I try hard – I mean really hard – to keep my mouth shut when I’m invited to sit in on any sort of leadership meeting, but sometimes I just can’t! Sometimes I feel like I’m going to just burst out of my chair, and despite how much I’m praying to maintain calmness, I just know I need to speak up.
There’s one time in particular when I knew I needed to talk – consequences come what may.
Years ago I was invited to sit in on a Women’s Ministry Leader’s Meeting, along with another special friend of mine. My friend had sat in before, but this time I was invited too, so she offered to pick me up since she knew where she was going.
If I remember correctly this was a quarterly meeting, where the group would brainstorm about how things had been going, what things they felt were working, and what things weren’t. Plus they were looking for input from people outside that specific group who they trusted, which they felt might impart some new ideas they hadn’t thought of before.
By the end of the evening, I knew there were a few in the group that were questioning why they had asked me to join them.
The leaders began going around the table, discussing their thoughts on the previous semester, and giving suggestions about the future.
I sat there listening intently, as a lot of what they were talking about I really hadn’t heard much of before. So I was totally off-guard when at the end of the table discussion, the main leader turned and looked directly at me:
Tell me, Linda, what do you think we could be doing better?
Now I had been praying intensely that day prior to the meeting that I would be attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – that He would help me to keep my mouth shut unless He absolutely, positively wanted me to speak.
However, I knew – right at that particular moment – that it was time to talk, come what may.
So I started talking, but as I spoke I saw a few of the ladies start to get smug-lined faces and piercing eyes. I knew I was stepping on toes, but I knew I needed to keep going.
You see, I had been yearning for quite some time that they would start having more diversity in the Bible studies that were being offered, as everyone is at different places in their walks with God. For me, personally, I needed more “meat” in the studies. I didn’t want to just sit around and listen to what the opinions were of the ladies in the room about a certain question – not that there’s anything wrong with that! It just isn’t my particular cup of tea. I wanted to dig in deep, letting God’s Words sink way down into my soul.
As I finished up my “pitch,” one of the sweet ladies shot around, and started contradicting loudly most of what I had just said, the biggest being that they had tried a lot of those things before, and they just hadn’t worked.
I saw out of the corner of my eyes that some of the women were turning their eyes down to the table – this wasn’t a lady that people normally stood up to.
But I couldn’t stop!
I turned my chair around, and with boldness told her, Well, maybe we ought to try again!
No one in the room was expecting that to happen (including me!) but after the meeting a couple of the other leaders came over to me and thanked me for speaking up.
As my friend and I got in her car to drive back home, she all of a sudden started laughing hysterically – she was amazed that I had the guts to speak up as I had!
But you know what? It definitely came from the Lord, because a couple of the women came up to me later and asked me to do some research on different studies, and even the woman I had the confrontation with came up to me later and said that my words were an answer to prayer! That was weird…
My friends, it says in 2 Timothy that 1:7 (NLT) that our “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” And when you’ve been praying for wisdom, and then God lays something on your heart and provides for you an opening to speak, do it! He might be opening a brand new door to draw people to Him – using you!