unqualified x 28

nothing about what i write from this moment on is what i ever expected to share in my blog. it’s personal vulnerable and shines a light on a lot of things you don’t (and won’t after this) hear me mention much.

my weaknesses. 

i’m a naturally positive and upbeat person. i don’t do well in negative situations or negative conversations. i hate self-deprecation and i hate self-pity even more. as i have written about – that’s just not how i was raised. seeing the glass half full, instead of empty has and will always be my go-to.

but over the course of the last 6 months, it’s seems that the other side of that metaphor is one i’m more and more aware of.

i’m coming up on 29. meaning i’m 28 if i’m doing the math right. and all the things that i thought would be ‘filling’ up my glass…well, aren’t. and all the things that i thought i would be done with, let’s say on the ’empty’ side…well, isn’t.

and so i’m here, in a adjacent back house in the middle of country-Texas. praying, seeking and asking for perspective. desiring for more than anything, a revelation of what i can do to fill more full, and yet – more empty in ways too.

a few weeks ago, i purchased this book called Unqualified by Steven Furtick. He’s one of my favorite authors and preachers. and well, i finished Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst last night and started Unqualified today. see the trend?

yeah, well i didn’t. until i did. then i couldn’t un-see it.

why is an extrovert like me feeling uninvited and unqualified? like, how do I have the audacity to try and feel these things when i know other men and women who genuinely feel left out and unworthy on a daily basis. 

do i, the outgoing loud blonde, have a right to go through a season like this?

well, i didn’t think i did. until i realized i didn’t really get a choice. our God ordained this for me. He wanted me to feel these things, why? so i would realize how much i need Him.

you see, i used to and still battle with priding myself in being the one who could do it all and be it all. achieve the accolades while still accepting with humility and grace, naturally. the problem with perfectionist like me is that we need to perform to feel known and seen. but when we are found out, well – we run. we don’t want anyone to figure it out. the “it” being that we are not perfect. and actually, far from it.

so that’s where i found myself today. on the other side of the table with the Lord and listening as He reminded me of all the ways i have fallen and continue to fall. i was hurt, embarrassed and felt defeated. and then the Lord removed all of that with one statement.

‘but it’s okay. i knew you were like this, and i still chose you. i still choose you.’

and then i continued to read Pastor Furtick’s book – and with every page, a brick from the wall i had built fell down. slowly at first, and then all at once – on 98 to be exact – the whole wall came falling down.

within the pages of this book, and a reading through a few journal entries from the past few months, i started realizing that my weaknesses are not road blocks to my future, to the dreams i have or the ministry i have been called to; they are opportunities to fully invite the Lord in to be my strength for me. so that i can’t boast and don’t look like superwoman who did it all – but so that others can see and know that He truly is a God who is above human weakness, time and plans. (Eph. 2:8-9)

and when i say weakness, i’m not excusing sin. but a weakness is not always a sin. i suck really bad at sprinting. but that’s because my lungs and body were built for distance. not being able to sprint isn’t a weakness, unless i make it one by comparing to someone else’s ability to sprint. make sense?

but on the other hand, there are things in my life that are just nasty ol’ sins. like cursing and lust and entitlement. and those, well those need to be gone in Jesus’ name.

BUT…even that is a process. a process that God isn’t waiting for me to finish to then bless me, no His blessings are not dependent on my ability to get my poop (one step closer) together. they are mine regardless of my actions. 

and it’s here i want to share more with you. why? well, because maybe this is God’s way of getting you out of the rat race, too. i’m tired of chasing perfection and receiving a ‘Participation‘ award. yeah, harsh i know but so true. and it’s been in this time that i realized, as for me, i don’t want to participate in a race where i don’t end up getting what i was chasing anyways.

acceptance isn’t found in the chase. 

success may be found in the chase, but lost in the chase the same. 

perfection will never breed happiness, if anything – the chase will breed the opposite. 

and just with those three statements (i have more, but those are mine and God’s for now) i finally take a deep breath and sigh in relief.

i’m not behind. i don’t have to be ahead. i just need to stay in process. not running away in fear, nor moving forward in pride. never perfect, never fully failing. in process from battling one weakness or another, asking God to use it to make me less and Him more prominent in each and every chance i get. and then when i fall, to get back up and stay in process again. with every trip, there is a sprint up ahead. with every mile, there’s a bench for a rest around the corner.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

and it’s here i want to share a few of the statements i claimed this weekend.

i’ll continue to battle against the lustful thoughts and actions of my past and temptations of my present; but in the process of that, i’m not unqualified from the favor or calling on my life.

i’ll continue to struggle to submit to His ways, despite the fact i can’t see even an inch of what is up ahead; but in the process of that, i’m not unqualified from the favor or calling on my life.

i’ll continue to battle against a poverty mindset and daily have to choose discipline and honor over entitlement; but in the process of that, i’m not unqualified from the favor or calling on my life.

i’ll continue to wrestle in the longing and sometimes desperate cry for a husband and family; but in the process of that, i’m not unqualified from the favor or calling on my life.

i’ll continue to battle against the need to prove to my family that i’m not my dad, even if they aren’t asking me to; but in the process of that, i’m not unqualified from the favor or calling on my life.

i’ll continue to question if i’m doing enough for the Kingdom of God; but in the process of that, i’m not unqualified from the favor or calling on my life.

you get where i’m going with this? these processes, some of which are the cutting away of sin and others, the desire for more; well they pave the way for the Lord to step in and provide what i lack. and even in the moments when temptation gets the best of me, He still chooses me. He still chooses you. Because His love and acceptance of you or I isn’t based on our actions, regardless if our love or belief in ourself is based on such.

this road of patience in the process will be a long one. one built on daily having to remind myself that i don’t have to have it all figured out or have ‘arrived’ by now. one where i have to quickly take my face and turn it upwards when i start looking to the right or left comparing my journey to others. one where moment by moment i’ll have to surrender to the process and trust that when i fall – it doesn’t mean He sees me as a failure, yet proud of His daughter for never giving up.

today i write before you an unqualified 28 year old surrendering the weakness, so that in it – His strength truly can be made more perfect in me.

in this together.

xoxo

jess

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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