Fear of public speaking overcome

A Christian Science perspective: In situations large and small, we can call on God and feel the presence and care of the divine Love that frees us from fear.

One time I was unexpectedly asked to introduce a lecturer at a public meeting. It was rather short notice, but I felt prepared and looked forward to it.

However, on the day of the meeting, I felt terribly nervous. This was not something I was used to experiencing, and I felt extremely uncomfortable. The speaker noticed this and kindly assured me that it wouldn’t matter if I read from notes. I said I would be fine. But I really wasn’t fine at all.

With about 20 minutes to spare before going onto the podium, I realized that it was time for me to do something I’d found helpful many times before – turn to God for an answer. My prayer was quite simply, “God, what do I need to know?”

The answer came back straightaway, as clear as a bell. This is the thought that came to me: “Since infinite Love fills all space, then love awaits you out there.” In my study of Christian Science, I had come to see that infinite Love is God, and since infinite Love is everywhere, loving everyone as His spiritual offspring, then I could not be afraid.

I peeked out at the people already assembled and those still coming in, knowing that divine Love dissolves fear. In that moment I felt an overwhelming spiritual love for everyone and everything. I was able to do the introduction without nervousness. And this sense of God’s all-permeating love lasted long after the talk ended.

The fear I had seems minor in comparison with many things people face in their lives. But the tangible feeling of God’s love I felt then has given me assurance that we can all call on God in any situation. A verse in Psalms sums it up exactly. It says, “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me” (Psalms 57:2).

And that’s exactly what happened. I did cry to God that day for help, and He answered me in an awesome way. Divine inspiration brought a clearer sense of the spiritual reality, which took away my fear. It was such a wonderful lesson – and one that I will never forget.

A version of this article aired on the Dec. 8, 2017, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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