praying woman

Who am I?

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'” – Exodus 3:11

This was Moses’s response to God when He called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. It was the first of several creative excuses or arguments as to why he wasn’t qualified, ending with a raw and honest plea for God to pick another…anyone but him.

“Pardon your servant Lord, but please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)

This past Sunday I stood up in front of our little congregation at church and taught about these verses. About God’s call to Moses; about Exodus 3:1-4:19. I went through each verse and discussed the importance of trusting God’s plan, remembering that God will use us for His purposes, even if we don’t feel qualified. We examined how Moses let his fear and self-doubt almost lead to missing his calling. I encouraged everyone who would listen not to let fear get in the way of answering God’s call. I reminded my church family that it’s not about us and our qualifications, but about God’s plan, His power, and His presence.

I have a special place in my heart for this section of scripture. And I believe every word I said.

But then Monday came. And I found myself alone in my bedroom, sobbing, feeling inadequate, less-than, and incapable. I asked God if He is really calling me into ministry; is that really His plan? And if it is, am I really equipped for that call? Who am I to stand before others and teach them Your word?

I know this routine well by now, having taught a handful of Sunday services and leading a few women’s retreats. It’s what I refer to as the “day after attack.”

When I speak or teach I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, and in that moment it feels palpable and beautiful, like God is doing something big and letting me be a part of it. But then Monday morning comes. And I return to my normal routine, working my normal job, packing normal lunches, looking at my normal reflection staring back at me in the mirror.

And the enemy whispers in my ear: who are you? What makes you think you are qualified to teach others? I recall the yawns and bored looks during my talk. I remember the surprised expression on the neighbor’s face when they found out I was teaching at church (you know the kind of surprise that says “what are they thinking?” not “isn’t that wonderful!”). I recount every person or article that’s declared women aren’t supposed to preach God’s word. I play back the recording of my message and cringe at every “ummm” and “uhhh”, seeing every flaw, hearing every flub.

And the enemy says, “See? You are not very good. You are not anything special.”

I think of all the practical reasons I cannot answer this call. I need seminary training. That costs money. I’m still paying off that Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communication, a degree I’ll never use if I go into ministry. I have a family to support, kids to put through school. We love our town, we can’t move just so I can go to school. Maybe in a few years…maybe when the kids are out of the house….maybe.

And the enemy says, “You’ll never be ready for this. You are just a middle-aged woman who wishes she was being called to serve God in some big way, but that is not your life.”

I am not equipped. Please, Lord, will you call someone else? Someone smarter, stronger, younger, older, richer, better?

And then the irony of this day-after beat-down by Satan and my own insecurities strikes me. I can’t even go 24 hours without succumbing to the very thing I just encouraged 45 other people to resist.

There is one thing that gives me hope, though. The fact that God never gave up on Moses. Even after he tried to deny his call five times, even though he was 80 years old, God still used Moses for the good of His plan. Even though Moses didn’t speak well and needed his brother’s help, even though Moses got overwhelmed when the Israelites complained and fought, God still used Moses to lead His people. Even though Moses lost his temper, even though he continued to questioned God’s plan along the way, God still spoke to Moses. He still loved Moses.

I know I’m not equipped to do anything. And, honestly? I don’t know exactly how God plans to use me. But I cling to the knowledge that He will use me in His time, according to His purpose.

He will never give up on me.

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3 thoughts on “Who am I?”

  1. Every single person feels this way some time or another. The fact that you know that it comes so viciously every time you speak is to me a signal that the enemy is threatened by you and that God has you right where he planted you. You are a woman of influence and as you step out others are able to step free!!! Thank you for your obedience. I am blessed having you in my life!

  2. Although it may seem odd, I think it’s a good thing that Moses felt that he was somehow inadequate for the task that God had planned for him. It showed that he was humble before the Lord. In fact, the bible flat out speaks to Moses humility in Numbers 12:3: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”

    humble (adjective)
    -having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

    IMO, at what point we start to believe that we are special, or brave enough, or strong enough or talented enough… The Lord has no use for us, because our egos get in the way of the works He has planned for us and we start to rely on our own strengths and will to accomplish OUR goals! Unfortunately, when I was much younger in my faith, I learned this lesson the hard way, as a youth leader in our church. I got so caught up in MY importance to those kids, that I lost sight of how God was trying to use me to bring them into relationship with Him and I ultimately failed miserably. It’s something I regret to this day.

    But in humility, God says it is through our weakness that His power is made perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9) If we believe that we are somehow qualified to do His will, then we are not able to glorify Him. But in our ineptness, we must rely on God’s strength, wisdom and discernment.

    The next time you feel insecure and weak, remember that “God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

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