Getting Equipped

(Wherein I confess some arrogance and try not to be too defensive.  Also, part of me wants to unpack a whole "seasons" lesson here and talk about winter tunring to spring, but something tells me you've heard that one before.)

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When adults confide in and look to you for advice from the age of five it kind of messes with your mind.  It did mine anyway.  I grew up with an awareness of my intelligence that wasn’t necessarily fostered in a healthy way and as a result I totally took it for granted and misused it. 

I got by in school doing as little work as possible.  I would skip classes, not do work and then ace tests to bring my failing grades up to barely passing.  I wrote senior themes when I was a freshman for fifty bucks a pop.  I dropped out of high school halfway through my senior year.  I missed out on a ton of learning and wisdom because I rarely respected or listened to adults at all. 

Also since I was little bitty, I knew Jesus.  I don’t have a great explanation for that really.  Church was not a huge part of my childhood, but somehow He had been around, we had been talking since before I started kindergarten.  (Certainly there were times when my head didn’t know He was there, or chose not to acknowledge Him, but my heart it seems has always known Him.)          

So I was this kind of arrogant kid with some awareness of giftings but no real words or concepts to fit that idea.  (I don’t know what I would have called them at the time; I think I just thought I was really awesome.)  Over the years I had a few teachers who encouraged me and spoke into my life about the special abilities and talents they saw in me, but I never really learned to steward my gifts, because unfortunately I never really saw my intelligence, ability to soak up information like a sponge and communicate well as gifts from Him. 

Now, as an adult who is aware that I was given these gifts for a purpose and have a calling on my life, all of this arrogance and these missteps have led to feelings of inadequacy, fear and doubt.  (Way to go enemy, you have almost successfully taken something God put in me for good and totally turned it against me.)  I have wrestled with myself and God repeatedly about whether or not I am totally disqualified from helping others in any way by my lack of education.  My life is more like a “how not to” than a “how to”.  I argue with myself about stepping into any kind of leadership for fear that it will either completely reveal what a fool I am or lead to more arrogance and self reliance.  I said to someone recently that I hear God all the time, I just don’t always listen.  (Jeez, that sounds awful).  It’s true though; too often I let fear and doubt guide my steps when I should be letting Him direct my path

Something great about this free and getting free-er thing, I’ve begun to trust Him more.  I’ve listened more and started taking steps in the direction He has for me.  Not that I am jumping straight into any leadership roles, there is plenty of growth that needs to happen, but my willingness to grow is well… growing.  So I am jumping straight into getting equipped and educated.  I’m working on getting into college and in the meantime grabbing hold of every other resource available.  The Bible is pretty helpful.  And Gateway offers all kinds of classes, Equip, Freedom, Financial Stewardship, you name it.  (By the way if you’ve seem me sitting on the front row staring intently, it’s not a teachers pet thing, it’s because my eyesight is terrible.)  There are plenty of oppurtunities to learn really, as long as I'm open to growth and change.  

The thing is, shifting my perspective has put my hope, faith and focus on Him and taken it off of me. (Can I get a woohoo?!)  He has been kind enough to put some extremely intelligent, wise, helpful people in my adult life.  Thankfully in addition to Freedom, He has given me a few lessons in humility and helped me submit to great leadership.  Letting go of fear and doubt and letting Him be in charge means walking down this path.  And leaving behind the baggage of self loathing and self reliance makes the walk a whole lot easier.  This next season of my life seems headed in a direction that I would have run from in the past, instead I am ripe with excitement to see Him work and expectation of His greatness. Woohoo!? Indeed.

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4 Comments to “Getting Equipped”

  1. I appreciate your confession…and your gifts…I wonder what Jesus is up to now with you….hmmm

  2. Thanks so much!! I’m thinkin’ it’s Freedom related, vocational or not 🙂 loved the message this week. Serving wherever I can while I’m Listening and getting equipped- If the Freedom Ministry Dept needs a volunteer let me know 🙂

  3. Love this, Amber. I’m with you–there’s always SOMETHING we can be learning… even if it’s not in what we’d normally think is our area of interest! love that about life– we can grow as much as we are willing to…

  4. Thanks Liz! So glad you can relate~ Here’s to growing!

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