Category Archives: friendships

Inadequate? But God!

Emily Hill is a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God.  She lives in Lacey, WA, and is currently embarking on an exciting new journey into ministry.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak in all four of our weekend services with two other church leaders.  I put my heart fully into what I had prepared because I know that opportunities for me to speak are few and far between, even though this is the call that God has placed on my life.

I was nervous at our Saturday night service, but I had fun.  I told my and God’s stories and shared with the world that my faith looks a little crazy sometimes.  I was the only one of the three of us who came up with five pages of notes.  In Sunday’s three services, I did my best to share this faith story, page after organized page.  The other two speakers shared from their hearts as well, but their stories changed each service.  In one service they would mention something, and then not bring it up in the next.  I wondered…  “Am I boring?  Do I really belong up here?  Are they allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them more than I?”

I felt confident in the words that I spoke, in how I delivered them, and in the consistency of my message.  And yet… those questions nagged at the back of my mind.  Secretly, I wondered if I was inadequate.

A few days later, I got a note in the mail from my pastor.  “Thank you,” it read, “for your consistency.”  He thanked me for doing what I had allowed myself to question.  It was noticed.  It was appreciated.  I was following what God wanted me to do.

When I was a kid, I was that kid who always tweaked the teacher’s projects—instead of making a turkey out of my cut out hand, I made a dog.  I bought the book the teacher was reading to the class so I could read ahead, just to know when the sad parts were coming.  I was different.  I was the teacher’s pet.  The loud mouth.  And yet I often wondered if I was inadequate.  If, perhaps, I acted like another kid, I might get further, be more successful, not be such a nerd.

But God.  That’s my response now.  But God intervened.  I often feel inadequate, but God created me to share His light in a way that is different than everyone else.  I’ll be confronted with the feeling that I’m supposed to follow the crowd, but God says “I have created YOU for a specific purpose.”  I, in my inadequacies, shout out, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor… To proclaim freedom for the captives!”  (Isaiah 61:1)

The next time you feel different, inadequate, not enough…  Remember the strength of the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord upon you.  You have been called to proclaim His good news—HE has anointed you.  Seek hard after God, Sisters.  We may be different or separate, but God!

written by Emily Hill

Emily Hill Photo

 

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Pedestals, Ditches, and Scared Little Girls

Amy Van Pay is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God.  She and her husband are AGUSM Missionaries serving as Chaplains to Triathletes in the area of Boulder, CO.  They have 3 children: Camden-8, Cale-5, and Ainsley-2 months.

Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about my mother-in-law.  She said,  “Every time I see her, her make-up and hair look like it was professionally done.  She always dresses so nicely.  And to be honest, I feel really self-conscious around her.”  Then I began to inform her of why she looks that way; how she is so concerned about her self-image, she can’t help but spend all that time and effort on her appearance.

Isn’t that silly?  Here are two terrific women around the age of 60, longing to be acceptable to the other, oblivious to the fact that they’re not only accepted, they’re put on some kind of pedestal by the other.

Aren’t we all that way a little?  I know in my own life I’ve struggled with this.  I meet someone, make an assessment, and either place them up on a pedestal or throw them in a ditch.  Either they’re a person I feel I have to earn acceptance from, or someone that, well, they’re just a step or two down from me.  It’s not that I don’t like those I put in a ditch.  I just somehow reason that I’ve got this relationship in the bag–nothing to be earned here.  I know.  I’m a jerk.  Maybe you’re one too?

It’s times like these we need to take a few steps back and see ourselves for who we really are much of the time: scared little girls.  Beneath our big deal lives and responsibilities of womanhood, lies a bright-eyed young lady so unsure how she should behave.  By the time she’s put so many on those pedestals, it feels good to put a few in the ditch.  It’s only natural.

Here’s what I’ve observed: it isn’t humility that causes us to hoist others up.  And it isn’t arrogance that makes us put someone down.  In my estimation, there’s one just one little thing in us that’s producing both behaviors: pride.  It’s gotta be.  What else would make us so entirely concerned with ourselves?  When we’re caught up in these so-called assessments, do we ever take the time to consider what we’re doing to that other person?  I’ve been held up high, longing for someone to quit assuming I had all the friends in the world and just care about me for a minute.  I’ve also been thrown to the side, feeling like their relationship with me is some kind of obligation to them.

So, my fellow Smoking Hot (Little Girls) of the A/G, I’d like to propose we all let each other and ourselves off the hook.  Let’s level the playing field and be authentic for a change.  After all, what are we afraid of?  She’s just a scared little girl too.

written by Amy Van Pay

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