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“Now speak”

July 19, 2008

i remember one of the first times i shared my testimony to a group of people. it was for a youth event of about 150 or so high school students and adults. i had spent several weeks prior putting down my words how i best saw them fit to be shared. i know it’s a powerful testimony and was trying to be sensitive to its content.

when the event came i was a nervous wreck. i had spoken to groups before – but for some reason, this one shook me up. i brought my stack of note cards with me and sat in the front of the building, all alone, flipping through each one in attempt to remember each and every little detail and the order in which i desired to share it. then from the end of the long hall way i heard my name called. it was time. it was time to stand bare in front of 150 people. i can do this. and off i went.

i got to the double doors and realized i had left my note cards in the front office. i turned back to get them. a lady stops me to ask what i was doing. i told her, but she said there was no time. i explained that i needed those cards. my notes, my thoughts, everything i needed was on those, i have to have them. she put her hands on my shoulders and held me there. staring intensely into my eyes, she said, “tam, you don’t need those cards. you need to walk up there equipped with your testimony and the power of God within you. that is all you need. He will ensure what needs to be said will be said. you just go on up there and let Him do the rest.”


off i went. walking up the center aisle trying desperately to recall any peace of info. i had jotted down. nothing. not a thing came to mind. i get to the stage, take a deep breath and i turn around. 300 eyeballs staring back at me. complete silence. then…He gives me a vision. every face in that room somehow becomes one. one beautiful face cupped in the hands of God. i saw His hands around all their faces as He prepared them for what they were about to hear. then He cupped mine and said, “now speak”.

i don’t remember much of what i said. but i do recall well the hours i spent afterward praying with young girls, boys and adults. and it was as it was suppose to be. me, out of the way.

46 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2008 1:35 pm

    awesome tam. just awesome.

    i think all of us at some level can relate to that. moments when God seems so much more alive in us and speaking through us than we are used to. thanks for sharing.

  2. July 19, 2008 1:35 pm

    are you turning into anne jackson and not capitalizing the start of your sentences now? πŸ™‚

  3. July 19, 2008 1:46 pm

    I love this. It reminds me of a Pastor’s story in Phillip Yancey’s ” Reaching for an invisible God.”

    A Pastor had to give a message to those with disabilities. He said things in his message like, ” Regardless of the wheelchair you are sitting in, you have a victory, a full life. God lives within you.” and the response of the congregation was not so good, they plain out told him they couldn’t understand anything he said.

    So then he prayed about it, and when the message came that next Sunday, he got up and simply stated, ” I don’t know what to say, I’m confused without a message of victory, I don’t know what to say.” He just sort of hung his head.
    The lady that confronted him before simply said aloud, ” Now we understand you , now we are ready to listen.”

  4. July 19, 2008 1:52 pm

    ang – yes. i think we have good intentions most of the time – just wrong direction. not so sure those 2 can go together even.

    tyler – thank you! and no. not turning into anne. ive always noticed several people that do this and thought it was funny. now, having been writing so much, i totally understand why. im just lazy, and not concerning myself with capitalizing saves time.

  5. July 19, 2008 1:54 pm

    This last half hour has been heart wrenching and inspiring as I have poured over your posts about the book you are destined to write, have published and that will be read by multitudes of people who need to hear what you have to say. After reading all that and then this post I have two words to say to you as the tears are still on my face:

    “now write”

  6. July 19, 2008 2:00 pm

    @angie – with tears streaming down my face, i say…praise God for you and those words…praise God…

  7. July 19, 2008 2:03 pm

    I’m so glad you forgot your note cards.

    Love your heart.

  8. July 19, 2008 2:08 pm

    I agree with @ngie.

  9. July 19, 2008 2:11 pm

    i cannot even express how you bless me

  10. July 19, 2008 2:20 pm

    Isn’t HE good??? That is so HIM, and so like HIM to give us what to say…just like HE will with the “book”…Praying for you , what an awesome testimony to the power of GOD, and how HE provides when we are obedient. Love you!

  11. July 19, 2008 2:24 pm


    He is so good.

    I love you, Tam.

  12. July 19, 2008 2:24 pm

    check ur email, i wrote you twice!

  13. July 19, 2008 2:58 pm

    okay now you have 4….

  14. July 19, 2008 4:38 pm

    Beautiful Tam! I’m sure God used you in ways you don’t even know that day and that HE continues to use you because of your willingness to be vulnerable and share you heart. Keep trusting HIM!

  15. July 19, 2008 5:55 pm

    So beautiful! Is this going in your book?

  16. July 19, 2008 6:52 pm

    Oh Tam!

    You made me speechless!

    Or maybe it’s Him.

    Coz I remember, you’re out of the way.


    Thanks you for sharing. Love you!

  17. Heidi permalink
    July 19, 2008 7:13 pm

    You make God SO real in your words..
    You make life real…

    You are a woman that is not only beautiful in the flesh, but also beautiful in Spirit.

    Start writing would ya already… I’m waiting with my quilt and cup of tea. :))

    Love you Girl…. thanks for hugging on my heart!!

  18. July 19, 2008 8:05 pm

    Oh Tam. Thank you so much for yet another reminder of who we all need to be. I am so honored to be on this journey with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  19. July 19, 2008 9:19 pm

    cindy – thank you! i’m glad i ‘forgot’ them too πŸ˜‰

    melissa – wow. THAT blesses me. thank you…thank God

    darla – sister, i love you. i’m working on the ‘obedient’ part.

    michelle – i love you too sis. so much!

    robin – i’ve thought of that. praying that a piece of what was said has stuck in some minds and hopefully has helped them in some tough decisions. you just never know. thank you!

    selena – i don’t know if it’s going in. i suppose it can. maybe it should. i have no idea. see my dilemma? πŸ˜‰

    BT – hey sweet friend! yes, it was HIM…im sure! i love you!

    heidi – wha? wow. um. don’t know what to say to that. humbled. love. you!

  20. July 19, 2008 9:20 pm

    kristi – isnt it cool we get to do life together. you show me so much of God in who you are…so, thank you!!!

  21. July 20, 2008 3:55 am





    These are the things that you, Tam, bring to Him. Each time you allow yourself to be used by Him, not just at events like the one you wrote about, but in small events, like this post and previous posts. It’s in the everyday living that you bring inspiration and hope to those of us hurting, healing, hoping, believing that beyond the pain there is a life that can be joyful, playful, helpful, bountiful. Loved.

    You challenge me to come out from the shadows. Don’t stop doing that.

  22. July 20, 2008 5:22 am

    Hi Tam, I love how real and loving you are. You are a precious, beautiful, brave daughter of God, and God has been so amazing in your life. β™₯ you!

  23. Heidi permalink
    July 20, 2008 5:53 am

    Amen Lori!!!

  24. July 20, 2008 11:25 am

    Incredible post. What an anointed moment you were faced with, and praise the Lord, you rose to the challenge. Way to go, sister.

  25. July 20, 2008 1:29 pm

    oh man, what a GREAT story.

    God is SO good.

  26. July 20, 2008 4:53 pm

    You did two very important things:
    1) You prepared – God can work with those who prepare.

    2) You trusted the Holy Spirit to guide you. Even though the notes were not with you – He was.

    Like Angie says, “Now write!”

  27. July 20, 2008 6:43 pm

    Hey tam, This really touched me today, thank you. Have an awesome evening with your sound tech, home safe and sound.

    Stay blessed


  28. July 20, 2008 9:35 pm

    This is a great story. It’s amazing what God will do/say through us when we get out of the way. Imagine what might have been of the woman let you go back for your notes. It would’ve been good I’m sure, but God meant it to be this way – so His power flowed through you in an irrepressible way.

    My judgment, leave the notes behind more often!

    BTW – I’m glad to hear that there was an EVEN number of eyes looking at you. πŸ™‚

  29. July 20, 2008 11:48 pm


  30. July 21, 2008 1:56 am

    i’m in the way far too often.

    i think my prayers for God to move have been misguided. i should rather be praying for Him to move me.

  31. July 21, 2008 7:20 am

    great stuff tam!!!

    definitely a challenge to get out of God’s way…i always seem to have these “great” plans…which of course are nothing compared to what He is capable of doing and wants to do…i’m not speaking words and things just being created…i can’t take dirt and bring forth human life…you’d think i would get that one of these days…

  32. July 21, 2008 8:30 am

    Tam, Lisa and I have read your testimony before and it’s so powerful. That’s awesome that you are able to share it with others and let God use your past to speak to others.

    “they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)

  33. July 21, 2008 8:31 am

    What an inspiring and beautiful story.

  34. July 21, 2008 9:11 am

    Wow….good stuff. I have been asked to share my testimony in Celebrate Recovery in a couple weeks and I pray that God will use me in the same way He used you to reach people with His hope and grace.

  35. July 21, 2008 11:36 am

    Are there other links to other pieces of your story?

  36. July 21, 2008 11:46 am

    Everyday I am with you, I fall more in love with you and the person God is making you. You amaze me!

  37. July 21, 2008 11:47 am

    b – wow! i love you too!

  38. July 21, 2008 12:11 pm

    God is awesome. Just like that.

    Love you, Tam.

  39. July 21, 2008 12:21 pm

    Wait, so now we are giving out I love yous? Hmmm..I don’t know anyone on here all that well, so I guess I will just have to cast lots of flip a quarter or something. Oh gee, great, it turned up Praise365. Can I cast lots again? πŸ˜‰

  40. July 21, 2008 1:42 pm

    TT – (they’re married)

  41. July 21, 2008 1:43 pm

    thanks for the links, Tam. I’m sure I’m not the only one that will venture over to these posts…

  42. July 21, 2008 2:08 pm

    “TT – (they’re married)”

    I know. I was just having some fun.

  43. July 21, 2008 2:16 pm

    TT – having met p365, that ain’t so bad of a choice. im just sayin’ πŸ˜‰

    i am overwhelmed by all of you (in a very good way)

    when i see all these comments i have to pinch myself to make sure these relationships here are ‘real’ (as real as ‘this’ can be). i feel so undeserving (humbled) by your time, words and friendship. you all bless me more than i think your realize. and God has spoken many things to my heart through you. thank you for being here. you are invaluable to me and i thank God for you!

  44. July 21, 2008 3:52 pm

    TT- I love you! but you can’t have my man 😯 πŸ™‚

  45. July 27, 2008 5:27 pm

    Aaaaahhhhhhh …. SO good. Misty eyed.

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