Today I sat down with my Bible, an inspirational book by Lysa Terkeurst (The Best Yes), my journal, and laptop – and in the middle of my studying I asked myself an honest question: what are my current struggles?
I am going to share 4 places I struggle with, all of them stem from the question “am I enough?”
I struggle with making decisions in my personal life.
Why? Fear. Fear of failure. Of missing the best choice. Of not being the best I can be. Of not being what I am supposed to be for all the people I am supposed to be “that” for. (Since when was perfection the goal? Um hello, did I forget the only perfect human was Jesus…?)
I struggle with measuring myself against others.
Why? If I am honest, I doubt that I can be what God desires. What my husband desires. What my son desires. I don’t doubt them, I doubt me. I doubt my ability to measure up to the ideal image of these precious roles in my life. (If they do not expect me to be perfect – why do I? I have to remind myself regularly that I don’t have to be perfect. I just need to “be.” Be present. Be myself. Be loving and kind. Not perfect.)
As a root to my indecision and my tendency to compare, I struggle with feeling a lack of value: I tell myself that I am unworthy. Undeserving. I focus on my imperfect past and the messes I have made. I focus on my imperfect present and feel guilt and then hone in on the negative places in my heart. I emphasize my failures and try to supplement that with other’s opinions that I assume they have of me. I can be my own worst enemy.
I find comfort in my busy-ness. I feel needed and accomplished when I complete a task. I equate work with love and if I am lazy in my habits then I feel lazy in my love. When I perform and do something that makes someone happy I feel fulfilled. It is temporary, and once it is forgotten, I fear that perhaps I too may be forgotten, and so I must earn that position. Time to get busy… Perfection takes work…
Obedience or Rebellion?
I have wrestled for a couple of years with feeling called to lead a Bible study. I have turned it away time and again out of the fear of inadequacy: the conditions are not perfect. Besides, what do I have to offer? Did you read the beginning of this post? Um, I have my own struggles. Surely there is someone much more qualified than I. After locating enough excuses to feel justified, I built up a brick wall over that which God was calling me to do. This allowed me to move on and ignore it. He could not be serious, I mean – He knows me, right?
His calling became more of a shout in recent weeks, a shout that I answered in a high point of emotions after an inspiring weekend away (#dotMOM14) where I was able to focus on myself and on Him.
Didn’t see that one coming. Well played, God. Well played.
After this aforementioned wonderful weekend with Him and a couple thousand other women who were also seeking Him, I said yes to the study. God was calling me to be immediately obedient so I announced it to the world of social media. There’s not much else in this world that is as permanent as the internet. There it was, my feeble attempt to be obedient. “Would you join my Bible study?”
I immediately began to beat myself up. I edited that post 4 times. FOUR times y’all. With every person that messaged interest or liked the post I was encouraged, and then immediately I talked myself down to Earth and then beneath the dirt. What are you thinking? You’re a mess. You don’t even know what you are going to teach. What do you have to offer?
Chip, chip, chip – there I was again, chiseling away at my own confidence.
Why is that? WHY must I be so hard on myself? Am I the only one? In the weeks leading up to that announcement, and in the weeks that followed the announcement, God began to show me that I am not the only one struggling with the things I wrestle with. And I have a plan now to share in those struggles. Is it the “best” plan? No. Is it going to be perfect for everyone? Likely not. Will it be honest? Yes. Will it be scary for me: absolutely. Can I do it? Yes – by His grace – if I’m willing.
At the beginning of this post I shared what my current struggles are. In no particular order, I wrestle with the things I have shared on a regular basis. And as I try to go off in many different paths with the study topics, I keep coming back to this one thing I believe God is saying to me about this Bible study:
Share with those women what you are struggling with. They don’t need a preacher Amy, they just need someone willing to be real and discuss life. To share and to just “be.”
So, that’s where I am. The first night of our study came and I shared something God was dealing with me about, we discussed the Bible and our own thoughts and struggles, we prayed, and just hung out.
Perfectly imperfect. That’s what our study is, that’s what I am, and that’s where I’ll remain.
Every other Monday night for 6 total sessions we will discuss these struggles and what God says about them in His Word. We will pray. We will connect. Nothing fancy, just my open home and my open heart. Will you join me in prayer for us as we continue on this journey?
With love in Christ,