I’ve often struggled with this deep inner battle:
How can God possibly use me? I’m too flawed, too scarred. Too imperfect. I’ve made way too many mistakes.
For the majority of my life I put pastors, missionaries, people who worked in ‘the ministry’ on a pedestal. I mean, they were in ministry, surely they were more holy, more worthy, more ‘with it’ than I was. Sure, I love Jesus, but I’ve lived a messed up life in a lot of ways. The kind of life people who care about appearances might scoff at. Did scoff at.
Wes and I got pregnant while we were still dating. (I know, insert *gasp* now). We were 19. We got married three months later at a happy but relatively awkward small family ceremony. We knew there were people who just ‘didn’t approve’ of our pre-marital expeditions, or whatever you want to call it. But they didn’t really know us. They didn’t really know how much we longed to serve and honor God. They didn’t see the hours and hours we spent crying out to God together for forgiveness and help to overcome the temptation of sex. The hours we prayed about marriage, but knew everyone would say we were too young. The heaps and heaps of guilt Satan was piling on our heads.
So, instead, we felt condemned by many for something they didn’t really understand. But, isn’t that the way most condemnation goes? It’s often a misunderstanding of who we are and who we are meant to be in Christ. Maybe that has stuck with me, even eight years later, I don’t know. But I’ve had to really dig into who God is to get over myself and realize, His plan isn’t about me, it’s about Him.
He works all things for God for those who love Him, and His plan far exceeds my ability to mess up in the world’s eyes.
The truth is, if God didn’t call the imperfect to big things, He’d be calling no one. We are all imperfect and we all have struggles that are different and unique and vary in intensity throughout our lives. It is the human plight.
And on the journey of life (over the past 29 years, as I turn the big 2-9 tomorrow… yikes) I’ve realized that many leaders are incredibly flawed. That just because someone is a missionary or a pastor or someone in the ministry – it doesn’t make them better than anyone else. Or more ‘with it’. And I just love the leaders who can openly admit this truth, and there are many of them. And it’s up to us to embrace the truth that we are all God’s chosen. We are all called to our own ministry no matter how seemingly big or small.
Motherhood, is a ministry.
Cooking meals for a sick Grandma, is a ministry.
Reading books to the lonely child at the library, is a ministry.
Coaching a Soccer team, is a ministry.
Loving your coworkers, in a ministry.
And sometimes, God calls us to things we never thought possible. To the very thing we’ve dreamed of but never imagined we’d be ‘good enough’ to do. To what feels impossible and way too big for our own comfort level. He brings us to this place of realization that He does indeed have a divine plan for little imperfect us.
And I hear a friend say it and it sinks in deep:
“God doesn’t always call the equipped,
He often equips the called.”
I eat it up and savor it because I’m so incredibly ill-equipped. But He does have a calling on my life, and He loves me and wants me to embrace it. He has made me, flaws and all, for His purpose. And He’s bringing me to that Holy place where I’m needing to bow down and say, “God, I truly CAN’T do this without You. This IS far too much for me and me alone. You have called me… now equip me with more and more and more of You.”
Is this your prayer today also, friends?