My path to becoming a speaker is like that of the prophet, Jonah. RUN! At my high school graduation, I refused to give the valedictorian address. Yet, I was like the prophet, Jeremiah, who wrote about not speaking about God, and it feeling like fire shut up in his bones (Jeremiah 20:9). After my family moved to the Chicago area, we joined a church where I created characters such as Sister Jubilee an elderly church mother. On another occasion, I dressed as an unnamed, pregnant and alcoholic woman who accidentally walked into a church anniversary celebration. The pastor got so wrapped up in the production, he went off script and I had to do an improv performance. But, when I was later asked to be the Mistress of Ceremonies at another celebration, I did my Jonah imitation: Run! I left the church and joined another congregation.
I hid for several years, until I was scheduled to address a conference with hundreds of corporate professionals. I was praying about the path I should take in my life. Just before heading to the airport, I read a passage of Scripture that spoke to me. The women who went to the tomb were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and several others. They told the apostles what had happened (St. Luke 24:10, NLT).
I knew God was speaking to me, as if to say, “Listen up, Joanna, let me make this plain. I am calling you by name.” So, I stopped running and started praying—a lot. I asked that His words and message flow through me whether I’m speaking to students, a business group, or ministry function. And He has done just that.
If you need a speaker, prayerfully consider whether God would want me to be a part of your plans.
Contact me here.
Joanna McGee Bradford, Author and Speaker
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