My family belongs to an ever-growing population of people obsessed with the movie musical “The Greatest Showman.” If you haven’t seen it and you love musicals, I do recommend it regardless of its historical inaccuracies. The music in the movie makes you want to sing and dance and celebrate the gifts God gave you.
One power ballad, in particular, gets us all singing whether we want to or not:
“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out. I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be. This is me.
Look out cause here I come, and I’m marching on to the beat I drum. I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me.”
We blast it and belt it, and we all feel better because the music and the words exude a take-no-prisoners confidence that, if we are honest, we don’t normally possess.
Just Sunday I was ready to pack this writing thing up. Despite a weekend of encouragement and love, speaking with women about how God strengthens us in our struggles, I found myself battling a crippling fear of not being good enough. The responses of women around me were positive and uplifting but all my mind told me was, “They have to say that. They are nice Christian women.” My husband asked me how the weekend went and all I did was cry and say, “What if it wasn’t good enough?”
What happened? How could I go from absolute trust, from showing up to the blank screen day after day with nothing but my prayers and Bible, and having confidence that God would provide the words these women needed to hear, to melting in fear that I just wasted everyone’s time because I was foolish enough to think I had anything to offer? There must be thousands of women who could do this job better than me.
“I can’t do this,” I thought. “I can’t face this ever again. Best to just stick to everything else and keep my mouth shut.”
I knew that I was tired and experiencing an emotional letdown. Plus my body was tapped and I always feel down when that happens. Those things were true.
But this is also true: Satan will use any tactic he can to shut us up about God.
He was bullying me, and while I would love to say I heard this loving voice from heaven say, “You are enough. It is ok. You have done well. You have proclaimed My name,” I didn’t. While I would love to say my inbox was flooded with a miraculous number of emails encouraging me to make a full-time job out of writing, teaching and inspiring women through God’s word, it wasn’t.
Because everything I taught last weekend was based on the truth that God is with us, present always, giving us strength in our struggles even when we don’t feel Him. Our faith isn’t based on feelings, and thank God for that. I couldn’t handle it.
God is faithful even when we don’t hear His voice whispering it in our ears. God is faithful even if we are frustrated and confused and angry and hurt. Obedience, faith, trust that comes only when we feel like it is worthless. Obedience, faith, trust that comes regardless of circumstances is priceless.
So while I still fear I could stand alone on the stage of the writer’s version of “American Idol” and write my ballad and be laughed out the door, I will not be silent.
God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
And He will consistently, persistently use our humble offerings for His glory and our good. He will. Your offering is worthy because He has made it so. Your gifts are valued because He values them. Be strong and courageous for the Lord Your God is with You wherever You go. (Joshua 1:9) He loves you. He values your gifts. He values you. And if we refuse to be silent, He will make His name known in our lives in ways that we can never imagine.
Keep singing, keeping writing, keep organizing, keep teaching, keep filing, keep speaking, keep sharing, keep visiting, keep working, keep lifting, keep cooking, keep typing, keep selling, keep cleaning, keep helping, keep serving.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9