One night at the end of June 2013 I was talking with a woman I had met in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the speaker at the youth event I was at, and we had become close throughout the week. We sat across from each other at a table inside the room she was staying in that week. I looked at her and asked “How do you do it?”

“Do what?” she responded.

“Stay humble after everyone compliments you lesson after lesson, day after day . . . after a while, don’t you start giving yourself credit? How on earth do you stay humble with people complementing your work?”

She leaned back and thought about her answer for a little bit. “I have learned, Marta, to take compliments graciously. I act as if each compliment I receive after I give a message is a rose. When someone says ‘You are an amazing speaker! I loved what you said tonight!’ I smile, say ‘Thank you’ and take the rose graciously. As I walk out of the room collecting roses from various people, sincerely thanking each of them for their gifts.

“At the end of the day, I come to the Lord. I walk up to the throne and set all of my roses at His feet. I look up at His face and I say ‘These are all for You, Jesus.’ He then scoops me up and says ‘I am so proud of you, my faithful servant.’ “

Tonight I led my first praise + worship at Dordt. No matter how well (or not well) I hid it, I was terrified. Will people like the songs I pick? What if the verses I read doesn’t at all match my set? What if my voice cracks when I sing the high note? What if my team doesn’t put any work into it? What if people don’t like me?

Let me tell you, the Lord took every single fear I had and pushed it away. As I prepared for my first set, God kept telling me “This is a space for me to speak to the people at Dordt. I just need you to make it available. Give these people a place to hear my voice.” So that’s what I did . . . and God blessed me so much in return. We finished all of our practices early. The tech crew was incredibly helpful and efficient with setting up. Everything came together, and when it came down to it there was praise and worship to the Lord Almighty.

And what was the biggest blessing to me was receiving so many roses at the end. Every “Good job, Marta!” and “I love that you used bells in this set!” and “The Spirit was so present here tonight,” means more to me than you could ever know. It means the Lord was at work. It means He showed up tonight at Dordt College and made Himself known to His people. That’s the goal.

I have been so blessed by the roses I was given tonight, and now I lay them down at the Lord’s feet. I cannot wait to see what the Lord is going to do at Dordt College this year. I know big things are coming; I can’t wait to be a part of what He’s planning.


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