Sunday, March 03, 2013

Fast & Testimony Sunday

On the first Sunday of every month, our church has a sort-of "open mic morning" where anyone from the congregation can get up and share their feelings and brief testimonies about Jesus Christ and the gospel. We usually abstain from food for 24 hours (fasting) during this meeting, but being pregnant I've excused myself from that.

I usually excuse myself from getting up and speaking in front of people too. I come up with lots of excuses to avoid getting up in front of a microphone: my kids are driving me crazy, I'm too hungry and therefore cranky to get up and say anything nice, I'm sandwiched between too many people that I don't want to trip over, etc. Mostly though, I just don't like public speaking. It makes my heart beat really hard, my brain shuts down and I can't think of anything to say, my throat feels five times smaller, and I feel like I'm going to barf. I will still do it when asked, but I don't prefer to torture myself more than necessary.

Earlier this week I challenged Bruce to share his testimony this Sunday. We have been talking a lot about what it means to be baptized lately, because Bruce is almost eight years old and wants to be baptized. Part of being baptized, I told him, is being a witness of Jesus Christ. Bruce said he was scared of getting up in front of everybody (gee, I have no idea where he gets that from!), so I told him I would come too. He accepted the challenge and wrote down a few things he wanted to say.

And so today, I asked him again if he was willing and ready to share his testimony. He said he was. Phoebe then said she wanted to come too. I figured it would probably be best to bring her anyway because Scott was home sleeping after a long night shift in the ER; I didn't want Phoebe sitting in a pew by herself. When the time came, we walked up to the front. Someone else was talking, so we sat down toward the side and waited our turn. Phoebe had a hard time sitting still because she was so excited (you can thank Scott for those superbly self-confident genes). As soon as she heard "Amen," Phoebe jumped up and shouted "My turn!" while sprinting to the microphone.

She was too short for the pulpit, so I lifted her up a little and her face hit the mic: THUD. "Owww!"

She stared at the crowd for a moment and I asked her if she wanted to say something. She said, "I love my brother." She breathed in the mic for a few more seconds and I asked her the same question again. "I love my family." More breathing. "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Bruce came up to the microphone next and read his perfectly polished and prepared testimony. He talked about how Jesus was baptized and how he wanted to be baptized too. He didn't even look nervous; he did great.

And then I got up and tried to say something somewhat coherent. I admitted that I don't enjoy public speaking, but that getting outside of my comfort zone is how I grow. I testified that the Lord helps me as I seek this growth. While I spoke for a minute or two, Phoebe ran behind me to the organ and swiped the organist's shoes. Bruce tried to drag her away from mischief, eliciting a few yelps and shoves. When I finished speaking, Bruce shuttled the shoes back to the organ and I shuttled Phoebe back to our seat.

Phoebe gave me a big hug, squeezed my face, and said, "Mom, I am so proud of you."

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Blogger Lizzie L. said...

I love this post. You all gave fantastic testimonies, and Phoebe's confident mic-breathing was awesome. :) Tell Bruce I was inspired by how well he prepared--I'm going to try to be prepared to give my testimony next month.

12:05 AM  
Blogger heather said...

I agree. Inspiring is definitely the word of choice here. I felt your three testimonies deeply and it made my Sunday. Thanks for having that courage and urging us to do the same!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Janis Mars Wunderlich said...

Your testimony/fast Sunday skills must be genetic. I am always hungry and cranky and scared to death to get up to the pulpit, and when I finally do, I can't seem to make a complete sentence or cohesive thought when I bear my testimony. I also get emotional, and my kids say I use a "crazy voice" when I cry during my testimony. Might be easier to run a marathon than bear testimony, especially with little ones in tow. I think it's awesome that Phoebe and Bruce shared, too!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Sorry, Montana Raymonds. I accidentally pushed the wrong button and deleted your comment instead of publishing it. So here it is...

Good for you. Phoebe reminds me of Mark when he was that age. Once during a primary program he left his assigned seat and climbed up to the organ to give it a try. :-)

8:20 PM  

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