This was first posted in 2011 and is shared with you today while Janet finishes up her current missions trip. Since all missions trips are essentially about new beginnings, it seems fitting to have an opportunity to once again gain insight on this subject from Janet.
So what do you do when your high school reunion is approaching? You do what we all do—figure out what you’ll wear and quicker than you can say “brownie” you choose the diet that will make those extra pounds disappear.
When I read some comments from fellow alumni in preparation to the big event, I found something that struck me.
One fellow classmate related the minute details of a particular game where he was the star. He made one most vital move in the deciding baseball game, leading our high school team to victory over our most fierce rival.
Hat’s off to him. Of course he remembered every move and call of that game—powerfully important for him in his sports career.
I wanted to raise my hand in the air. In the game of life, I have a story too, I wanted to say.
I remember when I was that shy young girl, freshman in every way, my tongue figuring out how to pronounce those crazy words in English. Three years prior, I was in Bolivia and the trip to the U.S. had been a dream come true.
And wearing my cranberry uniform skirt, I joined the rest of high schoolers. But struggling to understand all they said, I observed all the “popular” girls flirt with the proud football players. Wearing the perfect “flip” hair style, some rushed to cheerleading practice. Others took the lead in a stage play. And how happily some carried their latest “villager” purses while gold monogram necklaces hung from their necks.
And me? I was a withdrawn, alien girl from Bolivia. With bony knees shaking as I stood before my classmates in my speech class. My mouth was dry as I tried to force English words out, hoping my accent wouldn’t send the class roaring with laughter. I finished my speech, hoping Mr. Bernds would give me a passing grade.
So what happened since then? I did the same as my fellow classmate, in the game of life; I took a swing and brought my life to victory over the fierce rivals of insecurities, fear and doubt.
The Winning Game
God coached my moves to a new beginning and ultimately to victory:
- He said He’d guide my steps and light my path. Having lost my sight completely at 31, this promise brushed renewed confidence, allowing me to see the best of life (Psalm 119:105).
- He rushed to help me when I stumbled. This soothed renewed security. The reassurance that doesn’t come from accomplishments, wardrobe, popularity nor a straight-A report card. But the success crafted in His workshop of love (Psalm 94:18-19).
- The wisdom to welcome God’s opportunities with gratitude. When my career as an author, writer and keynote speaker took me to share the stage with John Maxwell, this blind chica went to her knees with humble gratitude (Jeremiah 29:11).
Over forty years have swept by since we walked on stage in those long gowns and gripped our high school diploma. And forty years is long enough to shed what wasn’t edifying. And instead, savor pleasant memories and embrace the gems that rained into our life.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18).
Father, when shyness, doubt and insecurities put me in the losing team, it’s your grace that cheers me on, your voice that calls the next move, and your promise that brings success. In you, victory is certain and triumph is sweet. In Jesus’ name I thank you. Amen.
- What brings victory to your life today?
- What past insecurities still nagging at you?
- Where does your confidence come from?
Thank you for reading this message. If it resonated with you, consider inviting Janet as your next speaker. Here are her speaking topics to inspire and delight those who attend your next event.
Janet’s dynamic presentations before professional and faith-based groups are based on her books:
- Simply Salsa, a sassy yet profound inspiration from God’s Word.
- Hola, Happiness, a perfect Bible study for small groups enhanced with engaging videos.
- Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow, Janet’s story of trials to triumph.
- Salsa En Español click here.
Janet has prepared even more servings of inspiration for you. Please visit her website.
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