Bethany’s Speech

By Kimberley Giselle

Bethany is an eight-year-old girl, with gorgeous carrot red hair, freckles on her cheeks and hazel brown eyes.

One day in her grade 3 class, Mrs Anderson was talking about her family tree and where each person came from. Then she added, “We also inherit our looks from them. For example, I get my blonde hair from my grandma. I get my long legs from my dad, and I get my green eyes from my mum.” She said.

Bethany was wondering what their homework would be – she knew it had to be something about family trees or looks.

When Mrs Anderson had finished talking she said, “For homework, I would like you to write a presentation on your family tree. Include pictures and as much interesting information as you can. This is due on Friday.”

Some of the students in the class cheered and others groaned.

“Class, settle please.” Mrs Anderson said clapping her hands to get everyone’s attention.

Bethany’s best friend, Amelia’s hand shot up in the air.

“Yes Amelia?”

“What if we don’t know anything about our family trees?”

“Well, you can write about where you get some of your features. For example; your chocolate brown skin. I know you get that from your mum, because she’s from Africa.”

“Ok! Thanks Mrs Anderson.” Amelia clapped her hands excitedly and leaned over to Bethany, “This is so fun!” She whispered.

Bethany scrunched up her face and shook her head.

Amelia frowned.

Bethany whispered, “I’ll tell you at lunch.”

The bell rang and everyone rushed to get their food and eat.

During lunch, Amelia and Bethany started talking about their homework.

“So what were you going to tell me?” Amelia asked.

“Oh Amelia! I can’t talk in front of an audience. I get stage fright! I get really sick and want to throw up!”

“You’ll be ok, trust me.” Amelia answered patting her friends arm.

“I don’t know.” Bethany said looking down at her cheese sandwich, suddenly not feeling hungry at all. The thought of talking in front of her class made her sick. What could she do?

On the way home Bethany was quiet. She looked out the window and watched the pretty brick houses pass by.

“Honey, everything ok?” Mum asked Bethany.

Bethany sighed, “Well I have to write about my family tree, or where I get my features from, like my hair and my eye colour.”

“That sounds wonderful! I would love to help you, if that’s ok with you?”

“I’d love some help, but there’s one more problem. I have to present it in front of the whole class! You know that I get stage fright. I can’t do it!” Bethany was almost in tears. Her voice quivered and her eyes watered.

She swallowed quickly and took a deep breath – she couldn’t cry. She would not cry! She refused to cry!

“Oh, honey. It’s ok. I know you don’t like to be in front of an audience. We’ll pray and ask God for help and practice every night. Ok?”

“Ok!” Bethany squeaked.

After dinner that night, Bethany started her homework.  She asked dad where she got her carrot red hair from. “Your great grandmother had carrot red hair.” He smiled.

“Oh, cool!” Bethany exclaimed as she scribbled the notes into her book. She grabbed a strand of her hair and smiled – she liked having her great grandmother carrot red hair.

“How about my freckles?” She touched her cheeks and arms – looking at her little light brown dots that decorated her skin.

“That’s from your aunty Angela.” Her mum said smiling. “She has lots of freckles.”

Bethany laughed, “Yeah that’s right! Cool!”

She kept getting more information and soon she was forgetting that she had to do a presentation.

Every night after dinner, Bethany practiced her presentation in front of her mum and dad. And every day she prayed for God to help her not feel so sick and scared. She wished that Friday never came!


Then came the dreaded Friday.

Bethany’s dad woke her up bright and early, “Wake up Bethany, it’s Friday. You need to do your morning worship then practice for you presentation.”

A loud groan came from under the doona then out popped Bethany’s head. “Oh no daddy! I don’t want to do my presentation! I’m too nervous.”

She rolled over and hid under the covers. Her stomach doing funny little summer saults.

“Bethany, you’ll be fine. We’ve been praying about it and you’ve been practicing. God will help you darling. I’ll do worship with you. Ok?”

“Yes, please daddy!”

When Bethany opened her devotional, she read the bible verse, out loud. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.”

She looked at her dad, a big smile across her face. She finished her devotional, then prayed: “Dear Jesus, thank you for showing me that you will always take care of me and help me when I need it. Please help me be strong for the presentation. In Your name I pray, amen.”

When she had finished praying, she got up and said to her dad. “Dad, I can do this because Jesus will help me.”

“Good girl Bethany. I knew you would do it.”

Bethany arrived at school feeling really nervous, but, also feeling that God was going to help her. He had promised her!

“Bethany, your turn to present.” Mrs Anderson looked straight at her and motion for her to come to the front of the class.

Amelia looked at her and did thumbs up, “You’ve got this Bethy. You can do it!”

Bethany nodded slowly, she stood up and unrolled her big beautiful poster and got ready to present. Her stomach felt like it had turned upside down and her breakfast felt really close to her throat. Her legs shook together, she felt like everyone could hear them clicking together. Her hands were sweaty and trembling.  She closed her eyes briefly and said a quick, ‘Help me Jesus’.

Then she started her presentation – When she finished she said, “I could do all this because Jesus helped me.”

The class clapped and cheered – Bethany looked at Amelia and grinned. She had done it! God had really kept his promise and given her strength! Yes!



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