I found an old note on my phone from 2010 (thanks for the storage, Apple), and a short scroll later, I was in tears.
Words of affirmation have always been at the top of my love language list (although I’ve realized how much I love presents, too, so it might be a tie) and in my infinite wisdom as a teenager, I began collecting cards, messages, texts, and letters of encouragement to keep – the physical ones are kept safe in a box, but I have this note with over 50 spurts of encouragement…
I had totally forgotten.
Some were from leaders I grew up with, some were from people I barely knew, one from a parent of a student in my first class, some from my closest friends, one from a camp best friend, a few from students in our college ministry…but all of them spoke to this deep place in my heart I’ve been burying.
The words speak to leadership, potential, innate giftings, experience, character, and positioning – they speak life into my calling. My calling. Not my resume.
I could make a list of the things I’ve done I wasn’t qualified for (and trust me, it would be a LONG list), but I know there was always consistency there for me and it’s there for you…if you look close enough. I say that with confidence not knowing your story, because ultimately (from one of the messages on there):
“Credentials have their place, but they’ll never be as important as calling”
Is there a place for degrees when it comes to doctors, lawyers, and other professionals? Other than in the case of Michael Ross, of course, but that’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s more than that. It goes a little deeper than that.
Bottom line? There’s something you were uniquely designed to do. You have a gift, a passion, a calling, but maybe you also have doubt, insecurities, or discouragement. The longer you dwell on the latter and cover up the former, the more crap you heap on your heart. We’ve all ruminated on if we’re “unqualified” for something, but the longer you do…the more you’re depriving someone who needs that thing. Like an actual person.
I am an introvert. No business leading on a college campus.
(Would friends of mine have ended up overseas introducing college students to Jesus if I hadn’t?)
I’m an Enneagram 6. Shouldn’t be taking risks.
(If I hadn’t moved to an unfamiliar place, would I have learned to trust the same?
My parents are divorced. Staying single is safest.
(Who would I be if I hadn’t had to work through heart-change over the last 6 years or had two beautiful girls?)
Started school to be a teacher. How dumb to switch majors.
(Would I have started my business or built the friendships with people I’m closest to now?)
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: a prophet to the nations – that’s what I had in mind for you” Jeremiah 1:5 MSG
There was always a plan, something God had in mind for you. Whether you believe that or not, the pull you feel toward that thing is there. Something you can do. Someone who can help. Something that breaks your heart. Right?
Here’s a quick tip I’ve been learning lately: the deeper you bury it, the heavier the weight on your chest. Which only perpetuates feelings of inadequacy. And scarcity. So, you don’t move. You stay frozen. And it starts again. See the vicious cycle?
Here’s the deal, friend. I’m not sure if you were told you were an “accident,” or that your Enneagram number disqualifies you from a position, or your lack of degree means you can’t pursue your passion, or if your parents weren’t a great example so you think you can’t be one, either. BUT. What God says about you will always be more important than what others say about you and I know you’ll like what He has to say.
Working on who I was letting speak into my life and how I was stewarding rampant thoughts played the biggest role in improving my mindset over the last few months. If you need a little boost on getting into a better headspace each day to confidently know and grow in your calling, try one of these:
- Create a daily reminder with an affirmation or confirmation of who you are or use the PEPTALKS app.
- Take a 15-minute walk every day at lunch and list what you’re grateful for, try to find one that looked not great at first.
- Make a Spotify playlist with 4-7 truth-speaking songs and play it on shuffle while you’re getting ready.
- Start a note on your phone and ANY time someone says something to you that empowers or speaks to you, add it in.
- Find and read old birthday notes from friends and family.
- Add a favorite quote to a sticky note for your bathroom mirror.
- Find a verse that means something to you and rewrite it 10 times.
- (this one can feel intimidating, but worth it) Ask a few close, trusted friends what your strengths are and save their responses.
- Write down your biggest insecurity and practice twisting it into a positive, thinking creatively about how it can help people.
- Think of a life you’ve impacted completely outside of your degree, achievement, or career.
You may feel like there’s a web of insanity making up your story, but nothing in your life is wasted. No matter how random it seems, stay the course. In the meantime, if you’re wondering about the nudge you’re feeling toward some big, scary thing, I’d love to talk. Whether you just need someone to listen or want some help strategizing – send me a message.
Your resume doesn’t stand a chance against your calling.
Just remember that.