The rest of the story; to be continued, I suspect.
20 September 2022
Lately I’ve been thinking back to all the people I’ve talked to since being delivered from “fear of their faces” in the summer of 1972.
All the Bible college classes I’ve taught. All the Sunday School classes. The public addresses (teaching, preaching, or speaking on a variety of subjects) to small and large crowds, even whole congregations (GOP, Christian Coalition).
The personal interviews I’ve done with new business clients (Executive Services and S.C. Family Memories), civic group and club addresses to talk about the need to preserve family histories for our children, grandchildren, and future generations. Television interviews given for the same reason, with a host I’d never met before.
I thought about all the on-air interviews I’d done with guests from every aspect of the business, social and political world here in South Carolina, on my very own talk radio program (Talk With Bette; my husband Tim was my program director). Hospital presidents, college presidents, businessmen and women, chairs of civic clubs, representatives of state organizations, candidates for political office or elected officials themselves.
Then there are the many interviews I did while serving as a volunteer with OM Ships, talking with total strangers in two foreign countries (Iceland and Germany), as well as on board two ships operated by OM Ships (Logos II and Logos Hope).
I campaigned for (and won) a position on the South Carolina Commission on Women, where I had to appear for confirmation before an argumentative SC Senate Committee Hearing. Some people didn’t want me confirmed because of my pro-life stance on women’s issues. I also campaigned for an appointment to the SC Board of Education, not as complicated to win but not automatic either.
The formal meetings of both those groups were with people I had never met. Discussions could be heated and lengthy, so many issues were far from simple!
I ran twice and won twice for the office of First Vice Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, when our current Governor was Chairman. I had opposition from another faithful (but not pro-life) GOP member. Campaigning was active, meeting and persuading many GOP representatives from across the state to support me. I was nominated and campaigned to serve as a Presidential Elector in the 1996 Presidential election for the SC 6th Congressional District. I won that election also — I had no opposition!
During all those years Tim and I helped to recruit and then assisted other candidates to run for office, requiring many working committee meetings, emails and phone conversations with newly-met people.
Then there were the non-profit organizations that Tim and I founded and ran, including one against legalizing video poker in SC (won that one), another opposing a South Carolina lottery (lost that one, unfortunately). Both required talking to a great many people one-on-one or in groups.
Most of all those were people I had never met before. While making a number of new friends along the way, there were many I would never see again. But being with them I experienced no shyness, no panic attacks, no fear of any kind! Sometimes I’d have a little “nervousness,” a feeling that I soon came to realize was actually the anointing of the Holy Spirit to do a work he had called me to do. And has called me to keep doing!
Teaching, preaching, sharing, caring (and writing, too) are callings of God. Assignments that require listening, hearing, understanding, and obeying that still small voice that first whispered my name as a little girl. “Bette,” he would call. For years I ignored him, put him off, tried to explain it away as merely my imagination.
In 1972 I finally answered that voice, asked him to be Lord of my life, and things have never been the same since!