03 October 2011

Fear of Being Found Out!

I have joined an online book club. I don't understand how it will work just yet, but I know I need to be part of this group. God has been showing me a lot lately about myself, revealing the depths of my fear, the pervasiveness of my fear. But just as I started to get overwhelmed by the distance there is to cover to overcome fear, my mom gave me the book Dangerous Wonder about taking risks to live a faith-filled life, guess what topic the first couple chapters touches on? Yup. Fear. Then one of the blogs I follow, (in)courage, announced their fall book club selection - What Women Fear. Are you noticing a trend? I am. I am looking forward to journeying with a community of women, discussing the role of fear in our lives, and hopefully gleaning ideas of how to walk in faith and overcome unhealthy fear.

Maybe this is a crazy idea, but I thought to kick off my journey with the book club, why not write a post about one of my fears. There is one fear that I am having a knock-down, drag-out fight with lately. It also happens to be the sub-title for chapter 3 - Fear of Being Found Out. I haven't read that far yet. Maybe it would advise me not to post in a public for-the-world-to-see forum my fear of being found out. But like I said, I haven't read that far and here I am about to expose myself.

I am afraid of being found out. Being found out as a sham, a fake, an impostor, a flibberty-jibbit, a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins. Worse yet, I fear being found out as unqualified, incapable, insufficient; and the people who thought better of me being left sorely disappointed. The thing is, I am not enough for what is being asked of me - and that is a good thing. Knowing that I really can't do it in my own strength, I have to lean into Christ all the more. That is, when I remember rightly.

As I work through my Bible study, knowing that it will soon be my turn to lead, I wonder what I have to give to the ladies, whether I have what it takes. I don't know my Bible as well as I should. I'm not as faithful and studious as I ought to be, certainly not enough to be a leader. Will the women's ministry leader come up to me afterward the first time I lead and rescind her offer to be part of the leadership?

Even though I feel as though Jesus is amping up a crowd of angles chanting "Do it! Do it!" I want to shrink from the challenge of starting a new growth group at church. "I am not a charismatic person, I can't start something - it will flop."

My fear of being found out really comes alive as I try to answer a series of questions from Micah.
"Why are you interested in working with street kids in a foreign country?" -Because I fully believe God has called me to this particular ministry. That's all I've got and I know it is insufficient - just like me. My answer is insufficient, because I am insufficient. And if I don't come up with a better reasoned, logical, convincing answer to this question, and especially the next one - "What talents, skills or personality traits do you have that will play a key role in your ministry with homeless teens?" - then the director and board are going to find me out. They'll know what I already know deep in my heart, that I don't have what it takes, and I'll be rejected (That's another fear - being rejected. Two fears for the price of one trigger, lovely.) The truth is I do have talents and skills, some that can be used by the ministry; and I do have a personality, albeit a quirky one, but one that seems to be well suited for life at Micah. I could have a two page list of very convincing proofs for my interest in street kids, but the one that really matters, the one that will get me through the difficult times is knowing that God has called me.

The thing is, if I try to prove how capable, competent, and worthy I am of these roles I am going to fail. I cannot do it in my own power. I truly am not enough. But thankfully, graciously, God is enough. Even though I am full of weaknesses, His power is made perfect in weakness. His grace is sufficient for me (2 Cor. 12:9). And if God has called me to these roles, then he will provide the means and ability as well (2 Tim. 1:12).

Amongst my grandmother's things that I looked through after her passing I found this quote, which I wrote down and put on our fridge, I wish I knew where she picked it up:
"The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you."


Anonymous said...

You know, every time I start a new Bible study or position at church or???, I always feel like "what am I doing? I can't do this" The feeling of inadequacy always comes, sometimes in overwhelming ways. It is so true that without God all things are impossible. With God, even though we may fail (and I have) or change direction, it is under the control of our Lord to redirect us train us or find out where our strengths/weaknesses are! He is always faithful to us as we lean on Him and trust Him to take us where He wants us. It is all part of living the faith filled life. The enemy would love to keep us in that place of inadequacy b/c it takes us off the faith grid if we get stuck there. He loves to accuse us so we will focus on us instead of God and His adequacy! So keep exploring as you move forward with God. You will love the life He gives you no matter where it takes you or what is asked of you b/c knowing you are fulfilling the purpose God made you for brings contentment!! You know your picture is on God's "refrigerator" b/c you are so special to Him!! :-)

Beth said...

You take the words right out of my heart. And then put them together more nicely than I could :)