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You Don't Have to Be Ideal

Do you ever find yourself fantasizing about “future you” who will finally have it all together? Future you will be calm and collected, have her debt paid off, and be the right body size to satisfy our ever-changing cultural expectations. SHE will be free of “the sin that so easily besets” her. Do you find yourself thinking that once SHE arrives, God will be ready to release HER into all He’s called YOU to be?

My friend - God is mighty in you RIGHT NOW.

During a coaching session a couple years ago, I was confronted with the lie that only an ideal version of myself would to bring glory to God. I truly believed God would only use me if I was able to force my physical body to conform to our culture’s idea of an acceptable size. The amount of defeat, frustration, and shame I felt every day of my life was overwhelming.

But my coach said, “God is MIGHTY in you RIGHT NOW!”

By not trusting God to be mighty in me as I was, I was telling Him that MY potential is more powerful than HIS calling. You haven't been doing that, have you? Do you know that you don't have to be ideal for God to use you?

God, who created everything, doesn’t need ANYONE to be skinnier, richer, more organized, or more holy than we are right now to bring about His Kingdom in the world.

When God anointed evangelists Billy Graham and Kathryn Kuhlman to minister, they were teenagers. Why could God use them? They said yes. Beth Moore was in college when she had an experience that shook her to her core. She knew God called her to work for Him. She had no idea what that meant, especially since she was in a denomination that doesn't allow women to do anything other than missions work or children’s ministry. She said yes. I recently read her memoir (highly recommend) and she did NOT have it all together. She just got to work. They figured out early on that you don't have to be ideal for God to use you. He uses who He calls.

The amazing thing is that as we say yes, God takes care of the rest. If it’s important to Him that some aspect of life be different than it is right now, He handles it. We don’t have to sit on hold until then unless GOD tells us to do so.

Two years ago, I crushed the idol of my future self. I accepted that God can use the version of me that showed up that day. I got to work, creating content and putting it on the internet. I’d been hurt by rejection in churches, so I didn’t offer to help anyone. I just did it. I set up a YouTube channel and made videos that weren’t exactly good. I wrote blog posts and did voice recordings of them so people could listen if they preferred. I took it very seriously, and even though I wasn’t getting paid, I treated it as a job with office hours and a dedicated space.

After a while, my videos got a little better. My extreme discomfort with seeing myself on video became a little more tolerable (especially as I learned about camera angles and lighting). My horror at hearing my recorded voice left. I thought if I said YES to God, He would quickly use me to reach the world. Some of my best videos reached like 30 people, and I’m pretty sure my own family didn’t even watch them. I kept plugging along. I worked with a social media manager and a graphic designer to help polish things up. Neither did much to improve my numbers, but my efforts were my offering to the Lord. The results are up to Him.

I’m still struggling to improve, and I’ve learned to edit everything to tighten up the message to its essentials. I’ve never gone viral (or anywhere close), but I enjoy the creativity and hope it helps at least one person at some point.

Last summer, I was chatting with my son’s Sunday school teacher and it came up that I love to sing and praise the Lord. She grabbed my arm and said, “I have to introduce you to my husband!” I was confused as to why until she pulled me up in front of her husband, the worship pastor. Singers aren’t in short supply in our church, but it turns out that people who work in the sound booth are. I told him I’d be happy to learn to work in the sound booth. Ever since, I’ve been helping behind the scenes as a video switcher – nervously at first, but now I really enjoy it.

About six months ago, the worship pastor told our team he needed help creating devotional videos on worship for the church’s weekly Facebook posts. My heart leapt, but I figured people who’d been there longer would want to do it. As I was telling myself to chill out, he said he knew no one would want to do it, but he needed help. You should have heard my inner dialogue as I approached him. Don’t get your feelings hurt if he doesn’t want you to do it. Just be obedient to what you sense the Holy Spirit saying. The results are up to God. Breathe. Don’t be weird.

I told him I’d been doing similar videos for my YouTube channel and had one I thought might work. He didn’t even wait to hear my whole pitch. He asked if I could do it the next week. Be cool. Don’t cry. I smiled and said, “I’d be happy to.”

Now I’m in a regular rotation of people who do short devotional videos about worship every Wednesday. (Here's a link to one I also posted on my YouTube channel, if you're interested.) Those Facebook posts get more than 30 views, and it makes me so happy to be able to have a way to apply what I’ve learned. I have no idea what God will do with the rest of what I offer Him, but I can be at peace, knowing I haven’t allowed fear to stop me from trying.

Please don’t make the same mistake I did and put yourself on hold until you can become a better version of yourself. The version of yourself you idealize isn’t here; you are! Why wait on her? What do you have to offer TODAY to someone who's in need? Reflect and ask God to show you your next steps. If I can be an encouragement to you in your journey, I'd be happy to coach you as I've been coached. A coach is your biggest cheerleader, as well as someone who can help you sort through all the noise in your head to set a clear path forward. Check out the coaching page on my website for more details:

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