Worthy of Purpose

Lately, I have been struggling with insecurity...big time!  To be honest I have struggled with it almost my entire life but there is something about my life at the moment that has made it feel extra heavy.

For me, writing has always been therapeutic so I want you to know that everything to come are things that I am still working out for myself but I wanted to share my struggle with insecurity but also my great hope to overcome it.  Maybe if you are reading this and you feel your own insecurity pressing in then you will see that you are not alone in it, at least that's my hope.

Insecurity.  It has a goal and that is to eat us alive.  It's been gnawing away at my own flesh for far too  long and I think its time to finally face it.  Insecurity comes in many different forms but for me it's a fear of not being seen, which eventually morphs itself into this fear of my life having no capacity to serve a larger purpose.  

Let me explain.

I have always been extremely shy and a lot a bit awkward.  So much so that approaching people I don't know makes me coil inward.  It's not because I don't love people its because I am afraid that they won't love me.  In my mind I have myself chalked up as being unremarkable and unmemorable, unworthy of anyone's time.

I was in the military for five years and as an enlisted soldier it is customary to salute an officer should you pass one by while you are outside.  Over the course of five years I can probably count on one hand how many times I saluted an officer.  It's not because their presence is lacking, the army is crawling with them.  No, it's because outside of a covered building I avoided them like the plague.  Why?  Because I was deadly afraid that they would not see me, like I would extend this sign of respect only to be ignored.

It's been four years since I've had to worry about saluting an officer but that creature of insecurity has continued to cling to me in other ways.  If it was my first time meeting someone on a Sunday morning at church, chances are the following week I won't go out of my way to greet them again.  Why?  Because I am afraid they won't have remembered me from the week before.

To someone on the outside of my brain it might seem a little bit dramatic but I am just trying to tell the honest truth of it.  Put me around new people and this sense of unworthiness wells up thick in the pit of my stomach.

So how does this get wrapped up into my desire for purpose?  I'll explain that too.

If I can't trust in people to see me then how can I trust in God, the creator of the entire universe to see me and ultimately, how can I trust Him to want to use me for the better of His Kingdom?

In November of 2017 I had the opportunity to travel to Israel and it absolutely rocked my world.  I got on the plane so excited to just check another country off of my bucket list, that's how it started.  But over the course of my time there I developed a deep, deep love for this place.  I mean a head over heels kind of love.  It's been nearly a year and a half and there are even certain scents that will put me right back on its soil and I will often times find myself in tears.  Don't believe me?  Just ask my husband.  I'm a deep feeler, y'all!

Long story short, I'm in Israel, I'm on a bus ride out to the Dead Sea and suddenly all at once I am filled with this desire to do whatever it is that God asks me to do or more importantly what He asks my family and I to do.

I'll never be able to put words to that experience but I can say that it was tangible.  And this was a big deal for me because if you know me personally then you will know that I have done my fair share of making my "own" plans and trying to play my cards just right to see them through.

During my trip I was in my final months of college where I was studying Fashion Marketing and I knew that I would go home and graduate but that I most likely would no longer be pursuing a career that stemmed from my major (blog post coming on this soon, stay tuned!)

When my plane landed back in Seattle I got in the car with my husband and unloaded everything all in one breath.  At the time he was probably pretty overwhelmed because he didn't get to experience it with me.  But I will tell you that together we have been dreaming, and visualizing, and seeking, and praying about the future of our family mission ever since.  I won't get into the details because there are several facets but the dreaming is big and it doesn't have anything to do with fashion (although I will always love and enjoy it!)

By that you might think that I have much confidence and there is some truth to that but more so I would say that I have grown deeply passionate but also deeply skeptical.  These insecurities often outweigh the days of confidence because I ask myself over and over again.  Were these passions constructed out of my own desires or were they given to me by a God who has placed purpose over my life?

That's the question.

Because how could God want to use me?  A girl who can barley speak to people.  A girl who feels unremarkable and therefore unqualified to make an impact.  I feel inadequate and so there is tension in this place of calling.

But here is the conclusion I keep coming to:  Over and over again I have taken this family vision to God and I have asked Him to take it from me if it is not in His will.  Because I cannot bear to hold so tightly to a passion if it is not meant to be mine.  It would break my heart.  So I've had to let it go, to surrender it into God's hands and say, "do with it what you will and if it's not meant for me then give me the grace to let it be"  And you know what?  Time and time again He has returned the vision back to me.  I just cannot shake it and through many many many prayers I feel confirmed that my family and I are moving in the right direction.

Maybe that's why there is tension and insecurity, because I feel on the cusp of something, like I am in the midst of preparation for something that I simply cannot and will not do on my own.  God is opening up a way and there is an enemy that senses that.

But I have to lean into what God is doing.  God who calls me worthy because of who He is and what He is capable of doing.  And that means taking a quite church mouse of a girl and transforming her into a woman who has a confident roar for His Kingdom.

With that, I am reminded of Paul. 

The apostle Paul was...

1. a tent maker i.e. unremarkable 

2. a condemner of Christians i.e. unfit 

"Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.  He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem." 
- Acts 9:1-2

After reading that, Saul seems like the least likely but the Lord swept him up, gave him a new name, and sent him on mission.  Paul went on to be a leading catalyst in forming and growing the early church and would eventually die a martyr for the name of Jesus whom he once rejected.

God gave Paul what he didn't have.  He gave Paul passion, courage, community, stamina, and a voice of both truth and confidence.  God gave Paul purpose and what's more is that Paul had been set apart for such a purpose long before he was even ready to receive it.

"I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.  I appointed you a prophet to the nations." 
- Jeremiah 1:5

Like Paul, you and I were appointed for a specific purpose and when you begin to feel called to something it can get scary really quick.  It's easy to look around and feel inadequate but listen to this:

The Lord will use who. He. will.  

The Bible is filled to the brim with misfits, Paul just happened to be one of them.  So let's just rest in the confidence that God knows what He is doing.  Maybe your insecurities grow from a different place than mine.  Maybe you aren't afraid of not being seen, maybe you are afraid that God has seen too much.  Regardless of where it stems God calls the unremarkable, God calls the unfit and it's by His grace that you are deemed worthy and equipped to do great works for His glory.

I want to let God lead me through insecurity so He can then lead me into purpose.

I'm ready for that.  Are you?

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