Just this morning I had a conversation with a woman who is called, but she’s afraid to say it out loud. I know how that feels! This year I’ve tackled the biggest learning curve of my life in writing and releasing my first book.
Not only was it challenging professionally, but it was daunting spiritually. At every turn I wondered, “Can I really do this? Did I hear God correctly? What in the world was I thinking to agree to this?”
I battled fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, insecurity, and comparison. Sometimes I God provided the power to overcome, gut lots of times I felt like I was losing the fight.
I’m guessing… just guessing… but I don’t think I’m the only one that struggles with confidence in her calling and her abilities. The fact that Next Step blog has so many followers but so few commenters tells me that there’s a silent crowd out there wondering if you can just sneak in and listen without having to actually say, “I’m a speaker.”
I know how it feels to just want to hide. The year I joined the Proverbs 31 speaker team I went to a national conference of women’s ministry leaders, and lots of them asked me, “What do you do?” I’d blush and shuffle my feet and squirm, and then I’d mutter under my breath, “I speak.” I was so afraid somebody was going to hear me and then respond, “No you don’t!!”
I reverted to whispering, “I’m an author” this year, but I’m working through it! One of the ways I always learn something new is to teach what I’m learning, so I led a breakout at She Speaks this year called “How to Walk in Your Calling When Your Confidence is Crashing.” I’m going to share lots of that content with you in the next few weeks.
Are you in the silent crowd? This series is for you!
Are you in a season with a huge learning curve? It’s for you too!
Are you called to mentor and lead? It’s for you to share with all the women around you who need encouraging!
This week I wanted to introduce the series and leave you with one little tidbit of hope. (Next week we’ll launch into the practical tips.) When I was in college, I went to a lecture with my education class led by T. Berry Brazelton. Dr. Brazelton was a pediatrician and an expert in child development. We future teachers sat on the edge of our seat for his advice.
Even though that was 20 years ago, one of the truths he shared stuck with me. He explained that before leaps in development, children will often digress. For example, before a child walks, he might stop sleeping through the night. Before she’s potty trained, she may start sucking her thumb again, etc. A big leap is preceded by falling back a few steps.
After studying the ministry path I’ve been on over the past 15 years, I think the same has been true of me. Before God opens a new door or expands opportunity, I go through a time of wrestling and struggle. Sometimes it even extends into the time immediately after.
I’ll talk more about what that’s looked like for me in the next few weeks, but here’s what I want to leave you with today. Are you struggling? Do you feel like your confidence has crashed, ignited, and burned? Have you taken five steps back?
Here’s some hope. Maybe, just maybe God is up to something. Maybe He’s strengthening your faith in the struggle. Maybe He’s refining your character in the fire. Maybe He’s giving you a new skill in the fight of your life.
Maybe, just maybe He’s preparing you for a leap forward.
Hold on to that today as a shred of hope. Even if you can only whisper it, name your calling out loud, and determine today to walk in it.