February 21, 2010

In which God is bigger than my personality

At bible study last week we were looking at Acts chapter 3 and 4. We discussed how Gods spirit worked in the disciples They were able to stand up for their faith, they could explain what they believed when they were questioned, they healed a man. We wondered if we expected God to work through us.

I was honest. I said no. In theory I know that 'of course God can work through me'. But I also don't believe he will. I don't think I'm good enough for God to work through. I don't think my faith is strong enough for God to work through me. I don't think I'm brave enough for God to be able to work through me.
Our leader challenged me. "It sounds like you are you are letting your personality control your view of God, rather than letting God control your personality."

I struggle with self worth. I often doubt my ability in everything. I especially doubt that I am worth anything to the people around me. I constantly feel I need to do things to be worthy of friendship and acceptance by people around me. I know in theory this is not true, but the struggle is there and it's real and it's a constant battle. It has taken me many years and even professional help to come as far as I have.

I include God in this. I often wonder if my faith is strong enough for God to love me. Instead of remembering that God did everything, and I can do nothing to deserve his love, I keep thinking that God can not love me, can not use me unless I work to earn his love. And nothing I do is ever good enough.

Which is true. But the greater, more amazing thing is that there is nothing I can do to make God love me more. He already cares for me as much as is possible. He already has a plan for my life, that will glorify him.
As hard as it is for me to believe it, God wants to use me - me, just as I am; the imperfect girl that I am.

All night I had those thoughts running through my head. Maybe God really is bigger than my personality, maybe he can use me for his glory even when I don't think I have anything to offer.
The thing I said at the Bible study that I didn't think even God could use me for was to explain face-to-face to someone what I believe, what faith in God is. I knew I wouldn't even be able to bring it up.

The next day I went along to the new playgroup that we started at church. i expected to play with the kids so that the women running it could talk to the women who came. One of the things I know I'm good at is playing with kids.

A new lady came along, a nanny to a little girl. We were playing with the kids and chatting. It came up that I went to the church here.
"Can I ask you something?" she asked me
"Of course."
"What is it you believe?"
At which point I almost had a heart attack - God had decided that if I couldn't bring it up, then he would!
I tried to explain what I believed, I don't know if it made sense to her (there goes my self-deprecation again). But I did stay there, and talk about my faith. I even was able to ask if she wanted me to pray for her and prayed, right there in the midst of playgroup with kids and mums all around me.

It's not like I'm suddenly full of self confidence. But I can see that God really is bigger than my personality. He is so much bigger and kinder and more wonderful than I could ever imagine.


Jackie said...

As a story, this is incredible! Really moving.
As a life experience, this is profound. God hears your prayers, knows the desire of your heart, which is to BELIEVE that God loves you as much as he does. And he takes a lifetime to answer them!
You are more - and less - than you think you are.
Love you,

Katie said...

My first thought was "Isn't that the point of Christianity? That God works through the least worthy?" (Not that I think you are in anyway unworthy, but you seem to think so :( )
Then I realised that believing something like that in a general sense, is different to believing it in a personal sense.
When I was young I believed in the existence of soulmates. I believed that the huge majority of people had not one, but multiple opportunities to meet and begin a relationship with their soulmate. But I didn't believe that I would ever meet mine. Boy, was I wrong. Not only did I meet him, I met him when I was only 18, years earlier than I planned (yes, I thought I could plan it!) to meet my life partner...
The Divine works in mysterious ways...
I hope that someday soon, you find the self confidence that befits someone as incredible as you!

Erin said...

:), thanks Jac

Katie; exactly - I do know it on one level, but to believed it - so much harder! You're so sweet.
Wow, i didn't realise you guys got together so young - thats so cool!

baebe said...

Thank you. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there like this. It does matter to people; today, it mattered to me. I found your comment on Make and Meaning (a new blog for me)regarding needing that one special pen (haha), and I was scrolling the comments. Found your comment about needing to block out the chaos to be able to be creative, and, as this is what I have been struggling with, I was intrigued, and looked you up. I have to admit, your blog was not quite what I thought I would find, and this post from you was exactly what I have been needing to hear and learn, and couldn't seem to find understanding on. (Thank you, Jesus). Reading the things you say about yourself, I think you are talking about me. (insert smile here). I think I will have to print out your post, so that I can refer to it from time to time. I really like your blog and have added you to my feeds today; I am also a sewer, and am working on the applique question also - if I find a good way (my machine does not like to satin stitch either!) I will pass it on! (Oh, baebe, is just a name I had chosen for my Etsy shop that hasn't opened yet - not sure if it is going to stick; my name is Lisa.)

Erin said...

Hi Lisa,
It's so wonderful when God shows you things just when you need them, isn't it?
Glad to know that my story could help you in some way, I won't be posting much while I'm on prac, but look forward to hearing more once I get back :)