Monday, April 28, 2014

Losing My Delusions of Grandeur

People often ask me what I miss from the States.

I'm totally over missing things like peanut butter and Lucky Charms and Football.

I'll tell you what I do miss. I miss feeling confident and capable.

Photo Credit: Jordan Egli Photography
Sunday morning I woke up early and spent some time wrestling with the Lord. I'm getting pushed out of my comfort zone, and I fear making a fool of myself. I feel completely inadequate for some of the tasks before me and entirely certain that I am in over my head. The only thing keeping me from running scared in the opposite direction is the sure hand of God.

I am convinced that I am right where he wants me.

And I'm shaking in my boots.

Here's the funny thing. In the States, should I have found myself in similar circumstances, I would have been every bit as incapable and ill-prepared as I am here; but, I wouldn't have known it. I would have wrongly believed myself to be able.

And even though my sense of sufficiency would have been ill founded, it would have made it easier for me to forge ahead. Now I feel a bit like the "Wizard of Oz." Like the curtain has been pulled back, and I am left with the painful realization that I am neither great nor powerful. I'm a stumbling, bumbling faker.

Yes, I miss that unsubstantiated self-assurance that I used to have. It turns out that my "curtain" --the veil that hid much of my ineptitude--was my strong verbal skills. In France, those have been stripped away, and I can no longer keep up the charade.

I don't know what God is thinking, putting me in these places where I have no idea what I am doing. I'm pretty sure I am going to make a mess of things and humiliate myself in the process! I've been so worried that I have actually been waking up with panic attacks. And then I come to my senses and remember two things:

  1. It's not about me.
  2. God is able.
Photo Credit: Jordan Egli Photography
Learning to be so utterly and completely dependent on the Lord is both my greatest joy and my biggest challenge in being a missionary. I want to do this work. I want to bring him glory. I want to be his servant. Only the fact is, I can't. I can't do anything without him, not even good stuff for him. Apart from him I can do nothing. That used to just be Bible verse to me. Now it is an ever-present reality.

And so I cling tighter and I pray harder, and I decide to trust that HE knows what he's doing.

It's hard to watch my delusions of grandeur fade into the sunset. 

I miss feeling confident and capable. But I think I'm right where I need to be.


  1. My dear friend, you are EXACTLY at the place where God will use you in a mighty way. Thank you for completely following The Call.

  2. Nice. I enjoyed reading this, Jennifer. Afterward, it struck me that God deals so personally with each individual. He is using France to increase your reliance on him. For me, I didn't need to go to France, but He's using other circumstances to prove to me that I'm certainly dependent on Him. I love that He takes each of us and tailors our unique experiences to teach many of us the same lessons.

  3. So good! Thank you Jenn. You're blogs are very encouraging. I'm South African based in Marseille :)