Yes, Even You.


I wrestle a lot with insecurity.

I don’t say that as a trendy badge or a “relatable” label. I mean really: it’s debilitating sometimes and I have this shame-loop playing in my head over and over, slithering across the edges of my brain-folds.

Having just finished preaching at an incredible retreat over the weekend, with a beautiful church full of open receptive hearts, I still find that I’m beating myself up over flubbed points, the missed opportunities, and the “Why did I say it like that?” Even after I’ve preached about 800 sermons by now, I’m still learning to “find my voice,” as the poets say. (I don’t say any of this out of self-pity or for false sympathy, by the way. Some of my own criticism of myself is true and valuable.)

I have to keep remembering what God decides to do with the sermon in the hearts of people is actually none of my business. God does the changing part. I can only prepare and show up. And there’s no perfect sermon. Just an imperfect guy with a perfectly generous Father who can work miracles through dirty stained glass.

I often feel like I’m not good enough, smart enough, sharp enough—but that’s closer to the truth than I dare believe. I’m actually not enough. Not by myself. I don’t have what it takes: I never had it. He has to be enough for me. He has to be my rest when my mind goes into that vicious loop, and He has to be my resolve to get up and go again.

Even more, I still can’t believe that anyone would ask me to speak at an event. I’ve never gotten over that feeling, like, “Are you sure? Me?” But yes. Somehow God includes us into His story, even people like you and me. His answer is, Yes, you. You’re the one I want for this. You, the entire insecure weird crazy twitchy you.

I don’t think I will ever, ever get over it. I’m learning just to show up, insecure as always, and simply be grateful that I get to make noises with my mouth that might bless a few people. A new voice is forming in my head, a still small whisper that says, “Rest now, child, and resolve to breathe another day.”
J.S.


Photo by Image Catalog, CC BY PDM