Papa’s Got His Work Cut Out

In case you hadn’t noticed, Winter arrived in Michigan last night. It was wearing its “Go big or go home” t-shirt, puffing out its chest, and flexing its muscles to impress Autumn and Spring.

I don’t know what Autumn and Spring thought, but I was not thrilled.

In spite of the weather reports, I traveled yesterday. Trinity‘s Christmas Tea happens the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in Mount Morris and I was this year’s featured guest. Forty minutes of these women’s lives were set aside for me to sing and speak to them. We talked about being a daughter of God and I hope they left feeling a renewed sense of the love the Father has for them and how valuable they are to Him. That’s something that God’s been trying to impart to me all year. Funny thing is, the very act of talking about it made it clear that I haven’t got the lesson down myself.

Public speaking is not my favorite. No matter how many times I do it, it continues to freak me out. I rehearse what I’m going to say over and over and over. I tweak my notes right up to the last minute. My hands shake before, during, and after. I beat myself up over my use of non-words. I can’t decide whether or not to look at the two beloved people I brought with me because I crave their encouragement but simultaneously fear seeing my failure reflected in their expressions. I wonder if there was any cohesiveness whatsoever in what I said. It’s like a partial out-of-body experience where some of me is present in front of this huge room of people but the rest of me is watching myself and criticizing. Or like driving through a blizzard at night on the highway going 35 miles per hour and feeling both like I’m flying and that at any moment I’m gonna spin out of control and wind up in a ditch.

And of course, Winter would point and laugh. Just like that audience might…

Then I realized that all of those things are symptoms of another problem: a feeling like I can’t possibly have anything worthwhile to say. It astounds me that anyone would want me to be a featured speaker for any event. Who would drive out in the first blizzard of the year to listen to me talk? What do I bring to the table? I’m nobody.

Oh wait. Wasn’t that me telling those ladies that they are precious to Papa? That He loves them wildly? That He could never, ever forget them because their names are written on His palms? That there is nothing they can do to make Him love them more…or less? That they are infinitely valued?

Yikes. I am so thankful God is patient with me. That I’m a masterpiece He’s molding and shaping with each day and each experience. He’s really got His work cut out with this Amanda project…

Epilogue: It may have taken four and a half hours, but Winter did not defeat us. The dear ones who accompanied me on last night’s enterprise faced many harrowing and unforgettable adventures but all made it home safely. I am so happy to have them on this journey with me.


7 thoughts on “Papa’s Got His Work Cut Out

  1. Your recap of last night sounds suspiciously like a recent conversation I had with a dear friend (minus, thank you Jesus, any singing on my part!) and the inner-workings of my brain throughout. I know God will be working on the Christy project until the day I die…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To think that I’m ever “finished” flies in the face of what I know from scripture to be true. I suspect if we both had God’s perspective on our journey we’d see that, through Him, we’ve already come amazingly far. Oh…and who WOULDN’T want to drive out in a bilizzard to hear you sing?!?

    • I have a feeling that we share a lot of the same thought patterns, Christy. 😉 I agree that the idea of being “finished” is pretty much completely out of reach. And I’m glad for that, actually. If we have nothing left to strive for, what would be our motivation for living? But I do like the idea of God being proud of how far we’ve come. Hadn’t thought about that!

  2. You are an awesome Woman of God. You’ve got a lot to say and to share. God has blessed you so much. He not only loves you, but He likes you.
    –And I can tell that He loves me because He has placed people like you in my life. Thank you for who you are and allowing yourself to be used of God. -T

  3. So, first of all – I LOVE your writing style Amanda. It draws me in… which piggybacks on your thoughts about you feeling like, “Who am I to share with these women? What do I have to say that is worth while?” I can TOTALLY relate to this feeling. I feel the same way! Yet, when I speak, people LISTEN and then I receive feedback that I am actually encouraging, motivating and inspiring them. I feel the same way with YOU! 🙂 When you are saying something (via your blog, twitter, facebook) I’m am checking it out because I know that what you have to say is going to do something in my life – even if it is just make me laugh. 🙂 I am drawn to you Amanda. You are doing BIG things!

  4. This is kind of an odd thought, but I feel like the “voices” telling us that we are not good enough both get louder and quieter at the same time as we continue to move forward into the life God is calling us to.

    They get LOUDER because Satan tries more desperately to screw us up, make us stumble, doubt ourselves and give up.

    They get QUIETER because there is a protection that builds around us as we feed into ourselves truth about why we ARE worthy. (I am imagining a scary mob of people pounding on the outside of glass on Black Friday morning, waiting to be let into a store to partake in all the goodies. It is the glass that is protecting us from hearing the volume of voices, so although they may be loud, we do not hear them as loudly).

    I’m sorry if this analogy does not make full sense… still waking up this morning. 🙂

    • Alana…really interesting analogy (especially for early morning…haha!). You’re right about the louder AND quieter. Doesn’t really make sense, but somehow it’s an accurate statement. For me, it’s an ebb and flow, like the tides or something. Makes me wonder if we were doing a better job at keeping ourselves immersed in his presence if the quieter times would overtake the louder times? Or his voice in our heads would overpower Satan’s? Guess that’s why it’s so important for us to take captive our thoughts and to surround ourselves with the right people (voices).

      Always stuff to work on, huh? Feels good to be on the path, though. 🙂

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