What’s scarier to most Americans than spiders, heights, or even death? There hasn’t been a horror movie made about it yet, but more than 75% of Americans surveyed report that they suffer from glossophobia, a debilitating fear of public speaking.
When I was in grade 9, I had various courses to take: Science was one of them. One day during Science class, my teacher stood up in front of the class and said to the students that we had to complete a science project which was about 30% of our mark for that class that year. He also mentioned that it was an individual assignment and that we had to present it alone. I became very nervous and anxious because for one thing, I knew nothing about how to make a science project, and more importantly I had to present it alone, by myself. I was terrified! There are tons of people who hate presenting things alone and in front of a large group of people. I am one of them.
Statistically, far more of us claim that we would prefer death to giving a speech; even comedian Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that at a funeral: “Most people would rather be lying in the casket than delivering the eulogy.”
While sitting in my seat at the back of the class, I prayed to God that He would deliver me from this. These are the actual words that I prayed: I said: “Dear God, I am scared. I don’t know what to do. Please God, if you can, please save me from doing this. I do not want to be presenting this all by myself. I am scared.” Now at this point, a ‘thought’ [probably from the evil one] came into my head. I do not know where and why this thought came into my head because it was very unusual and extreme to be asking God for this, but this is what I prayed: “Even if You have to get me into a car accident with a scar near my ‘right eye’ – but if You do that, please do not allow me to lose my eye-sight or my hairline. If You can do this for me so that I can escape from doing this project, I promise You that I will follow You from that day forward. Jesus, in Your Name, I pray, Amen.”
During one Sunday afternoon, on October 29th 1995, my mother told my sister and brother and I to go to the store and pick up some groceries for dinner later that evening. So off we went. On our way, I noticed that my sister [who was driving] and my brother [who was in the passenger seat] were arguing over the radio station on what to listen to. The last thing I remember was telling them to: “Shut up!” Apparently, my sister (who was 18 at the time), was very disturbed by my brother (who was 16), became very nervous, agitated and anxious, and was not paying attention to the road; ran through a red light, and a bus coming from the other side of the street hit us from the side. The car was totaled!
The next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital setting, 4 days later… After my coma of 4 days, I began to notice that I was extremely tired. At the hospital, my mother, who remained with me the entire time, told me that I was in an accident. She took me to the mirror, and I noticed my appearance: I was in a mess. I also noticed that I had a scar near my right eye, but I did not lose my eyesight nor my hairline, and the bruise on my right temple was very red.
While in the hospital, I had to re-learn how to do everything all over again. I could not walk, eat, was extremely tired, and I noticed that I could not speak. For some reason, my speaking ability was not there anymore. I could think, but I could not verbalize my words so others could know how I was feeling or what I wanted to say. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks. In December, I was transferred to a Rehabilitation Centre and remained there until February. During which time, I taught myself how to speak again, but with very little fluency and/or eloquence. I stuttered most times when I spoke, but gradually over time, I lost the stutter. In February of 1996, I returned back to High School, but with extra help for my needs. During the remainder of the high school year while I was in grade 9, I remembered the prayer that I prayed to God, and I knew that I had to keep my promise because I knew that He did not like it when people made oaths and did not keep them.
“If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.” (Deuteronomy 23:21)
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5)
On August 31st 1996, my sister had invited over her friends to our house for her friend’s birthday party. I also knew that my sister’s friend was a Christian. Near the end of the night, we began to talk on different subjects that pertain to the End of Days. We talked about Near Death Experiences, Heaven and Hell, the Rapture, the End Times, the Great Tribulation, Judgment, and other various related subjects. At the end of the night, all of my sister’s friends left, but one remained. Her name was Stephanie. I knew she was a born again Christian. Because of this discussion we had earlier, I became fearful of life after death, and the things that pertain to the future, and I remembered the prayer that I prayed to God the year before. So I asked her, I said: “Stephanie, what does it mean to be saved? What is saved? How do I get saved? I want to go to Heaven. I want to be saved and be together with Jesus when I die.” Around midnight that night, she led me into the sinners prayer, and I gave my heart to the Lord. I decided that I would follow Jesus from that day forward.
It’s been a long road since. There were a lot of ups and downs – more downs than ups, but I know that each time I get knocked down, I don’t stay down, I get right back up and start walking again with the Lord. I thank Jesus everyday for Him saving me from my sins, for Him writing my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and for Him saving me from the accident I experienced years ago. Everything I now do is all for Him, in His Holy precious Name: the Lord Jesus, Amen.
P.S. ~ I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE ANYWHERE TO BE PRAYING THE KIND OF PRAYER I PRAYED BACK WHILE I WAS IN GRADE 9. ITS MUCH EASIER TO ASK THE LORD JESUS TO SAVE YOU ‘RIGHT HERE’ AND ‘RIGHT NOW’ THAN TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT I WENT THROUGH.
Marc Chiavalon firstname.lastname@example.org
“But as for you (Satan), you thought evil against me; but God meant it to good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)