I wrote this essay for the CollegePlus scholarship contest. Since I don’t have a Facebook account, my essay does not appear on the CollegePlus website (should I make comment about discrimination?). While you can’t see it there, you can read it here! Let me know what you think, please!!!
I bowed my head and prayed for strength. My legs were twitching uncontrollably, and I could not stop them. My breath was coming fast, heavy in my mouth. I was trembling horribly, and I could not concentrate on anything going on around me. Finally he called my name, and I stood up. Reaching the stairs, I started up them. At the top I turned toward the rows of people and leaned in to the microphone. Vaguely aware of where people were in the dark room, I began to speak. My fear faded. And my life was changed.
My dad first came up with the idea of the Film Festival. My seven siblings and I had made many short films, but we never thought of showing them to others. Our friends made movies, but no one saw them. Then my dad suggested a Film Festival. It would be wonderful, all the kids could enter and participate, lots of people could see their films, and the filmmakers could receive rewards for their hard work. So, I created a Film Festival from scratch. I designed a website, called friends, sent newsletters, spoke at events, handed out brochures, and ordered trophies. The day of the big event drew closer, and I was so excited to see it coming together. Then my mom reminded me that I would be expected to lead the entire event. From then on, I gave into fear and began to tremble.
As the Film Festival grew, it took on a life of its own. In the beginning I had envisioned something small, but God grew something so much larger. Over 20 young filmmakers entered their films, and 150 people signed up to attend. I was learning lessons on communication, book keeping, and marketing. But skills like that don’t change your life, it is the moments of facing fear that change your life. I was still scared about speaking in public. It seemed like a mountain too big to go around, and too high to climb. I am sorry to say that my fear was bigger than my faith, this roadblock seemed insurmountable. But faith can be as small as a mustard seed, and that is all God wants.
On August 11, I climbed the stairs, faced the microphone, and began to speak. The experts tell you that the beginning of your speech is the most important. It is your moment to grab your listeners, and either lose or impress them. It is the moment of defining for the speaker and audience. The moment I began to speak defined me, but for a very different reason. When I heard my voice fill the room, and saw the people listening, I saw the mountain move. Even though my faith was small, and I was weak, God used the little bit I gave Him. I trembled and my voice cracked, but it got stronger and stronger. I spoke and led the event for the next hour and half. I have now led the Film Festival four years, and I am looking at my fifth. I still get nervous, and I still shake a little. But I have found answered prayers, and the power of my faith, however small.
I don’t have to have fear anymore, I have a spirit of power, love, and self-control. Sometimes facing down your biggest fears gives you your biggest loves. God told me to walk through a door, and I almost didn’t. I almost missed out, but I trusted Him and walked through it. My trust was not huge. In fact, it was pretty tiny! But God loves our weaknesses, because they drive us to Him. Now I love public speaking, and I have a deeper faith in my Father. Speaking into a microphone changed my life forever. That’s what faith can do. God can move the mountains, even if we only have faith the size of a mustard seed.