Self-confidence has limited potential. God-confidence has unlimited possibility. – Renee Swope
At the time this article is published, I’ll either be sitting in the London Heathrow airport, be on a flight to Glasgow, or be in a car traveling the four hours it takes to get to a small village in the Scottish highlands that will serve as my home for the next 16 days. Earlier this year, I applied to be a short-term missionary to Scotland to assist a family there with their church plant. Since I received the email acceptance, I’ve been through a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve been excited, nervous, frantic (especially when I determined one of my suitcases was oversized) and sometimes downright giddy.
Lately though, the planner in me has started to panic. For a little over two weeks, I will have zero control over anything: food (no Diet Dr. Pepper – GAH!), schedule, sleeping arrangements, nothing. I have a general idea of what I will be doing while I’m there, but the specifics are a little fuzzy. As a result, I feel completely unprepared. In the midst of a mini-meltdown about this, at just the right time, a good friend texted me.
I started off with “What if I get there and am completely ineffective at whatever they need me to help with?” I quickly moved to expressing my doubt about my abilities with anything related to God and how humbled I feel to have been given this opportunity and how I feel so unworthy. I then ended with “Can you do a bad job on a mission trip?” He graciously and patiently talked me through everything until I eventually came around to the idea that maybe feeling inadequate is the point of it all. Maybe it’s when we feel inadequate that we become completely reliant on God and he’s able to work through us more effectively.
One of my favorite musicals is The Sound of Music. Maria, the main character, a postulant and overall troublemaker, has been told to spend some time outside of the abbey to discern whether or not she really wants to be a nun. She is sent to the Von Trapp family as their new governess. While traveling there, she breaks out into song to express doubt in her ability to be governess to seven children. After tentatively expressing her doubts in song, she comes around and triumphantly sings that she has confidence in herself. While I think that it’s good to be confident, I must caution against misplaced confidence in myself as it can cause pride which not only distances me from God but also causes me to lose sight of his power.
So after distressing about being out of my comfort zone, I’m coming around to be at peace with what God has planned for me while I’m in Scotland. I’ve had a chat with God and said that even though I don’t feel ready for this trip, I will do my best to rely on his strength while I’m there–especially when someone asks me if I want to try haggis because it’s bound to happen. And yes, I will try it and yes, Kristen, if you’re reading this, I will try and remember to get a video of it. This is my theme verse for at least the next few weeks.
“ ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
Please pray for me as I embark on the adventure that God has prepared for me and that I would be open to his leading and how he’s going to grow me.
In what area of your life do you need to throw away the confidence you have in yourself and replace it with confidence in Christ’s power?