But are YOU ready?
This very question has plagued me for the last four weeks as my husband has accepted the call to lead our church as the senior pastor. I’ve heard the question come in the form of love, several times, over and over.
I’ve also heard it maybe once or twice seasoned, only lightly seasoned, with doubt and skepticism. For the few doubters, know…I am with you. I am my biggest critic, my own worst enemy.
This question has maybe been lurking in the shadows for me for a long time.
For weeks I have panicked and prayed, prayed and panicked. Feeling consumed by the fear and doubt that I may not be ready enough.
In my prayers, I have panicked: God, am I ready? And I have pleaded: God, please make me ready.
In my unbelief it is so easy to panic and let the questions and the doubt lurking in the shadows consume me. I am humanly wired to let the voice of my sinful heart overshadow what God says is really true about me from his Word. But oh, The Lord is at work in this girl from total darkness and I’ve been battling my unbelief long enough to know that nothing quiets the doubt better than the Word of the Lord.
When I find myself turning to the Word and letting truth cover the questions lurking in the shadows I find rest. I have found that there is nothing more powerful than God’s Word to cover the worries, the fear and the doubt.
In the promises from scripture, I find silence from the voices and the Light makes those lurking shadows seem to disappear.
After a long time of laboring over my insecurities with prayer… It hit me like a ton of bricks one day while I was sweeping up the many crumbs from under our kitchen table.
I am not ready at all.
I don’t have to be ready. God has called my husband and I to live this part of our story in this place and in this time and His calling is enough.
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
In the spaces where I am lacking readiness, God is giving me faith. Faith that God has called me to be worthy enough to be next to my husband in this next chapter. God is not calling me to perfection, He is calling me to depend on Him. Even in my unreadiness God is taking my hand, commanding me not to fear because He will help me. All that is required of me is simply dependence.
God does not require me to be ready. Ah, it sounds so nice to write that down. God only requires me to faithfully depend on him.
As a woman of faith, I can come before God bringing him nothing. God accepts me in my unreadiness. He clothes me, He loves me, He sets my feet on dry and stable ground.
I think of when Moses did not feel ready to go to Pharaoh and ask him to let the Israelites go back to the promised land. He even expressed his unreadiness to God.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” But God said, “But I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:11)
When I look back at my life I’ve never been completely ready for the things God has prepared for me: I’ve never been ready for anything else before.
I wasn’t ready to go to college. But God was with me and I grew. I cried hard tears. I learned. I fell. I made mistakes. But the whole time, God was with me, drawing me to Himself.
I wasn’t ready to be a teacher for the first time. I thought I was, I was credentialed enough but, looking back now, those at risk students in that city school taught me more than I ever could have taught them.
Even with all of the marriage counseling we had I was not fully ready for marriage. But God has covered our unreadiness with love and grace.
And Lord knows, I was never ready to be a parent four different times in five years. Most days I feel like I’m sinking, barely clinging on to the new mercies that come every morning.
God has been holding my hand, helping me, loving me and giving me what I needed all along the way.
I am not ready.
I am thankful that the church is one of the only places, that I can confidently yell from the rooftops, I am not ready for everything that may cross my path this week, this month or this year.
I am thankful for a God who calls the unready and the unable. I am glad he holds the hand and helps those who say like Moses, but who am I?
God has answered me in my pleading and my panicking. He has answered me by showing me I am not ready to do this by myself but I have the hand of a Great God helping me.
In my unbelief I have found truth, comfort and depending peace to cover the voices and the questions lurking in the dark shadows.
God is the One who does the calling, I will try to walk in belief that I know what He is up to.
“I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)