Thursday, April 19, 2012

The B.G.S.D.H.A.V.A.S.U.I.N. Award



My mother told me that I didn’t speak for a long time. It was not a developmental delay, rather others spoke for me. Crafty little girl, wasn’t I?
When I finally spoke, they were relieved, but my shyness remained. It wasn’t until I was quite a bit older, (maybe 2 year ago…just kidding) when I realized that people didn’t have a right to speak for me anymore.
I have a unique voice. I have something to say.
My confidence soared along with the beginning my relationship with the Lord.
I found myself speaking at Women’s Groups and other gatherings. I gave the eulogies at my mom and my dad’s funerals. After the services, I was given words of praise and remarks of “This isn’t the Linda we knew.” “Where did you get so bold?” “You used to be so quiet.”
I started to hear messages about sharing our faith, outside the walls of the church. I heard about Christians, tuning into what the Holy Spirit would tell them about other people. Did this person need encouragement? Did they need prayer for healing? And so on. I was intrigued. I wanted to be part of that courageous type of outreach.
When you say to the Lord, I want to do that, He takes you at your word. A new adventure in my faith began with my yes and continues to this day.
My first opportunity happened years ago.
I went to a Library.
As I walked into the study area, I noticed a young man sitting at a table.
I sat down and was into my paperwork, I sensed the voice of the Lord say, “Will you go over to that young man and tell him that I have a plan for his life. I have destined him for great things”
“YIKES!” I thought, “ A total stranger? How can I be sure this is You? What is he going to think of me? And besides Lord, I will be invading his space.” (New Englanders do not like that)
Yes, it became pretty quiet in my soul.
The Holy Spirit gently spoke again. “Are you willing to go over to him and tell him what I said?”
I am reiterating every reason why I could not. Besides, I felt kind of dizzy.  
Another period of silence ensued. The Holy Spirit asked me again.
I said “Ok Lord” I got up and started to walk towards him. I mean, I was so scared and shaky that I wanted to cry.
I introduced myself. I said something like “I am not sure where you stand with God. I am not sure if you even believe in Him but I’ve asked the Lord to show me people that He wants to encourage and bless. I believe that he pointed you out to me”
He didn’t punch me, so I rushed into the message. I continue with more. What happened and still happens today is this. If I speak the little the Lord gives me, He very often expands the words.

I stood there, waiting for him to mock me or dismiss me. What happened next astounded me. He grabbed me into a big bear hug. (He was a big boy!). He said “Mam, you have no idea what your words really mean to me!” “I have been called to be a Pastor.” “I have a successful career as a teacher. I have just been named Teacher of the Year. BUT, I have been running from God’s call on my life.” He continued talking excitedly. He hugged me again, at least two more times. He thanked me for having the courage to give him this message.
I felt such relief of the tension, I started to cry.
He mentioned how he could not wait to tell his wife. We exchanged addresses. A few months later, he wrote to tell me that he was quitting his job. He and his wife were going to complete their preparation for the ministry.
They have an established church in CT. I would guess it is over 15 years ago.
That began my adventure of being a mouthpiece for the Lord. Whether it is a stranger that the Lord points out to me or an acquaintance that I sense the Lord telling me needs encouragement, I have been obedient to speak out.
Is it easy? No, especially with strangers, I still get the runaway heartbeats. I try to talk my way out of it. Sometimes I hear the enemy taunt me with fear. I often doubt that I heard right. But still…I speak!
Try it! There is a world out there, desperate to hear the Words of Life!
By the way, the award I imagine that I would receive in heaven is...By Golly, She Has a Voice and Is Using It Now!
Linda Maynard

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

I love this! I too was "voiceless" for many years. It is exciting to realize that God made me with unique gifts and callings and that speaking when he wants me to is obedience and brings blessing! Thank you for sharing!

Joyce Lighari said...

As long as I've known you this was new. I loved it!!!! Challenges me to come out of my shell. And yes I have one. O

Kerry Luddy said...

You encourage me! God still speaks--are we listening, and do we have the courage to obey? Linda does!! I hope I will.

Doug Spurling said...

SUPERB Thank-you.