You’d think I would be thrilled.
Getting to do something I love, being tasked with the opportunity to write more, to practice what I want to do with the rest of my life, to impact people’s lives the way I want to.
But I was terrified.
I’ve learned that I love writing.
But I learned that by doing it on my own computer, in the comfort of a dim student-worker-corner of a quiet office. I learned that by posting blogs on a site that no one but the two people that have to love me can see.
I learned to write in an environment where I felt free to vent, free to pose questions, try new things, and generally contemplate things without a ton of commitment to particular positions or opinions.
But now I was being asked to write a series of devotionals for real people that would probably actually read them and a deep sense of inferiority and insecurity came flooding in.
I literally spent an hour sitting in front of my computer, with a Bible open next to me, a set of translations opened on a series of tabs, and…a blank page.
I even had a Starbucks!
I couldn’t bring myself to start writing, because it just felt so….presumptuous.
It’s a word I use in my head a lot, actually.
When I’m feeling insecure, there isn’t a whole lot that doesn’t feel presumptuous. Sitting down, eating a piece of pizza, admitting that I have an opinion…
Insecurity does an awfully good job of somehow simultaneously convincing me I have absolutely no value, while also making everything about…me.
In this case, it felt like this – Who am I? Who am I to be writing this? Who am I to think I have something to say? Who am I to think I’m smart enough, spiritual enough, or eloquent enough to be writing this?
It was more than feeling inferior and insecure, though.
I was feeling a distinct brand of inferior – I was feeling unqualified.
I don’t have the knowledge, the experience, or the talent to be doing what I was asked to do.
And the funny thing is, unlike those times I didn’t think I had the value of a sea cucumber, I was right.
I was completely without the knowledge or experience to be writing anything about God or His Word. I still am. I am completely unqualified to offer my meager attempts at fitting some tiny part of my God into cramped and insufficient words. And yet He calls me to do it. He calls me to offer the little that I have, because it is His. He calls me to offer up my best attempt, give it my best shot, and trust Him in the all the places I continually fall short.
He asks me to be bold in declaring His truth, with a humble heart that knows my words will always fail to capture it fully and the love that He has given me.
So I’m learning to do that. I’m learning that my confidence is not in my ability to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) but in a God that created words and thoughts and put a love of writing in my heart. I’m learning that my humility comes not from doubting my ability or my calling, but in knowing that neither of those are products of my own will. I’m learning that the only reason I can show His love to others is because He showed it to me.
I’m learning how unqualified I am with every project I take on and with every skill I learn I don’t have. But unlike that day with an empty Starbucks cup and an empty page, I’m learning to be joyous in the face of my insufficiency and to take delight in the fact that my God uses even the broken and seemingly untalented. In fact, it’s those He uses the best.