I live in a time when machines do my laundry, gasoline gets me where I’m going, and an empty bin in the produce aisle seems odd.
I live in a place where the flick of a switch gives me light and the twist of a handle gives me clean water.
I live in a world of convenience, packaged with lots of margin.
As a little girl, I went to church happily on Sundays, with parents who loved God and never worried about reading me Bible stories next to an open window.
As a school girl, I went to kindergarten on the government’s dime, completely expecting to earn a diploma–which I did.
After graduation, I went to college, traveled, read, and listened to pastors, speakers, and apologists. I learned to think. I learned to see. I learned to contrast the ugliness of sin with the piercing purity of God’s Word.
As a young adult, I was deeply stirred to change the world. I was idealistic and strong. I had answers and deep hope in God.
As a young teacher, I gained a husband who loved me, loved God, and became my partner in life. Together, we were sure we could change the world.
When our babies were born, we learned that we were selfish and weak, and had far less control than we thought. We felt like children, ourselves–thankful for a Father who doesn’t give us everything we ask for, and who gave us each other to hammer out the sharp edges in our hearts.
When our kids were little, I spent my specks of free time writing; blending hope with struggle. When my thoughts were published in magazines, my confidence emerged. I smiled widely at new opportunities to write and speak.
When the internet began replacing ink, I found that my words could travel further. I started a blog and loved making new friends. I shared Jesus in stories about simple life.
After my last child began riding the bus, my husband smiled on my plans to use a quiet house and a little laptop to reach out to the world. He never made me feel as though the hours spent arranging words were wasted.
Then social media arrived on our planet and changed life as we knew it. I had new ways to connect with people and share hope and truth.
Now that my kids have grown taller than me, I see life’s preciousness and precariousness with new clarity. I’ve had twenty-five years of adulthood to watch the fingers of sin and corruption spread into the lives of people I know and love. I hate the devastation. I long for light to triumph over darkness. I have even more urgency to spread hope and truth.
And now I see that it was all selected for me, by God. This era. This nation. This family background. This education. This husband. This creativity. This passion. And this tool–a screen facing people across town and across the world. It’s all from Him!
I would be wrong to shrink back, pinned by feelings of inadequacy. I would be wrong to let distractions keep me from my calling. I would be wrong to allow fear to steal my passion. God is the one who put the pen in my hand and the words on my tongue! If I stop speaking and writing, words of hope for God’s people will arise from another place. And who knows but that God has placed me before this laptop, and before each microphone I face, for such a time as this?
So here I am, Lord. Send me. Send me!
Shannon I enjoyed reading this post,THANKYOU. I too was once on fire to …change the world. I could not help thinking of Ester putting herself on the firing line, for the sake of Her nation. When we love what we are doing in life, then it’s no longer work, it’s transformed into joy. I’ll never forget my first blog post, I was full of hope and excitement, just like you, but I received criticism, I was devastated. I felt the lord showing me scripture, if you can’t run with men, how will you run with horses. We live in perilous times, anybody who puts themselves forward to ‘change the world’ will need great strength,resilience, fortitude and courage. May you achieve all your dreams.
Dear Angie, Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am sad that you received criticism instead of encouragement. Why do we do that to each other? Especially on the first try! I’m so sorry.
I want you to know that I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. The unspoken criticism (the things I think people might be saying in their heads) can be deafening, and can shoo me off a platform faster than a crowd booing. Thankfully, the Lord has given me peace, but only (after spending nights with my insides tied in knots) after I surrender my shortcoming to Him.
I would love to be perfect and polished and beautiful and successful at all times. Instead, I’m just me. Yet the Bible is full of people who were none of those things, and yet were used by God. Millions of people throughout history have said, “Send me!” I want to be one of them. And I want to encourage as many others as I can to join me!
I hope you’ll refuse to let past discouragements hold you back. God has placed you in exactly the position you are to serve Him! Blessings to you, Angie, as you say, “Yes, Lord!”
I really enjoyed your writing style- your ease of conversation drew me in. Thank you for your story, as it encourages me in my own. I especially liked this line: “And now I see that it was all selected for me, by God. This era. This nation. This family background. This education. This husband. This creativity. This passion” It’s a perspective I often miss- God’s intentionality in placing each of us HERE. for NOW. God bless your journey!
Carrye, thank you so much for underlining that part in comment form. 🙂 Yes! That’s exactly what I think God was showing me at Speak Up this year… God’s intentionality of placing me HERE and NOW, with a job in mind.
Blessings to you, and thanks for reading!
PS. Were you at Speak Up?
Loved your session at Speak Up! And I’m so excited to read your book come January. 🙂
Christy, THANK YOU for being such an encourager! I’m so glad that the session was helpful to you. 🙂
Do you think we can really change the world? Gosh I hope so. I feel encouraged to change my corner! Thank you.
And I heard great things about your session at Speak Up! ????
A changed corner affects everything, don’t you think? Thanks for the comment and encouragement!