Spiritual Practice


Aly Hathcock

I remember the first time I spoke before a large group of people. I was a high school sophomore, and our youth group was leading worship at our church. I was terrified. Who was I to speak to teenagers and adults alike? What story did I have to tell that would have an impact on anyone?

That Sunday, I spoke at three services in front of hundreds of people, sharing an experience that had left me feeling vulnerable. I stood on the stage, shaking with fear; but I could feel the presence of God giving me the courage to tell my story.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 (GNT)

Afterward, adults and teens told me how much my story meant to them. A few thought I should become a pastor. Half a year later, I went to Chrysalis*, where God called me into ministry. I started working in overseas missions in Nicaragua. Then I became a youth leader and, eventually, a student ministry director. And God continues to give me courage to live my story.


TAKE THE RISK: Being vulnerable is scary. Sharing your life experiences can be terrifying. But when you ask God for courage and risk telling your story, the long-term impact can be far greater and more profound than you ever imagined.

—from devozine (January/February 2020). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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