Stepping out on a Limb

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I have noticed in the time that I have been writing this blog that certain themes continue to come up time and time again.  The process of delving into my gifting as a writer has been an amazing one for me.  It has given me a place to record and share the remarkable lessons that I am learning at every stage in my journey with God.  I can look back and see how God is maturing me, how I am growing and how he is bringing me back to familiar lessons to bring me to greater levels of wisdom and understanding.

This season for me is one in which God is dealing with insecurity, big time.  I have written about insecurity before and I will probably write about it many times because it is common to all of us.  In the past, I have focused on insecurity as it pertains to my appearance and personality and all the things that make me uniquely me.  But now, the insecurity that I am dealing with pertains to ministry and my calling.

Let me give you some background on me.  I entered into relationship with Jesus Christ when I was 10 years old.  I was already planted in a church where I was challenged and encouraged in my walk with God daily, so I continued to grow in the things of God.  My church family, and in particular, my youth group, kept me from going down the same path that many of family members had gone down.  My relationships with my leaders and peers strengthened me to keep pursuing Jesus despite many obstacles that I faced.  Since the time I was 13 years old, I have known that I was called to full-time student ministry.  I have spent the last 13 years being trained in whatever ways I could.  I served as a leader within my own youth group growing up.  I have done various internships and served as a youth leader to two different groups of teens.  I have obtained my Master's Degree in student ministry and have increased my level of responsibility and commitment to the teens I am currently serving.

Let me tell you something else about myself.  I have always been the first person to disqualify myself.  I am very comfortable taking the back seat and serving as a loyal support to whoever happens to be in charge, but the idea of actually being in charge myself makes my heart beat faster, my mind start racing and my hands turn clamy.  I have always assumed that one of two things would happen: 1.) That I would always be a support to someone else, perhaps a husband that led. 2.) That when I was called upon to stand on my own that I would feel confident and have all the answers.

I am learning though that this is not the case.  It recently occured to me that recent transitions in my life have brought me closer to a time and a place, where I will be called upon to take on more responsibility, to lead in a more upfront and obvious manner and to eventually stand on my own and take off into my personal calling.  God, in his infinite mercy and sense of humor, has taken the girl that has always disqualified herself and placed her with a group of people who not only believe in her, but also push her daily towards becoming all that God has intended her to be.  It seems as though no matter how insecure or fearful I become I am always pushed further to step out into leadership and own my calling.  It's good for me.

In this season, I am learning so much.  Most of all I am learning that God is using even my lack of confidence and insecurity to drive me closer to Him.  I am learning that all the great men and women of God felt very much like I do when God called upon them to do great and mighty exploits in His name.  I can identify very much with Moses, who had this to say when God called him to be His chosen agent of deliverance for the people of Israel, "Pardon your servant, Lord.  I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue" (Exodus 4:10).  Yet God assures Moses that He will go with Him.  God tells Him, "I will help you speak and will teach you what to say" (Exodus 4:12).

I am learning that my fear of inadequacy, failure and dropping the ball, is meant to drive me into the arms of my heavenly Father.  He lovingly reminds me that in my weakness, He is strong.  He whispers into my ear that with Him, nothing is impossible.  He doesn't require me to have all the answers or to be confident in my own abilities.  Instead, He simply wants me to have confidence in Him.  He desires that my trust in Him would continue to grow.  The only way that I achieve this growth in trust is to step out on a limb and to take risks, despite any apprehensions I may have.  When I am willing to do this, my faith is increased.  At the end of the day, my journey with God will not be about my own self-confidence, strength or ability, but about a God that used me even despite my inabilities.  That's what makes the journey so incredible is that God would use even a girl like me to accomplish His purposes.  I know that God goes with me.  He puts His words in my mouth.  He instructs me step by step what I will do.  I know that no matter what difficulty comes my way, He will never leave my side.

Armed with this knowledge, the only thing left to do is to step out on the limb, to take the risk and to fly.

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