Conference season is in the air and on the calendar, and if you’re a writer or blogger attending one, you might find yourself looking at others and seeing what you are not…or rather, what you think you are not. And if you’re a writer or blogger not attending a conference, you might look through your computer screen and still feel small in all the wrong ways. And if you’re not a writer or blogger but a human breathing air, you’ve surely struggled with comparison stealing your confidence in one form or another.
Let me just tell you one thing: I get it, sister. I really do.
I move quickly towards the bathroom, the only place offering solitude in the whole house. I’ve managed genuine smiles all day while keeping the tears in, but I can’t do it anymore. I’m only walking but I breathe heavy as I shut the bathroom door. I clamp my hand to my mouth but the sobs come fast and hard and there’s nothing to do but let ‘em go.
“You are completely ridiculous,” I say to myself, exasperated. “Get a grip!”
And that’s when I hear the quiet knock accompanying a gentle, “Kristen? Are you okay?”
Oh heavens. There’s no hiding any longer.
The setting for my meltdown was Hilton Head, the place where I was spending a much-anticipated weekend with writers who’ve become genuine friends. Generally, I am very comfortable around other women, even women I don’t know. I move eager to begin conversations and listen to their stories. But sometimes, I do not trust that my own stories hold up to the same interest. So in this glorious beach house with windows from ceiling to floor, I feel like every writing and blogging insecurity jumped straight through my computer screen and stands in full view for all to see.
Now let me be clear: Nobody inside the beach house ever made me feel this way. Ever. But I don’t need anyone else to suggest I’m not up to par. I am my own worst critic, off and running with the enemy’s dreadful lies.
So when on this occasion I find myself in a room full of women who aren’t just good but excellent at what they do, I am overwhelmed by my own smallness, all that I am not.
I slowly open the bathroom door and see kind faces wrapped in concern. I smile weakly and the words just tumble out,
“I don’t belong here. I’m the biggest. mess. ever. and not a good enough writer.”
I mean it.
Arms and prayers find themselves around me and before long, a fresh perspective of who I am in Christ does too. But I’m not gonna lie: It’s a fight to keep my confidence.
I wonder if the same is true for you, if you’ve ever felt you didn’t belong or just weren’t good enough? You see the other women at your workplace or the moms at PTO and believe they have their act together while you fumble all ridiculous and small? Ya. Me too.
Feeling small isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. But when our mind travels from small street to the corner of Unworthy and Untalented, we have arrived in a dangerous part of town. We are small because of our great God, not because of great people. People are all the same in that we all need Jesus to bridge the miles between us and God. A smaller me leaves space for God to dish out his bigger, better plans for me. And wrapped in those tailor-made plans for each of us is an abundance of talent and smarts He graciously gives, all useful in His kingdom plans.
The other day, I read afresh Colossians 2:10,
“…and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
We have been given fullness in Christ. Today, we are already complete. We are worthy enough and talented enough and just plain enough. I repeat this to myself over and over and eventually the devil static fades into the distance. It is then I find confidence and security with where God has me today.
Just like you, I have heart desires and soul dreams I want to birth. Some may need to be laid to rest on altars while others spring to glorious life. Either way, I will rally behind His plans for me rather than raise a roadblock. If God is for me, who can be against me?
May it not be me.
(This post is an edited re-post.)
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