Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Feeling Inadequate.


I'm leading a small women's retreat this weekend. 

It feels weird to even type that out. My friend Brittany (who played basketball for me and was my assistant coach with JV) is a senior at NC State University and president of the Christian sorority there. They have a retreat for their executive board at the beginning of each school year right before they welcome their new members.

Brittany asked me to lead it and my first thought was - wait, how old am I? She's 21...am I not just 22 still? No? 25? Really? Well then.

(I'm stuck at 22 in my head. I don't know when that feeling will go away. I'll keep you posted.)

My second thought was yay! Another awesome opportunity! Thank You, Lord! So I responded with a "yes!" after I talked to Jordan of course and received his encouragement.

Then came my third thought....what in the WORLD am I doing?
And I had a mental panic attack. A huge sense of inadequacy. I tried to think of all the reasons I'm qualified to do this: I just worked at camps with girls that age, I've led multiple Bible studies, it's not that big of a group, I help Jordan lead our youth group, I've coached girls for years, blah blah blah. Didn't help.

Because guess what? None of that matters! 

I'm feeling inadequate because I AM inadequate.

The awesome thing is that I serve a Savior who is absolutely, completely beyond adequate. I will never be fully prepared or feel "worthy" to teach His Word to others. I fail Him daily. But He showers me with grace

I claim this amazing passage of Scripture:

 "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

You know how people always say, "God will never give you more than you can handle." 

That statement is misleading and NOT accurate. It is commonly taken from 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises us we will not be tempted beyond what we are able to withstand - there is always a way of escape from temptation.

God will and has absolutely given me more than I can handle many, many times. 

Things that have brought me to my knees or even to my face on the ground crying with no words. No way to humanly express the hurt, the pain, the frustration other than just repeating over and over, "I can't. I just can't."

Because I truly can't handle it as a broken, sinful human. But...JESUS can. The HOLY SPIRIT can. 

God will never give me more than HE can handle.

God will never assign me a task that He won't equip me to do for His glory. Through His strength. Since I have been redeemed and have surrendered my life to Christ, I have the power of the Holy Spirit in me! Ahhh! That brokenness and sinfulness has been replaced with Jesus' power and righteousness.

Just thinking about that makes me want to jump for joy! I have seen it proven over and over. So that's the promise I rest in every day. He must increase, I must decrease. (John 3:30)

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13 (I bet you've heard that one before.)

I still struggle with inadequacy (obviously) but that's the wonderful thing about having a relationship with God. I can read His Word and be reminded of His promises to me. I can pour my heart out to Him and be comforted, knowing I have the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) I can talk to other older, wiser believers about it. I can look at godly examples and see that they struggle with the same thing and look to Jesus as their strength.

I love how Beth Moore literally gets on her knees and prays, giving her sessions to the Lord right before she speaks. You better believe that's what I'll be doing this weekend!



*Disclaimer - that is a cardboard cutout of Beth Moore. At her conference. Haha.*

Ashley

7 comments:

  1. So encouraging and good to remember. I really needed to read that today. Thank you for sharing this Ashley! :)

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    1. This encouraging insight has brought tears to my eyes as I too struggle with inadequacy issues. knowing that I can do nothing of myself but for the Grace of God. at the beginning of this year God called me to an amazing task in dealing with women going through separation and divorce issues and I was so afraid to do it because that meant that I would have to open up and share my own personal story. By faith with all my trust in Him I started this ministry and it is a blessing to me and all the women involved. So I will say to any woman who feels that God is calling you to a specific ministry, just Trust him to show Himself strong through you.

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  2. This is so beautifully well-written. I am working on my Masters degree to teach and have recently been doubting myself. This was a great reminder that we are called because of what God sees in us, even if we can't always see it ourselves. Thank you.

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  3. Love this post, Ashley. I definitely have feelings of inadequacy all the time - and I know that those are the times I really need to look to scripture more!

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  4. Ashley, you are amazing. This post is so beautiful, as are all of your reflections on your relationship with God. You and I are pretty different young women, but ever since I discovered your blog I always read it faithfully because I know I'll learn to think about something differently and that you'll deliver that knowledge in a sensitive, beautiful way. I know this may not be something you believe in, but I hope you don't mind me saying that the church and Christians everywhere would benefit from having leaders like you preaching, praying, and discerning on behalf of the community. Either way, I hope you keep it up in your blog :) God bless you.
    -Mickey

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  5. You, sweet girl, are the hands and feet of Jesus....Go make HIM famous!!

    Cannot wait to hear how YOU are blessed!

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  6. this is SO good. like have me goose bumps at one point good. you are such an encouragement to me! I am praying this all went well for you and that God seriously used you! I know He did :) you you you!

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