THIS IS MY story.
The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.”
It has taken me a long time to learn that God doesn’t call and set apart just a few “special” believers to accomplish His kingdom work, He has called each one of us. We may not be called to speak God’s truth to a whole nation, like Jeremiah, but we are each called to share His truth with those He sends alongside us.
I have been blessed to have so many truth-speakers in my life—my grandmother and my mom, my third grade Sunday School teacher, a high school teacher, a college professor . . . At each stage of my life, God has provided a woman of faith to walk with me and remind me of my calling in Christ.
But the excuses…Like Jeremiah, there’s always a reason why I can’t.
Several years ago, I was asked join a women’s mentoring program in the church. I was excited by the prospect of meeting new women and finding a mentor who could pour into my life. As we went through the six week study, I began to hear God’s voice calling me…not to be mentored, but to be a mentor! Immediately, the enemy began using my insecurities and self-doubt to tell me that no one would want me for a mentor… that I had nothing to offer anyone else. I chose to listen to the voice of God, and the mentoring relationship that formed after that class has forever changed my life. God used the young mom I was mentoring to speak His truth into my life. He awakened a passion in me to see other women joined together in relationships, sharpening each other as they grow closer to Christ.
God called again last year with a challenge to go on a short term mission trip. My husband and I decided we weren’t able to go at this chapter in our life but that we could start setting aside money to sponsor someone else. But God had other plans. Within a month, I was asked directly to go on a trip to Cuba to train and teach women in the church there. Once again, those fears and insecurities were whispered to my head, but God’s call moved my heart.
I went on that trip, and fell in love with those Cuban women. The depth of their faith in the face of so any obstacles was inspiring. I was there to teach them, but God used them to teach me so much more. He allowed me to return again this year, deepening relationships that were formed last year, and feeding that passion to see women joined together in Christ.
I’ve heard it said many times that “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” It’s a nice maxim, but doesn’t really mean much until I actually step out in faith and follow His call.
I think I’m learning that there will always be an excuse not to do something. Sometimes those excuses are OK, and may actually be God protecting me from situations I don’t need to be in. But often those excuses are because I’m choosing to focus on myself and who I think I am, instead of focusing on God and who He has called me to be. In my mind, I will never have enough knowledge to overcome my insecurities. I have a lifetime of examples of why I’m not good enough to be used in a position of leadership. And I won’t, if that’s what I choose to focus on. I won’t do it perfectly. I will trip over my words. I will fail sometimes. But God will still use me, with all my imperfections and insecurities, to accomplish His purpose.
Originally published January 10, 2019 on firstchristian.com. © 2019 First Christian Church.