“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I despise public speaking. I get so nervous when I have to give presentations at school. I dread the first day of classes because the professors of smaller classes often make you go in front of the class and tell everyone your name, major and something about yourself. It doesn’t sound so bad, and I know it’s really not. But for some reason, that irrational part of my brain convinces me it’s the end of the world. When my name is called, my heart feels like it’s going to beat out of chest and I start speaking a mile a minute and almost forget to breathe. After years of presentations it has not become any easier until this past semester and I will tell you exactly why! I finally started embracing God’s presence when I felt overwhelmed and anxious.
I finally started to pray over my presentations and larger scale introductions because I know I cannot calm myself on my own. Before presentations, I also call the Holy Spirit to be with me. I ask God to replace my anxiety with peace, and He answers. I still usually rush through my words because I have made it so intimidating in my head for my entire life, but I am making progress simply through acknowledging His presence.
Because I know God is with me, I can release some of my nervous tension to Him and trust that He will help me move past my doubts and fears. Slowly, I have been moving this concept to other parts of my life besides public speaking, and you can apply it to any of your struggles as well. For example, I have previously convinced myself I am “not a runner”. Pfft! I most definitely am a runner now. I used to feel inadequate, mostly because I hadn’t yet given myself a chance. When I started training with the C25K app I felt that I wouldn’t make it past the first week. I felt I would never be able to improve my stamina in running. But I started to pray over my training with the C25K app because I didn’t want to give up on another workout program. I wanted to follow through with this fitness adventure and prove to myself I was capable. I inspired myself by looking up scripture related to strength, running, etc. I will be writing a more in-depth post on this in the future, but the point is that I recalled those verses while running and remembered how strong my God is. I knew God was with me and that he believes in me. I dedicated my runs to God and called to Him when I felt like giving in. By reminding myself of God’s presence and love for me, I was encouraged in my runs. I finished the 8 week training and ran a 5k in late February. I am currently training for another 5k and still call to God during my runs to keep me going when I feel that I’m not able to do it on my own.
There are so many ways to embrace His presence and spend time with God. I personally love prayer and meditation. I often watch christian meditations on YouTube when I feel overwhelmed, scared, or just have a little extra time on my hands. I often find myself drifting away from God if I fall out of my quiet time and prayer routine, but He is never out of reach. If you feel you have a hard time embracing God’s presence, find something that helps you work on it. This can be anything from reading your bible app to bible journaling. One thing that helped me to embrace God and think of Him more throughout the day is having 3 phone reminders set to pray throughout the day.
I would love to hear how you embrace God’s presence more and what it has helped you accomplish. Thank you for reading and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.