Evidently the Lord decided my character needed tweaking. Did it hurt? You bet! Not physically, but down deep within my heart. In my mid-twenties I discovered I could use my administration and organization skills to benefit my church. Planning trips for women to attend conferences were part of my duties. I loved attending conferences and hearing stories of how God was at work in the lives of other women. I’d leave encouraged, enlightened and ready to take on the world. One day, shortly after attending a conference, I began to dream. I envisioned me becoming a speaker to women’s groups, traveling the countryside, sharing insights from God’s word and sharing my life in Christ; the good, the bad and the ugly. My dream was face-to-face encouragement. Never, ever, not even for a moment, did I think I would share through words, through writing and through a technology, I still don’t grasp. I couldn’t put 5 words together and make sense, it was awful.
As a part of my leadership involvement in Community Bible Study, I had the joy of attending a mini-retreat this past week. During lunch, one of the participants at my table asked each of us, “What do you do for fun?” When it came time for me to answer, I was stumped. What do I do for fun, I thought? One of the gals, knowing I wrote blogs, said with a huge smile of encouragement, “Sandra, you are a writer… you do that for fun”. “Without a moment’s hesitation or thought, I replied “Yes, but that’s not fun.” Where that answer came from, I’m not quite sure; for I do find great enjoyment in blogging. Her eyes now revealing a hint of confusion, she responded, “You have a gift for words, I would think writing would be fun for you.” Bless her heart, my friend had no idea the thoughts her comment set in motion. The conversation moved on to another person, whew… eventually, I answered, “I do genealogy for fun”. And for the next few minutes I shared my love of finding clues, being a detective and uncovering the truth in a person’s past.
All the rest of that day and on into the next my denial of joy in writing and my friends comment, “You have a gift words” created an uneasiness within. What I love about genealogy is the same character trait which thrills me about studying the Bible. I’ve a great passion for reading and studying the word of God, digging in finding those hidden truths and sharing them with others. Through my blogging I’m blessed, beyond belief, to have the opportunity to share my discoveries. Alongside my spiritual discoveries I share my life too. I share my journey as a Christian woman living a surrendered life with Jesus as the lead. The question which now needed answering, “Why, oh why, is it so hard for me to acknowledge to others, to utter the words, I love writing, I’m a writer, or, that I have a gift with words?”
I took my question to the one who can answer me best, the Lord. As we chatted through prayer, one word was being revealed, just one. Confidence, you ask? No, not confidence. The reason I struggle is belief. Yep, the word God brought to mind was belief. I do not believe the gift, the ability, which God has manifested in me, is real. Ouch! When I shrug off a compliment received by another with regards to my writing, when a person encourages me to write a book, or I downplay a conversation where a friend says to someone, “You would enjoy reading her blog, she’s a good writer”, I’m discounting God’s gift. I’m making God less than he is. In essence I take his precious gift and place it on the dung heap. My heart ached and tears flowed as the depth of my hurtful actions towards God took root in revelation. Trying to lessen the blow I said, “I don’t want to be prideful, Lord”.
It wasn’t about pride. Pride is taking credit for your skill leaving God out of the picture. Bringing honor and glory to the Lord is when he receives the credit for one’s abilities. Pride in self-abilities is all about one’s ego. Acknowledging God given abilities, in essence taking pride in God’s accomplishment through you, gives him honor and glory. It’s not humility either, as downplaying God given abilities and giftedness is not the actions of a humble person. A humble person acknowledges with a thankful heart and great joy the wonderful work God is accomplishing through her.
God endows each of us with skills and abilities? These abilities help us accomplish that which we inherently know, we could not do, without them? It’s okay to take some ownership by way of partnership. Give God praise honor and glory for all he’s doing. Be confident in knowing God is accomplishing his desires through you.
I’m a writer. I do have a gift with words. I don’t say this with any sense of self-pride or prideful confidence. This moment is probably the 1st time I’ve said, I have a gift with words, with any conviction. It’s exactly where the Lord wants me, doing what I’m doing, for his glory. Thank you, Lord, for the gift and privilege to encourage others through the written word.
Until next time,