Last week, I had the privilege of attending She Speaks, a conference for Christian women interested in developing their speaking and writing skills. In the days leading up to the trip, I had several very late nights as I furiously worked to complete a book proposal and sample chapter. The conference offered a writing track and a speaking track. If you were crazy enough, you could take advantage of both. Apparently I am crazy enough. This meant that in addition to a book proposal … think high school term paper… I needed to prepare a five-minute presentation. Email exchanges from my soon-to-be met critique group revealed that some participants had been working on this presentation for weeks. I was hoping to look at mine on the plane ride, if I could stay awake with the lull of an airplane engine after so many late nights.
I was one of 732 women attending the conference. On some levels, it was an amusing collection of ladies. Everyone was trying to put her best foot (meaning new shoes, manicured toes, etc) forward while at the same time being in a surprisingly vulnerable state. There was something about being there that made you feel exposed. Being at the conference meant that you had a desire or a dream or a hope that no longer remained silent.
Ironically, almost every woman I came in contact with expressed this same feeling of vulnerability.
It did not matter how long someone had been writing or speaking, from novice to expert, everyone at some point had experienced a sense that she wanted to be used by the Lord but must be crazy to think she could be used.
If everyone feels that way, then I propose that we should no longer allow that feeling of inadequacy to delay us from taking a step forward. That feeling is certainly not there as a warning to protect you from something too big for you to accomplish, since everyone shares the same internal knot of doubt. If that were the case, no one would ever be used of the Lord. If you have examined your motives and you have a desire that is beyond selfish ambition, then I encourage you to acknowledge you are in good company. Very few people have accomplished great things for God without feeling totally inept. If you feel inept, love the Lord, and have a gift God has given you that is buried somewhere in the back of your mind. I encourage you to jump into this unsettling adventure with me. As Michael Hyatt reminded us in the keynote, “There is no failure. Only learning.” What do you long to do?