Will I ever be enoug
Body,  Mind,  Soul

Will I ever be enough?

As you probably know, I recently gave this blog a bit of a makeover to look much more like the blog I have been dreaming about for years. I was procrastinating and talking about it for so long that my brother-in-law eventually gave me a one-week deadline to start a blog and send my first post to his inbox.

One week to start from scratch! I had no domain name, no hosting, no idea what the difference was between WordPress and Blogger, etc. etc. It was a steep learning curve but being the diligent rule-follower that I am, I made the deadline at 7 pm on the Saturday the blog post was “due”. Even though it wasn’t quite “ready” yet I was very proud of the fact that I had finally put it out there in the virtual universe.

Now, as I admire my handiwork after the remodel, I am left wondering what took me so long. Why did I keep putting it off year after year?

My sister shared a podcast with me recently. It is a discussion between highly successful online entrepreneurs with seven-figure businesses and worldwide acclaim. One speaker (Amy) admits how she has allowed her body image to prevent her from doing many projects or making specific content because she felt like she wasn’t thin enough.

Hearing this online marketing mogul admitting that something so small had robbed her of precious opportunities, was a real eye-opener for me.

I am her! (Not the gazillionaire part, unfortunately).

I gave myself many reasons/excuses why I wasn’t ready to start a blog – I didn’t have the right name, or the right niche or I didn’t know how… But the truth was (and still is) I believed I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, or photogenic enough to do something like this. When I look good in photographs I will do it. When I am at goal weight I will look more professional. When I have achieved all my dreams I will be more qualified to write to others. When I have it all figured out, then others will trust me to listen to what I have to say.

This has been a recurring pattern in my life. I often find myself in a situation where I have been entrusted with responsibility or a big project and I feel very ill-equipped. I have stood in front of large choirs and on important stages while feeling this deep fear that I am going to let everyone down. I will fail miserably and, in the process, disappoint EVERYONE.

Yet I soldier on and give my utmost best, and in the end, I look back and see all the flaws and failures and shortcomings, instead of the wonderful success. I am a textbook case of impostor syndrome. I doubt myself and my (God-given) talents and feel like an unqualified fraud which overshadows any success I might have achieved.

I work so hard, and achieve so much, and yet in my own eyes, I will never be enough.

The podcast made me realize that this must stop. I need to start seeing myself through God’s eyes – the only perception that matters.

The heroes in the Bible do not seem very qualified when you take the time to study their whole story.

Abraham was too old. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Moses had a stuttering problem. Rahab was a prostitute. David had an affair and was a murderer. Peter denied Christ. Paul persecuted Christians. (Just to name a few.)

In 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Apostle Paul tells the congregation that God didn’t call the wise, the powerful or those of noble birth. Instead, he chose the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

Everything we are and have is because of Jesus Christ and should be used to honour and glorify his name. So, we have no reason to brag about our own abilities.

Ephesians 2:10

Later, Paul explains in Corinthians 12:4-7 that we each have different gifts and are called in different ways to serve the Lord, but all of these are from the same God and will grow in us through the same Spirit. “It is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

God calls ordinary people, instills in us raw talents and skills, and calls us to do the seemingly impossible things. If you submit your body, heart, and soul as an instrument to the Lord he can accomplish extraordinary things. Our accomplishments and competence come from God alone (2 Corinthians 3:5). Apart from him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

I spent my first year of university at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. I stayed in one of a female residence while studying for my second choice degree due to a clerical error at the university. It was a very tough time in my life. During the first few weeks of orientation, the senior residence ladies did all sorts of team building/life skills activities with us freshmen. During one of these activities, we were seated in a circle and had to answer a few questions. I only remember one of them: “What are you most afraid of?” I had no idea what my answer was, but when another girl answered that she feared failure the most, I felt the tears burning from my throat and threatening to leak through my eyes. That was it! She enunciated what has been living deep, deep down in my heart for as long as I can remember: I am petrified that I will fail and be a failure! The worst thing that can happen to me is to disappoint everyone around me.

That was many moons ago. Since then I have been assigned to many qualifications, tasks, and projects that I could have failed miserably. But God didn’t allow it. He has been by my side every step of the way. If only that young lady knew what lay ahead.

Graduation photo

When God entrusts us with a calling or writes a talent in our hearts, he will give us the strength to make a success of it if we submit ourselves to him. It might not look the way we want it to, but that’s what submitting means – letting go of our idea of the outcome and accepting whatever our Heavenly Father has in store for us.

1 Thessalonians 5:24

God will “equip you with every good thing to do His will.” In this way, He will “accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 13:21

Every time I get on a rostrum (podium), I remember a youth service where I was conducting the choir in the early days. I was quite proud of the hard work I had put in and was sure that I had done enough preparation to make a success of the occasion. It was a total flop! I learned a hard lesson that day: I can do nothing; everything comes from God through the Holy Spirit. I am not talented enough; I am not skilled and educated enough. I am merely an instrument in God’s hands.

It is no easy task to be called by God. It takes endurance during sorrow and suffering, hard work, sleepless nights, understanding, patience, and kindness. Paul even admits that we will be regarded as impostors, but we carry on through “the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and the power of God” (2 Corinthians 6:3-13).

God will give you grace “so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8.)

There has been wide speculation about the “thorn in the flesh” that Paul asked God to remove. But God told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Instead of being disappointed and angry at God, Paul boasts about his weakness and he could say with confidence “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 12:9-10)

2 Timothy 1:7

God works in you for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). That should fill us with confidence in our task. (Hebrews 10:35) When he calls us for his good works, he will complete it (Philippians 1:6).

Therefore, when you stand in front of an impossible task, whether it is conducting, writing, teaching, parenting, or even just getting through the workday, do not fear.

Joshua 1:9

I will probably never be enough in the eyes of the world. I will never be clever enough, pretty enough, talented enough or equipped enough for the tasks my God calls me to do, but I can be sure that if I submit all of myself to him, the Holy Spirit can use me as an instrument to do extraordinary things!

The song I chose as the backdrop for this post is a very special one for me. I loved the Greatest Showman movie, but when I heard this version by Pink and her daughter I cried large tears. I imagined singing this song with my daughter one day. It wasn’t written as a religious song but it’s all a matter of perspective 😉

Every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make

One Comment

  • Hantie

    I never realized that you felt ill equipped for any task, let alone a choir conductor. I sang in various choirs, even in a recording choir and never experienced the encouragement, appreciation and Godly up liftment I experienced when singing with you. You carried us to heaven and back. Out of the hundreds that worked with you all agreed to it: Surely you will take the choir when we sing the New Song!

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