I had a blast in my first speech competition, placing 1st in state and in the top half at the National Right to Life competition. If anyone doubts the usefulness or just plain joy of the competition, I will gladly tell them that these things and a love of life made me decide to compete the next year, too.
But after weeks of research, and nearly 5 written speeches, the “right” one just didn’t seem to be coming. I wrote and wrote, and it seemed like nothing I was doing was “working” so to speak. The night before the local competition my mom asked if I was really going to compete, since I still lacked a speech. I prayed, asking God to “give me words to speak” and I told him that whatever He wanted me to say, I would say. I asked Him to use me – let people see Him and not me, as I gave His message, and whatever He wanted to happen, would happen – win or lose.
That night was one of the most amazing times of my life. My younger sister Sarah stayed up with me, giving input and praying, and I can honestly say it was a Spirit-filled night. I knew what to say, and I knew that whatever happened, I had been changed. It was not ME – not ME giving a speech, in front of everyone speaking my own words – it was God speaking through me. So I won – the local, then the state…
I have to say that the experience was truly amazing, in that I learned a lot, and met people who were as passionate as I about life. Over and over again I was reminded how amazing it was to be a vessel through which God pours His words. The competition itself is more than worthwhile, with material researched and life-long friends made – but the complete experience is priceless. If I could go back, and relive those weeks of research and rehearsal over, I would not have it any other way, and I thank God for the great opportunity of competing in the National Right to Life Oratory Competition.