So I went to the IF: Gathering with my dear friend Lisa Whittle this last week. This on the heels of reading Not Marked for the audio book. So I was pretty darn drained in the aftermath.
Imagine reading (and re-reading) about sexual abuse to an audience of two, one person who is checking your levels and performance, and the other telling you when you’ve made a mistake. All with the static of the sensitive subject matter.
I say all that to give you a backdrop for the moments that will be referred to as Mary’s Awkwardness (MA).
I had a box of Not Marked with me, about 50 copies in all, and I prayed that I could give away all of them, to just the right people.
But I also fought fear the entire time, while I internally debated with myself. Who will I give them to? Should I hide them, and if someone asks for one, then that means I give it to them? Do I run around trying to find “influential” leaders to give it to? Wouldn’t that be un-Jesusy (meaning shouldn’t I concentrate on giving them to anyone, regardless of influence)?
So I battled myself. And awkwardness won.
Thankfully, a few folks I knew actually did ask for the book. But then I found myself falling into that weird panic mode, wondering if peddling these books was wrong, and worrying whether the book would get in the “correct” hands.
Sometimes, book in hand, I had to wait to the side during one of the breaks while people chatted, then smiling, and giving a book away. Nearly 100% of the people I gave the book to said a huge thank you, but my insecurity prevented me from receiving that. Instead, I thought, I am totally bothering this person. She’s just being polite.
Twice I saw my gift discarded on a table, and my unworthiness crept into my skin like a dragon on fire steroids. Raging to life, breath hot, spewing, You see? You have bothered people with your book. They really don’t want it.
All I wanted to do was give that book away. But what I ended up with was a severe case of smallness.
Just being ragged honest here.
So, I gave them all away. And I went my Mary way back home, back to safety, back to launching this book—this book that seems to be opening up all my sore spots. And I’m sitting here asking Jesus to please be near me.
Some people call me brave. I just feel obedient. I truly felt God wanted me to write this book. So I did. And here it is alive and well. Out there. In the hands of women who may toss it in the trash.
Even so, even amid the feeling of awkwardness, I’m glad I went through the stressful exercise. It reminds me who is God, who holds control, who ultimately gets the glory.
You see? When I’m smaller than a molecule, He is greater than a mountain (click to tweet). When I step aside, He steps in. When I shrink into insignificance, I cheerlead His genuine significance. When I stumble in awkwardness, He strengthens in hope.
We are all like Peter, boldly beginning our ministries (I will write that book!), stepping out of the boat of safety. But when our foot hits the waves, we falter (What in the world have I done? Who am I?). We begin to sink. We catch the eyes of our Savior, hoping He won’t see our fear, our lack of faith, our failure. But He sees it. And instead of letting us slip beneath the wake, He reaches that beautiful workworn hand our way, offers His grip, and rescues us.
We are weak.
He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves you.
Awkward me. Awkward you. Messy me. Messy you. Insecure me. Insecure you. Small me. Small you. Worried me. Worried you.
Our broken lives become the dance floor for Jesus to dance His glory (click to tweet).
I rest there. Do you?