stuttering, hell, public speaking, God

I Used to Stutter Like Crazy

Speaking publicly is new to me. I stuttered all my life. When you start first grade and you try to read "grandmother," and it comes out "grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-mother," then you know the next twelve years are going to be hell. I never dreamed I would be talking in front of people about God. Never. I'm a writer, not a speaker. I thought I'd be sitting in front of my computer the rest of my life, poking buttons in an anonymous corner. I wanted it that way. But God had other plans. He dragged me in front of a podium one afternoon seven years ago, with my knees knocking and my mouth full of cotton. I was thrilled to get through that talk alive. Then I thought, Hmm. I could probably get through this again.

The strange thing is that I don't stutter much now because I stopped caring what I sounded like. I stopped caring about sounding dumb. I stopped caring about being polished and presentable and I just talked. As soon as I dropped the schrollwork and concentrated instead on the subject, which was God, then fluency came. It was a breakthrough when I realized that I was not speaking to people, but from God. Once in a while I do like Peter and look at the wind and the waves and grandma comes back to haunt me. But God hauls me back into the boat, turns my eyes back toward Him, and away we go.