I’ve never been someone who had a clear direction in life. I’ve always just kind of meandered in and out of things and was just good enough at them to stay afloat. A pretty good example of my aimlessness is my track record of majors in college. I started out going for psychology, then switched to theater (YES, theater lol) and finally graduating with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and psychology. This was after I was convinced most of my life that I wanted to be a marine biologist. I can’t even swim!! I’ve only ever h6ad a handful of jobs because I typically stayed there for long periods of time because I was cool where I was and didn’t feel the need to aspire to bigger things. What I’m getting at is that through the course of my life I’ve achieved some cool things, I just have never felt like much of an “achiever”. I’m content in my comfort. But I’m finding now that God has higher expectations of me than I ever had for myself. He placed me in ministries that I never would have picked for myself and allowed me to be at least semi-effective there. And He put me physically in a place that I certainly wouldn’t have chosen with the cancer. But it’s cool. God knows what He’s doing. Sometimes I feel baffled when people tell me they enjoy my blog and are being helped through it. First of all, let’s start with the fact that people read it. Baffling. Secondly, that it’s actually helping people! Pretty cool. I guess God knows what He’s doing after all, even if I do feel like I’m unfit for this purpose.
All this to say, I’m starting to realize what God means when He tells us that it’s through our weakness that He shows His strength. I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. I’ll point out here that there is, I’m sure, a lot of spiritual depth that I am glossing over in this story but I am not nor do I claim to be any expert in theology, so the best I can do is try to point out the parts that are helping me personally. So anyway, Israel had once again turned from God and it took them being pushed into poverty for them to turn back to God and ask Him for help. So an angel appears to Gideon and basically tells him that God is choosing him to be the one through which the Israelites would be saved from the oppressive hand of the Midianites. To which Gideon replies that God has been absent from them for a while now and has handed them over to slavery and poverty. He kinda goes all “what have you done for me lately?” on the angel. The angel presses further saying that God is choosing Gideon as the warrior to save the people. His reply? “No, you’ve got the wrong one, son” and goes on to list their reasons that God couldn’t possibly mean him! But for serious, Gideon was not a warrior and did not feel that he was qualified to be the one to free the people from the bondage of serving false gods or defeat an army as strong as the Midianites’. (This is all paraphrased obviously, feel free to check out Judges 6 to get the whole story.) So then God uses the unusable to do the impossible! God pared down Israel’s army from 22,000 men to 300. 300! And they, of course, were victorious.
We underestimate every single day what God can do in and through us. We do not give Him enough credit and we certainly can’t see past our own faults for long enough to realize that God can use us right now as we are to work for His purposes all while molding us more and more into the image of His son. We don’t think we are strong enough, or smart enough, or spiritually sound enough to accomplish anything of worth. And guess what?! We’re not! We can’t accomplish anything of worth apart from Him. We must be willing to allow Him to mold us as He sees fit, even if it’s uncomfortable. Or cancer. Lol I’m realizing that although I’m someone who is typically content with mediocrity and comfort, that God wants more for me than that and if I truly mean it when I tell him I want to live for His purpose then I need to be a willing participant. I, just like you, Paul, Gideon, and every other person God uses, are flawed and weak. We are incapable and ineffective on our own. But when we are willing to step out of our own narcissism and be available to Him, he can and WILL use us. In ways we never imagined. For me, my form of narcissism is low self esteem, which I’ve found is absolutely a form of self obsession. I wish I could get the time back that I wasted on worrying about (obsessing over?) what people were thinking or saying about me. But since I cant, I can only move forward. I’m not perfect. If I feel like I’ve said something wrong or out of place, I will obsess over it. But again, that’s me being obsessed over how things relate to me.
We all have our flaws, our shortcomings, our insecurities. But God has two things a lot bigger than that: Grace and a plan. There’s a reason churchgoers sing about God’s amazing grace- we can’t believe He is willing to use a bunch of screwups like us! I pray that God uses me and this cancer for His purposes. Maybe you’re doubting your worth, not only to the kingdom but to everyone. Trust me, you are valuable beyond what you could ever imagine! You are not just some random conglomeration of your parents’ genetics and placed in situations that you cannot overcome, you are an amazing and completely unique creation. Your strengths, and in turn, your weaknesses, are usable and important. You are not an accident. You are not worthless. Don’t let your identity be formed by a world that tells you you’re a product of chance. You are of more value than you know.
So I just went off on a tangent that I didn’t see coming, but I’m ok with that. The Bible teaches us over and over and over again how God uses imperfect and broken people in order to show us just how big He really is. Here’s a funny video about how God uses imperfect people. Remember:
No real update on this end! Feeling a little tired but beyond that really great. The stomach ache was indeed just a stomach ache (: I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!