I was barely 9 years old when I got volunteered to teach the kinders their bible lesson while the regular teacher was out on vacation. It should have been easy. Help the leader pass out activities and sing the songs. Then teach the bible story with felts.
Except, my introverted little heart was absolutely terrified of public speaking, no matter how tiny the audience. The thought of teaching a lesson filled me with intense anxiety. Fear showed up in full size, and I wanted to cower away in the corner.
In the few moments I had to gather my felts before teaching the lesson, my legs turned to jello and my hands shook. I could feel seven sets of tiny eyes and four sets of adult eyes boring into my back. I tried to gather up any shred of courage I might have had and turned around. But my voice had vanished. My mouth moved to form words, but no sound escaped. I couldn’t even force a squeak out.
I was completely humiliated and very much starting to panic. I briefly considered bolting for the door and hiding somewhere for the rest of my life….