By, Rebecca Sliwak
Director of Communications
Anxiety, stress and fear is something we regularly experience. Whether it be jobs, friends, “summer bodies”, children, first dates or a toothache that triggers this feeling. It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of your day and let it take over you completely, disabling you from the things you enjoy.
Before I started my senior year of college my biggest fear about school wasn’t exams or maintaining my scholarship, but a fear of public speaking. The stress of having to participate in the classroom kept me silent during class discussions and hindered my grade. I simply hated presentations, contributing to the conversation or being called on.
Knowing that this stress was so present in my life and that soon I would have to face it full time after college, I prayed about how to handle it. My junior year was coming to an end and class registration was creeping up for senior year. After much contemplation I timidly enrolled in Public Speaking and my stomach was in knots all summer, debating if I should switch out and take a different elective.
The first day of class I was told I had to deliver my first speech the next class, two days later. The stress, anxiety and fear of having to get up in front of my classmates and talk about myself for three minutes started to set in. I panicked, thought about dropping the class and giving up, but then I did something else instead. I turned to God and opened my bible.
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for what he has done
I prayed and thanked God for giving me the courage to enroll in this course and blessing me with a professor who constantly encouraged us because she knew we were all afraid. When Thursday came, I had prayed about this first speech and gave it all to God- the anxiety, the stress and the fear. By letting go I let God guide me through that speech and he made it manageable for me to do so.
Weeks went by, accompanied by many more speeches and it started to get easier. I found myself not only becoming a more confident public speaker, but also actively participating in all five of my classes and walking into the classroom with my head a little higher.
At the end of the semester I ended up receiving an A in the Public Speaking course, and as a mostly B student this gave me confirmation that God was with me through every speech. By turning to God to ask for help after so long of fear holding me back, I was able to become the student I always wanted to be.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you
What is causing you stress right now? Maybe you are deserving of a raise but are afraid to ask your boss, or you know you have to apologize to someone you hurt, but are stressed they won’t receive it well. The next time you are faced with stress, anxiety, or fear, know that you don’t have to face those things alone. Talk to God, and know that he will sustain you.
Matthew 28:20 And surely I am with you always, until the very end of age
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.