Our stake president invited me to speak for a special stake conference a few weeks ago. It was humbling and incredible all rolled into one. The other speakers were our stake president, our area 70, and Elder Ballard (one of the 12 apostles)...and me. My husband and I had a good laugh about it, knowing well just how human I am.
In the few days between the invitation and speaking, I mostly stayed calm. I had many loved ones praying on my behalf and I felt that strength. Mark gave me a blessing and promised angels would hold me up during the time I had to prepare. There were moments of panic as I considered on my nothingness and inability. The enormity of the task seemed out of place in my simple life as I went about my normal activities as a homemaker and Mom. Overall in moments of overwhelm, I would quickly reflect on the times when He had used me as His messenger before. I have learned that if I open my mouth, He will fill it and THAT brought me the most peace and confidence.
D&C 68:6 "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."
I had been asked to speak on something Christ-centered. My heart leaped with joy because after all we have been through, my personal need for my Savior and the reality of His power have become engrained as a part of me. I found the above scripture and took heart, knowing that I can stand and testify boldly of Christ! As long as I came with the Spirit, it could translate the message, no matter how I may stumble on my words. The night before stake conference my talk wasn't sitting right. I nervously wondered if He would expect me to stand up and improvise. I came across this scripture Saturday night:
D&C 84: 85 Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
After praying I went to bed and slept deeply. I am an extremely deep sleeper, yet was awoken wide awake in the 4:00 hour with the exact wording for the changes that were needed for the talk. As the stake president spoke, I was amazed. The wording I had been given in the early hours of the morning were at the heart of what he was speaking about and the two talks went hand-in-hand nicely. It wasn't anything I did. It was incredible to experience it and watch God working in the details. It was such a unique experience for me, knowing full well my weakness and inability and that He could take a simple woman and make something perfectly orchestrated. It was truly astounding to me. It was a wonderful conference and we had fabulous talks by Elder Ling and Elder Ballard. As Elder Ballard spoke, it was confirmed to me that I was who God needed that day. The stories he shared sounded like pages from my journal. It was truly incredible.
I have come to realize on a new level that it isn't about me. It's about Him and HIS WORK AND PURPOSES. Having this opportunity doesn't somehow label me as having reached a certain level of "coolness" or "goodness." I know that if I am willing, He will use me, and because it isn't about me, it doesn't matter if I am under-qualified. I know that He uses simple and normal people ("weak things") to accomplish great things and as we work in His strength, we can stand witness to miracles. I bear this witness, having lived it and experienced it.