My insecurities showed up big time this weekend. I began to look around and it seemed there are those who are doing really important things. They are doing big, grand things for God.
I overheard a conversation where these words were spoken, “it’s the beautiful people, the educated, those with power and status, that get to do the big things.” I know it was their own insecurities, and maybe hurt, that spoke those words but still they found their way deep into my heart and began to take root. They took root in the soil of my own insecurities that tell me quite often that I am not enough.
I allowed the roots a place to grow deep and take hold of my heart for most the day. I wondered why those who were highly educated seemed to always be recognized, and esteemed for what they were doing. Does God really prefer the one with degrees over the one without? Seeds of renewed doubt grew. I questioned my purpose, my value. What do I have to offer? What can I do? It felt like yet another door slammed into my face because I have no degree. Once again I am not enough. I lack value to be used by the church, by those in power.
In the midst of this root growing to the point of almost strangling me to death I felt the warmth of truth begin to flow through my spirit. I knew my thoughts were being plagued with lies. Discouraging lies that threaten to render me useless. And as those lies fought for control, fought to be heard, the truth battled harder. The truth would not give up until it silenced the lies.
What is the truth? I am beloved of God and He has a purpose for me. Psalm 139 reminds me that before the foundations of the world He knew me. In my mother’s womb He formed me. I have a purpose. I am enough in God’s eyes. I have value and I am very much loved.
The truth is, regardless of my status in society, or my education I am called by God to be a light to a very dark world. I am called to obey, to sacrifice, to give my life as an offering to Him. For some that might mean big and grand things. It might mean being worldly famous and traveling to a foreign land. For others it might mean wiping a tear of a child who lost her mother.
This is the truth God impressed upon me in the midst of my insecurities. Each of His children are doing big, important work. Whether you are a doctor helping cure a disease in Africa, a counselor healing the wounded, a woman cooking a meal for the sick or one that feeds a homeless person as you walk to work God sees all. He does not value one over the other. In fact what God values most is a heart that is fully His, a heart that is abandoned to His will, what ever that will might be.
Finally, I was reminded that it does not matter what men think. God does not care about your qualifications or lack of them. He is the One who will qualify those He calls...those willing to do whatever He wills. So I need to go in confidence and DO what He has called me to do and stop looking at what others are doing for Him. What He calls them to do is none of my concern. But at the same time don’t let anyone tell me that I can't do what He has called ME to.
I came across this poem this morning and it just seemed to be a fitting reminder that we are all famous to someone, in our own way, using the gifts and abilities God has given us.
BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.