I recently applied for a job that honestly scares me. YouthWorks is an organization that conducts mission trips in over 60 US cities, and they need summer staff at each site to lead youth groups and service projects. I applied, did an interview (during which I had a coughing fit and lost my voice), and somehow, got hired! I’m amazed at how God worked this whole thing out, and I’m excited to serve him in this way.
However, if you know me, you know that I’m not a big fan of the unknown (here's an entire post to prove it). I won’t know where I’m going until late spring. Add that to the countless lies satan propels, and my mind starts spinning.
Do ya know the feeling? Maybe you’re even struggling with it right now. Something new or important is coming up, and suddenly all you can think about is what could go wrong. Suddenly, all you feel is inadequate. Suddenly, your worry outweighs your excitement. What’s that all about?! Why are we so good at tensing ourselves up and talking ourselves out of things?
For me, the biggest factor is the feeling of inadequacy. I want things to go perfectly, and because of that, I can be critical of myself to a fault. Welcome to my recent state of mind: “Am I really a leader? Can I build relationships well enough? Was it a mistake that I was hired?” While it’s important to consider details and prepare ourselves for new experiences, such demeaning thoughts only work against us.
We need to replace that mindset with fresh truth. Here are two verses that have been extremely helpful to me recently. Read them slowly and consider the specific truths that stand out to you.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
-2 Corinthians 9:11
God will equip us with everything good and enrich us in every way to generously do his will. That, to me, is a breath of life. When I know God will equip me, suddenly my weakness isn’t the end-all of my joy or effectiveness. Suddenly, I don't have to rely on my own preparation. Suddenly, I have peace about the future. Suddenly, I can be lavishly generous, because God will continue to equip me.
Now, what does this equipping look like? I'm not an expert on the subject, but I think it starts with us looking constantly heavenward. I know from experience that when I go into a situation depending on my own wisdom and preparation, I am quickly frustrated and embarrassed. However, when I go into a situation with a mind that's totally dependent on God, I find a quiet, sustainable strength.
A big part of this is trusting him ahead of time, even when we don't feel totally prepared. Much of his equipping occurs in the moment; some of it occurs at the last second. Learning to be ok with that is hard, but it's an exercise in trust.
Next time you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of self-doubt, I hope you’ll remember these verses and truths. Don’t let your worry outweigh your excitement. Don’t let your insecurities outweigh God’s promise to equip you. He will point you in the right direction and work mightily through your total reliance on him.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Hello! I'm Anna, a college student living in the Midwest. I'm a strong believer in uncontrollable laughter, powerful words, and a morning cup of coffee. I pray these posts will encourage you to live a full life with and for God: unhindered. Look forward to new posts every Monday morning!