Yesterday was one of those days when I was absolutely sharing the same frequency as the Holy Spirit. I’ve been sending a lot of ideas, concerns, hopes, and dreams out into the world of prayer as of late and I’ve felt some frustration by the lack of immediate response. Because I’m patient like that. At least I know God knows this about me.
I feel blessed. I have understood each of us is gifted with certain talents and abilities since I was very young. I had an inkling I was created to teach and lead at a young age. The first time I acknoweldged the pull in that direction in a diary was when I was eight. Even then I was beginning to base my choices on what I would learn from them and how I would share the knowledge I was gaining with others. I spent a lot of time in wonderment as a child, filling my basket with endless experiences and sharing those experiences with others like I was handing out flowers. Then I grew up and fear crept in.
Somewhere along the line, like so many people, I began to be aware of what others might be thinking of me. And for the last handful of years, as much as I have felt pulled to use my calling, imposter syndrome has taken its hold in a very real way,
For those who haven’t heard of “imposter syndrome,” let me explain. Have you ever thought of something you would like to do, or become, and the first thought you had after that vision was that you weren’t qualified? You might not have a degree or certification in that field. You have learned through the school of hard knocks, but that certainly wouldn’t make you an “expert” in anyone else’s eyes. That my friend is imposter syndrome. The prevailing thought or feeling that we are imposters in our callings. There’s no room at the table for me. Who am I to think I could become a writer, speaker, leader, (fill in the blank). This thinking has left my tank on empty lately.
I know God has called me to teach. I know he has gifted me as a writer and speaker. I even have a pretty good sense of the message he would have me share at this time. I just haven’t felt qualified to put it out there into the world. So, I’ve been incredibly resistant to move forward. I keep changing the message, making it more complicated than it really is. Even my prayers have been jumbled. It’s no wonder I feel completely paralyzed. This weekend I was finally able to shake off a bit of the weight of fear, at least enough to clarify my prayer a bit.
I started with a simple one. I still view myself as a baby Christian, having only accepted Jesus as my savior about five years ago. I’m still learning all the “things”. Things like the difference between a devotional and a bible study. Sounds like a funny thing to not be clear on prehaps, but it’s been confusing me to no end. Mostly I think, because when I sit down to a devotional and there are scriptures listed, I generally follow the scriptures to my bible and then study the verses, or even book, surrounding them. So, to me, devotionals and bible studies are one in the same. I began to realize it wasn’t necessarily that way for everyone.
The next question was a little more complex. Who am I to do the things I think you are calling me to do right now?
Upon waking yesterday morning, I came down to my writing room and had an overriding message that I was to a) drop out of a Hope*Circle I was participating in that would have me read a book and discuss it over the next eight weeks. It’s a book I’m eager to read that I think will help give me some clarity on this “calling” thing I’m trying to sort out. However, I am getting a very distinct message that I should b) pick up a devotional written by a friend of mine called, “Just Take a Step.” I’ve been meaning to read it and it’s definitely on my “Books for 2020” pile, I just didn’t think it was my next read. The thought was so loud in my head that I stopped what I was doing and picked it up and started reading the introduction. And there it was. On page five of the introduction, my first answer of the day! What is the difference between a devotional and a bible study? Kathy literally defined it there in black and white for me;
“By devotional, I mean that you can apply the content personally — devotionally — to your own life. By Bible study, I mean that the content examines God’s Word to get to the truth.“Just Take a Step,” by Kathy Widenhouse, introduction page xi
No denying that was an answer to prayer. I had literally posed the question super specifically and there was the answer, unequivocally.
I was in such a great space after receiving that answer that I went ahead and started working through the first chapter of the book — which for a rather narrow set of scriptures is jam-packed with so much good “stuff”!
After my time with the book, I realize I’m feeling tired. I’ve been getting up really early the last few weeks to accomplish a lot of work; reading, writing and introspecting and I’m just feeling tired generally. I could use a day to rest. I toy with not going to church for a few minutes and then discard that idea knowing I get really filled and pumped up from attending. I dutifully get myself ready and we head out. The moment we arrive I’m greeted by friends and I know I am at home and exactly where I belong. Workship starts and I am feeling the words of the music deeply. I am energized and open to the message that’s coming, which is a good thing, seeing how God was about to speak volumes to me.
…to be continued tomorrow