Friday, July 30, 2010

Who am I?

There are moments in ones life that are especially monumental. Moments where you can't quite put your finger on it, but you know that everything has changed, will change, or it is about to be flipped completely and utterly upside down. These times are often preceded by a lot of grumbling and praying, asking God "what are you waiting on?" Ironically, you find yourself questioning God without a clue of what you think He is waiting on in the first place. It's more of a self-focused, restless, I am ready but don't know what I am ready for type of grumbling. Then, life takes a swift twist and you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a major torrential downpour of God saying, "OK, here it is, here is what you have been wrestling me for, now go do it." All of the sudden, like a child having his favorite security blanket ripped out of his hands and taken to the trash bin, you find yourself kicking, screaming, and groaning saying "God, you can't possibly be talking to me? No way. Uh huh. Who am I?" Monumental moment, yes, because it changes everything, literally, but instead of leaping with joy you find yourself in a different position, one of bowed knee and face planted in the carpet seeking strength to even process what has been laid before you. Much less having the courage to get up and actually go do it.
Inadequacy. This is the only word I can conjure up for the feelings that arise within, when God calls you to do something completely out of the realm of your comfort zone. Instead of focusing on the truths you have told others thousands of times, truths such as "He will provide for what He calls you to do." You begin to focus completely on the lies you hear from the other side "Who are you to do this? You can't. That's crazy." And in all honesty, those aren't just coming from expected origins, but also from those around you. Not necessarily in words but in actions, expressions, easily read in body language or the absence of words where there is clearly need for them.
Be honest with yourself, you hear it even without others, "Who are YOU?" "Look in the mirror, what do you see? You can't do this and nobody will expect you to." If you are anything like me, nothing keeps you paralyzed more than the fight between the feeling of inadequacy and the all out war you want to rage on overcoming that same paralysis; I am a fighter. I believe in great triumph and overcoming obstacles. Stories of seeing people push themselves beyond all human boundaries and defeat all odds, absolutely motivates and inspires me. I always go for the underdog. I believe in change and I believe unequivocally it starts from within. But, in all honesty, monumental moments are both exhilarating and completely terrifying all in the same.
The natural tendency would be to seek the affirmation of those around you, believing that a positive word might spur on an extra dose of adrenaline needed to defeat the internal sense of inadequacy. The difference there is in our expectation vs. reality; not everyone will respond how you think or even hope they might. Instead, it usually yields more doubt, more fear and yet even still, more inadequacy.
Searching for some encouragement from God, I stumbled upon Exodus chapter four. Moses is stammering. He confesses his own lack of eloquence and imperfection. Frankly, he's scared. Sound familiar? How does God respond? The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." (Exodus 4:11-12) Again, like many of us, instead of being encouraged by a word from GOD HIMSELF, Moses continues groaning. He fumbles for words and responds just as many of us do, by asking God to send someone else (Exodus 4:13).
Who am I. From the beginning of time, it is evident that many have asked that same question when in essence, none have been great. From an orphan turned queen (Esther), to a mass murderer turned most passionate and avid writer in all of the New Testament (Paul), there are none that have been selected because of their nobility and valor. God chooses the lowest of the low. The weak. The questionable.

We can keep doubting, pouting, kicking and screaming, or we can obediently and faithfully jump. The best thing that can happen is that you fail. The worst thing that can happen is missing out on the invigorating experience of being on the path you know God specifically has laid out for you. Personally, I'd rather go for the latter.

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