I remember back in fourth grade a speech therapist came to my classroom, called my name, and pulled me out of class. I remember going into her office and the very FIRST word she asked me to say I said incorrectly. “Can you say the word ‘animal’ for me?” “AM-inal,” I quickly repeated. “No say ‘AN-imal.” “AMM-inal,” I said as my heart began to get anxious knowing that my lips and mouth were not capable of producing the word she wanted me to say. She quickly pulled out a mirror, held it in front of my face, and told me to watch how I was saying the word incorrectly. I struggled to say it and as I kept trying, it defeated me every time.
Words, grammar, speaking, and writing do not come easy for me. English was probably my hardest subject and where I struggled the most in school. BUT even in my weakness it has become a great love of mine.
There is a speaker and writer in me, but the enemy is constantly in my head to defeat me. The place where we have the greatest struggle and most opposition can be where our greatest calling lies. I’ll be completely real and vulnerable to say that I’m so weak. I struggle with writing daily. Sometimes it takes me an entire day to sit in my room and get out on paper what God is speaking to my heart. It’s a battle to put sentences together properly and say phrases correctly. I frequently mispronounce words and have to stop and consciously think about what I am trying to say. I get frustrated with myself. I’m often ashamed and embarrassed. But I can honestly say that through this process God has grown me and taught me so much. It’s been a journey of learning to rely completely on HIM and not on myself. It’s a place of total and complete surrender knowing that I can’t do it without HIM. Sometimes I feel like there is so much in me that I want to get out but fear overwhelms me. The enemy whispers lies that magnify my weaknesses. My flesh wants to retreat and not step into the fullness that God has for me. BUT I remember that in my weakness He makes me strong. That I am HIS daughter and He loves me. He is for me and not against me.
I get so much encouragement from the life of Moses. He pleaded with the Lord, “I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled” (Exodus 4:10). But then God steps in and replies, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now GO! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say” (Exodus 4:11). Ultimately, God is in control of everything. One thing I am learning is that I am not defined by my weaknesses, nor am I defined by my struggles. Rather, God takes my weaknesses and redefines them. Like Moses, I fight making excuses for the desires in my heart because I don’t feel good enough. I had to start speaking and believing that I AM a speaker even though I struggle with English. I AM a nurse even though nursing school was the hardest thing I’ve had to walk through. I AM a leader even though I am fearful to fully step out and lead. You don’t have to be qualified for the thing God has set in your heart. All you have to do is believe in who He is. He is all you need. Let go of yourself and embrace the process.
Do you have a love or calling on your life that you feel completely inadequate for? Does it contain more of your weaknesses than it does your strengths? Be encouraged. That desire inside you is purposed by God and He wants to use it to His absolute fullness. Step out in FAITH and trust not in yourself but completely in Him. Your struggle may be the testimony that changes someone’s life while at the same time producing something so great in you.