When You Don't Feel Qualified
Sometimes I feel I’ve lost my voice. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say, no encouragement to give—like I’m in a stuck place and can’t free myself, let alone help someone else find their way. And I wonder why God has called me to this: to be a writer, encourager, empathizer, counselor. To be a counselor, you must be wise and strong and patient. I think I am these things, but then I watch my interactions with people around me, and I cringe. I am selectively selfless—kind to those I want to be kind to, nice to those who are nice to me.
And what wisdom do I have to give? I do not have a miraculous testimony of how to find healing from mental illness; instead, I have a bottle of pills. My journal is full of more questions than answers, more pain than healing.
Yet God asks me to be his voice in this hurting world. And I feel totally inadequate. What do I say? How do I say it? How do I proclaim his glory when my life reflects more of me than him?
I have to remind myself: He chooses me anyway.
Me - uncertain, struggling with loneliness, fighting pride, feeling lost in the world. He didn’t choose me because of my writing prowess or my incredible wisdom. He chose me because he saw a small piece of clay he could work with, weaknesses that he could shine through. [tweetshareinline tweet="He chooses me not because I am great, but because I am small." username="delightandbe"]
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
I cannot boast before him. Not of my writing or my empathy or my wisdom—because none of it is mine. I’ve heard the saying often:
“God doesn’t call the qualified. God qualifies the called.”
And only recently did I understand what that meant, as I stood before the rest of my life and wondered why God was calling me to those places I never dreamed I would go, and felt powerless to approach. Why me, God? Why choose church-bitter, introverted, awkward me to lead a girls’ Bible study? Why call the anxious-about-every-detail, germophobic girl to care for snotty, sticky kids?
And he reminds me: God doesn’t call the qualified. He didn’t choose me because I can handle it, but because I will have to trust him to handle it. And he will be right beside me, giving me what I need as I need it.
This future ahead of me that I thought I could wrangle into submission—it turns out, I don’t know what it holds. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know what I will be called to face.
And in my great uncertainty, my Abba asks me to come closer, to humble myself, to depend on him for all of it—every word, every day, every step.
He is not asking me to do anything big and glamorous, but to simply be faithful in the small, difficult things he has placed before me.
He chose me to care for kids.
He chose me to start a girls’ devotional study.
And He chose me to write for Delight & Be.
So here I am, unsure of what to say, unsure of where I’m going, but believing that I can depend on a God who loves me and knows what I need every step of the way.
Tori Margaret is passionate about writing honestly, loving deeply, and walking with people through their stories. She writes about her struggle with depression, anxiety, and OCD to encourage others that they are not alone and to open the door for real conversations about real suffering. She has written for TWLOHA, a non-profit devoted to supporting people with mental illness. Her latest work on her struggle against fear is a science fiction novella, The Last Valkyrie, which released in January 2017. You can find more of Tori’s writing at her blog, BoldBrightBeautiful.com, or connect with her in our Writing group.