There is a crazy statistic that 75% of people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Whether those exact numbers line up, I know of several people who would almost rather die than do a speech.

Truth be told, I fear a wasp flying in my car with the moonroof open on a highway way more than I have ever feared public speaking. Perhaps that is because I grew up with Bernie, the Attorney, as a dad, and Judy, the seasoned speaker, as a mom.
However, it doesn’t matter how many times I have spoken at conferences, events, and small or not-so-small meetings; I am still not entirely comfortable with one thing:
Praying in public. It’s an interesting thing.
I’m talking to God, yet large groups of people are listening to my conversation.

Several years ago, after speaking at a women’s conference, a group of three women came up to chat. One of the girls said, “I have been trying to end a toxic relationship with my boyfriend, but I cannot find the courage to break it off. Will you pray for me?”
I looked at her and said, “Absolutely, I will be happy to pray for you.” (Meaning in my private prayer time later that evening.)
As I began to tell them goodbye and that I enjoyed meeting them, I noticed they were holding hands and their heads were bowed.
Wait, what?
Certainly you don’t want me to pray right here, right now? In public?!

And then it circled back around yet again last year.
I was sitting on the front row of a wonderfully large church when the pastor invited anyone in the congregation to come forward if they needed prayer. I had my eyes closed as people began to come forward. After a couple of minutes, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Looking up, I was in shock when I realized the pastor had come down the steps of the stage to ask me if I would join the prayer team that morning and pray for a woman who didn’t have someone standing beside her yet.
Looking around to make sure he didn’t get the wrong person, I said, “Me?”
He said, with a smile, “Yes, you Jill.”

And since many beautiful things in life come in threes, it would only make sense that in February, while on a panel at a conference in Texas, in front of what felt like 25 million people, I was asked on stage to give the closing prayer.
At that point, I realized God indeed has a keen sense of humor.
He does things intentionally.
With a purpose.
And He will let nothing stand in the way.

It’s not always about that very moment.
It is about what that moment is shaping you to be.
It is about what that moment is preparing you for in your NEXT.

Practically speaking, what is the situation, circumstance, or challenge that keeps circling back around to you that you are trying to avoid?
Maybe it’s not praying in public.
However, it could be realizing you haven’t dealt with an old wound that keeps resurfacing.
It could be an uncomfortable conversation you’ve been postponing, hoping it will lose its relevance.
It could be a change you need to embrace, but you’re clinging to the comfort of the known.
It could be a long-forgotten passion or hobby that continues to knock on the doors of your heart.
It could be a dream you’ve sidelined due to fear of failure or criticism.

It is circling back to you for a purpose.
When God intends to use you in a particular way, He will make certain you are stretched and ready for whatever it is on the other side of that fear. You can run, but you cannot permanently hide.

The very thing you’re avoiding could be your gateway to growth.
Running away is a temporary reprieve, but facing it head-on opens the door to transformational change. God has a knack for using our biggest challenges as the greatest teachers.
When you face what scares you, you’re not just moving toward a problem – you’re sprinting toward God’s promises for your life.