Last Sunday, I gave the sermon for the worship service.
Every time Pastor Albert asks me to do this, my heart gets tight and I feel a knot in my stomach. It’s an agonizing process to write a sermon. I’ve heard one pastor say it’s like giving birth every week. Being six months pregnant I don’t know if I’d completely agree, but I understand his sentiments!
As agonizing as it is, it’s also an incredible blessing, because few things in my life demand such a high level of dependence on the Lord as getting up to the pulpit to share God’s Word. Interestingly, I find myself leaning on the Lord’s understanding just as much after giving the sermon as before. Because when I step down from the pulpit, a wave of insecurity plagues my mind as I ruminate over my performance.
Early next morning, I laid in bed, as I often do, and started conversing with the Lord. It started off with an acknowledgement that I felt incredibly dissatisfied with the sermon I had delivered. I invited the Lord to give light and direction as to why I felt that way. As I edited and re-edited my sermon during the week, the more my message started looking like Albert’s sermons. The content was mine, but the structure was not. I felt more and more, that I was losing my own voice. I admire and respect my husband’s ability to preach, and perhaps this led me to believe that I had to sound like him. Inevitably, the most common response I got after the sermon from close friends was, “It didn’t quite sound like you.”
How ironic that I had shared in my sermon that God created women differently than men. And that one of the ways He is glorified, is when we fulfill our purposes in the way he uniquely designed us. God made me a woman. He made me emotional, and relational, and gave me the ability to respond to the things around me with the deepest recesses of my heart. He gave me the longing to connect meaningfully with people as I communicate my thoughts, desires, and fears. But I had successfully squeezed my voice into something that was not me.
God taught me that morning that I am perfectly created to compliment the gifts of my husband, not to compete against it. I also sensed Him telling me that my voice, a women’s voice, is valued and precious when I am speaking from His Spirit.
It was a lesson well learned, not just for the development of my preaching skills, but also how I partner with my husband in all areas of my life.
My dialogue with the Lord left me encouraged that He was continually teaching and molding me into a woman of faith – into whom He could use to reveal His glory.