We are like that caterpillar, struggling in pain inside the cocoon. We go through the same profound process of change. Sometimes, that change happens to you when you least expect it. It might be horrible, painful, and unfair at first. In retrospect, you find that without overcoming these obstacles, you can’t discover your full potential, your strength, and your will power or your heart. And above all, your faith – Faith that can spread your wings to fly.
In reality, we go through exactly the same metamorphosis. We go through ups and downs, but mostly downs in life. I remember my first impromptu speaking in college. I was so terrified standing on the stage, and my topic was “ACADEMIC FREEDOM”. My heart palpitated heavily against my chest. My forehead glistened with perspiration. I could feel the frisson of fear inside of me. I was just standing there. I couldn’t hear anything, except that one moment of my life came back from my child hood memory. In my house, I could hear my papa and mama shouting at me “ Bogo ka!” Di ba giingnan tika dili na inganon, kagahi ba nimo ug ulo”. Maayu lang jud ka sa klase bogo kaayu ka sa trabaho!” Wa kay boot!” Gahi-a ba nimo pasab-ton!” (You are the worst person I have ever known. You know nothing. You are weak. You are a slow thinker. My goodness.” )
Stop it! Why it is so hard for you to understand that I am afraid of public speaking?” When that happened, I told myself, I would never speak again.
I let them win. I let fear win over faith. After all, I allowed my life to be beaten by these people. With this in mind, I realized it is people who mess things up in my life. People tell me I am not good and I will be a failure. Because of them, I had found myself having difficulty facing life with confidence.
I went home so down and so sad feeling like a child grizzled with sorrow to which no one could turn. Painful tears dripped down into my face while sitting in the corner of my room alone. I told myself,” Maricel, you are on your own. Leave your past behind.”
I really didn’t know what to do. I had nothing to do, but just to kneel and pray. I surrendered everything to God and I let Him change my life. From then on, I have started picking up the pieces of my soul and have tried to improve myself by reading the right books like bible and self-help books and meeting with the right people in the church – people who tell me words of victory, hope and encouragement. Because of these, I did able to forgive my parents and other people who hurt me in my past. In fact, I let it go.
This is what I learned from them especially from Joel Osteen, fear and faith have something in common. They both ask us to believe something is going to happen that we cannot see. Fear says, “Toastmasters is just a waste of your time. You’re going to neglect your family .” But faith says, “Your best days are in front of you and you can manage it. See the fruit of your labor when you become a competent communicator.” He added that when we give into thoughts of fear, our perspective becomes distorted. That was happening to me after I allowed them to destroy myself by believing I was bad.
If there’s one thing I have learned through this metamorphosis in life, it is that I should not entertain the enemy of my faith and that I should not allow my mind to think about fear of failure, because God loves me so much. Now having that faith, I am back. I find myself a whole person facing my life with confidence, stronger and wiser here in Toastmasters . It wasn’t easy at first, but after I understood that it takes a great faith to change my whole being, then that was the time I become a new person- the person that God wants me to be.
Fellow toastmasters, He will make you as colorful as a butterfly spreading its beautiful wings. He wants you to fly high and touch other people’s lives.
As I end, I want us practice our faith and claim it. I ask everybody to please rise and tell this to yourself I am what I am. I am conqueror, I am a winner and I am the master of my fate. (John 1:2)I am God’s child.(2 Timothy 1:7) I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. I am a great speaker because my God will teach me what to say. I am the best leader because God will teach what to do.
Pray and have faith. Spread your wings and prepare to fly.