I remember the first time I felt the ‘nudge’. I was 22 years old, attending a women’s ministry retreat, listening to a guest speaker as she related lessons from her own life to the topic she was presenting.
And the nudge came. ‘Someday, I will call on you to serve and teach this way’. Actually, it felt more like a sense of being on an amusement park ride, waiting for the freefall. A mix of excitement and terror gripped me in the pit of my stomach.
Me… the one who can hardly say my name in front of a group of strangers without turning beetfaced and trembling? Shyeah. But in my mind’s eye, I could see my grown-up self, not trembling with fear, but standing with the self-assurance of one who has been sent. A version of myself so grown-up and calm, that clearly that there were many years standing between my “yes” and the day God would take me up on it. And so I answered, “yes, Lord, if it’s Your will, then use me.”
“But Lord? You know I don’t have any life experience. I have nothing of value to offer. I have nothing to teach.”
uhm…. (gulp) alrighty then.
Fast forward about 15 years…
On our way to a Women of Faith conference session, I shared my “yes” moment with my sister. And I confessed that, even as a (supposed) grown-up, I felt completely inadequate for what I believe I was called to do. I confessed I felt stuck, still waiting for the day to come when I would have something to contribute, something of value to share, some reason to believe it is time to respond to the calling.
We found our seats and listened to the speaker as she gave a beautiful message. Toward the end of her talk she broke from the planned content and talked about the battle she was fighting just to get up and speak. She was feeling as though somehow her qualifications and abilities were less than adequate. When she compared herself to the other speakers she didn’t feel as though she had anything worthwhile to contribute. And she recognized it for what it was: a spiritual attack, aimed at diminishing her effectiveness by bringing in self doubt and insecurity.
My sister and I looked at each other, wordlessly knowing each others’ thoughts. It was as though someone listened in on our talk and broadcast it on the stage. How could someone so obviously qualified feel so inadequate? To borrow a phrase from Gru in Despicable Me: “light bulb!”
And so on that day, I once again answered the call. “Yes, Lord, if it’s your will, then use me.” No buts, what ifs, or howyagonnas. Just yes. “If you open the door, I will trust you and walk through it.”
Two months later the door opened. More on that in my next post!
My encouragement for you today is this: if you are waiting for the “someday” to come when you have it all together, paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, it’s time to take a step of faith. The fear of failure can be overwhelming, but know this:
Those whom God calls, He qualifies. He doesn’t ask you to say yes and then snicker “Just kidding! Who do you think you are??” He asks you to be willing, to pray and prepare, and to trust Him to give you what you need.
Will you trust Him? Will you just say yes?