My path to becoming a speaker is like that of the prophet, Jonah. RUN! I refused to give my high school valedictorian address. But, I couldn’t stop speaking. It 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.
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 I left for the airport, I read a passage of scripture that spoke to me. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. (St. Luke 24:10)
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.
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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