stumbled somewhat in the 3rd to the last paragraph but I was determined to get through it. I felt like the words were in the air above my head as the words poured from my mouth.
And then it ended. Just like that. The battle was fought. The Lord had stirred.
It was all in His hands.
He has given the victory. Finally, I took that first scary step.
I couldn't stop thanking Him and praising Him when people messaged me or congratulated me... And it was so great to do something that wasn't of my own strength. God is soooooo amazzzzing! Many of my office mates feedback were encouraging. I said to myself, if we only step out in faith, people will definitely see a different amazing hope-giving love-overflowing God that we all badly need in our lives!
I thought it all ended there. But God had more in store.
He had made me 2nd place! Who would have thought?
Only a God who is full of surprises and the God who rewards in Hebrews 11:6 of course! Nothing less could be expected of Him. Even the dinner for the participants were interesting and quite a learning experience too!
Let me leave you with the quote my friend gave me that sobered me up and led me to trust it all in His hands:
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.