Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Sermon That Wasn't

Late last fall I was asked to preach at the church I grew up in.  Naturally I said yes.  I am one of three seminary students from my home church and it was the first time I was asked to preach here and I was just as nervous as I was excited.  I have preached lots of times in my teaching church and other places in (little) Holland, but there is something different about being in front of people who have watched you grow up, through the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly.
I was nervous, but as Mommy Glynis taught me through my years of drama in the MVPs, appropriate nervousness is a good thing.  If you aren't nervous you are too full of yourself.  This piece of wisdom was affirmed by my preaching professor last year.
I ate breakfast this morning and went off to church with my dad (sound tech) and Littlest Brother (playing prelude).  I got wired and did sound checks.  I sat on my stool behind the pulpit to get the feel for things. I talked with the person running visuals and got everything set for that.  I went downstairs and prayed with the pastor and elders.
I felt fine as I sat in the front pew next to the pastor waiting for the sermon time.
I got up, settled myself onto my stool, prayed, read the scripture, and started my sermon.  I made it through the beginning paragraphs.  Then the words on my page started to blur.  My head started to spin.  Pauses between be words and sentences became longer and longer.  Things became tunnel. The next thing I remember is coming to on the floor with people around me. I had passed out.
 First responders and nurses in the congregation revived me, and someone called 911.  The local fire department showed up first.  They put me on oxygen and I desperately wanted to finish my sermon.  They sat me up on my stool and I promptly passed out again.  Paramedics showed up and didn't give me a choice about hospital time.  I quickly found myself in a cervical collar and strapped to a backboard and in an ambulance.  I spent a couple hours in the ER getting IV fluids and blood work. We didn't get any real answers as to why I passed out, however the doctor suspects an electrolyte imbalance and if I keep watching my mineral intake I should be fine.
So in other words, my sermon never got preached.  I have yet to find a silver lining to all this or a purpose behind this. Perhaps satan didn't want the congregation to hear my message, perhaps it was just because I had been sick with an upper respiratory infection for the last couple weeks, perhaps it was random.
But I'm not giving up.  If they give me another chance, I will preach it again.  And I will keep trying until I get through it until it turns into the sermon that definitely was.

1 comment:

Glynis said...

You got off to such a fine start, Joellen. So sorry that this happened to did give us a scare, but so thankful to God that you are on the mend. Chin up and do get well. xx