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Not Me, Please Not Me!

How often do you feel unqualified (or unwilling to cooperate) with the task you have been given? Reading Jonah's call (and aversion to his call) is one of our family favorites and one that hits close to home for me both personally and professionally.

My daughter has been blessed with many gifts, including being very headstrong. If there is something she doesn't want to do- she will not do it. Add fear into the mix and, well...let's just say it is like adding gasoline to the fire! For over a two-year period, my daughter had been quite unsuccessfully taking swimming lessons. Her swim teacher was extremely patient and kind as he tried to find the balance between pushing her and respecting her fear/stubbornness. Each time she got into the pool, it was like beginning back at step one: hysterical crying, screaming, and begging not to let her go so that she wouldn't drown and die!

Then, COVID happened and we had no more swimming lessons. It was up to my husband and I to work with her to teach her to swim (cue Jaw's theme song)! After weeks of working with her, trying to extend patience but still teach her the skills, I looked her in the eyes and said "I am going to let you go. You are going to kick your legs as hard as you can and pop up to the top. I am right here and I won't let anything happen to you." By now, you can imagine how that went over– more hysterics. Then, I said, "You are brave, you are strong, you can do this!" Shocked, she looked at me and I told her to repeat it. She did, with a weak, wavering voice.

I asked her to repeat again, and again, and again, until she said it in a confident, assured tone, "I am brave, I am strong, I can do this!" I let her go, she kicked as hard as she could, and popped right up to the top. From there, she was swimming across the pool in a period of two weeks! The mantra "I am brave, I am strong, I can do this," became something we used regularly with her and her younger brother began using it in his own self-talk.

How often do you feel like you are floundering? God is placing you in a position that you feel unqualified for or one you just don't want to do. Like Jonah, we may be called to complete a task or called to a new role that we have no interest in or one we feel we are not prepared for. Yet, God assures us that we are brave, we are strong, we can do this! He never promises that it will be easy, but He promises that he will be there with us each step of the way.

As you embark on a new teaching assignment, have to have a difficult conversation with a parent or staff member, chair a committee that you really don't want to, etc. remember that, like Jonah, he has picked you specifically for that task. You are brave, you are strong, you can do this-- not by your strength, but by His!

In need of musical inspiration, Sanctus Real's song Confidence is one of my favorites right now!


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