Peace and Prayers

So this is something a little different from what I usually write, but it is so special that I had to share it.

I wrote a few weeks ago that my grandfather had passed away and that my cousin and I spoke at his funeral. Here's the WHOLE story, and tell me if it doesn't give you goosebumps (in a good way).

I absolutely HATE (with the passion of a thousand burning suns) public speaking. Like, I hate it MORE THAN VOMITING. That's how much. First of all I suck at it, and second of all, I go completely to pieces. In case you think I'm just being dramatic about it, here is a list of what happens to my body when I am required to speak in front of people:

1. My heart starts pounding so hard, my entire body pulses to it's beat. Visibly.
2. I start to shake obviously and uncontrollably.
3. My breathing becomes erratic.
4. As I start to speak, my throat gets dry and I have to swallow.
5. I lose the ability to swallow correctly, which makes me choke.
6. I can't speak because I can't breathe because I can't swallow, so I start getting really weird and gaspy.
And this is all in the first 30 seconds. None of that is an exaggeration. I literally feel like I am dying.

So when I decided to speak at my grandfathers funeral, I was VERY concerned that I wouldn't be able to get the speech done. Not because I was worried about becoming emotional - it's a funeral, EVERYONE is emotional - but because I was worried that I would not physically be able to finish. Before leaving, I talked to my friend Heather about this concern and she promised me that she would pray for me.

I was OK about it until about an hour before the service started. Then I started to get shaky. And nauseous. I said a quick prayer for comfort, but then got caught up in the pre-funeral service prep stuff and tried to not think about it at all. Right before the service started, my cell phone buzzed and I saw that Heather had sent me a message. I didn't open it, because I didn't want to get emotional before going up.

When the priest who was officiating the ceremony called us up, I walked up to the pulpit with VERY shaky legs. My hands were shaking so badly the paper holding our speech was vibrating. Having my cousin Angele there with me was a little comforting, but I was still starting to panic on the inside. I made it through one sentence before I started to break down. As I was trying to read, all I could think of was "Just get it done. Just do it for Memere, and Dad, and Matante Helene... just get it done!!

And then all of a sudden, while Angele was reading her part, this incredible sense of peace just washed over me. I can't describe it other than to say that I suddenly felt very, very calm. And as I continued to read a small part of my mind remembered a bible verse I had learned as a kid. It was "And the peace of God which transcends all understand will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:7). In passing, I thought This must be what it means by a peace that transcends understanding!  I was able to finish the rest of the speech without difficulty and with only a few tears at the end.

After the service was over and I was heading back to my aunt's where I'd been staying, I remembered Heather's message and went back on my phone to read. This is what it said:

You're in my prayers this morning! Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So, do you have goosebumps yet?
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