I need to get over myself. And I will. But....
I get scared. Overwhelmed. Find myself wondering, "Oh my goodness, what in the world am I doing?" And fear wants to take hold of me, grip me, ensnare me, trap me, and turn me around.
I found myself there today. Several times.
I was on the way to the Criminal Justice Building for a meeting. The same building that I am soon to have an office in, with a swipe card for the locked-security's entrances, and a computer that supposeably already now sits on 'my' desk. What am I doing with an office there? How in the world did they let me in? Accept me? Welcome me? Invite me? Allow me?? Having nothing to offer them in way of knowledge, or training, or credentials? Without asking? Without planning it? Without getting paid. Without thinking it? Without even imagining it?
This is pure proof that God confounds the wise and uses the foolish things of this world. Me, being the foolish thing in this particular scene! It doesn't make sense for Him to use someone like me... yet, it looks as if He's decided and chosen to do so in the most unexpected and strategic of places.
I rode to Birmingham today with one of the assistant commissioners and the re-entry coordinator for the state Dept of Corrections for a Critical Incident Debriefing of a suicide incident that happened to an officer in one of the prisons. How I managed to find myself on the Critical Incident Team is another wonder of mine??? But I am. And I did. And oddly, here we go.
Too, Dr. L told me yesterday that as soon as the recently purchased building for our inmates gets renovated that he hopes to set up an office in the prison there for me, as well, so that I can at least go in once a week to do I have no idea what at this moment, but I guess something he knows.
Plus, I got another email yesterday that I have yet to respond to asking me to speak again at another men's prison. And honestly, I'm scared! I look around and none of it makes any rhyme or reason without God. None of it makes sense. And though I have no doubt it's Him, I am so unsure of myself! My mind goes through things like: Who am I? What do I have to offer? Why would they want to listen to me? What good will one visit do? What lasting effect or impression can happen in one hour?......?..........?.......................? The questions stalk. The questions bombard. The questions continue.
Fear is knocking! It's trying its best to stay me.
While riding in my car lately I find myself riding in silence. When praying I shake my head telling God that I don't know what to say. I ask for His wisdom and His will and His empowerment. Yet lately, I am so blown away that I haven't a clue how to verbalize it. I think it's awe-struck-ness. Woe-ness! Whoa-ness! Uh, what? And wildly, wow! Who knows really, other than the fact that I'm stunned into silence.
I'm embarrassed now for even saying all this. I don't exactly know why I did, other than perhaps it's somehow therapeutic in the saying??
Forgive me. Ignore me. Pretend I didn't write. I know that God hasn't given me a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Yet honestly, sometimes we're simply really scared.... but we have to refuse to bow to the feeling and get up and go anyway... not because of our trust in ourselves, but because of our total trust in our God and our Savior.
I suppose I'll get up and email the prison's director in the morning to let them know that I'm coming. God has given me a huge opportunity. One like I said that totally doesn't make sense and isn't given to everybody. How right would it be for me to refuse it and turn my back on what "I could do" for fear that it's too little really to be enough?
I don't think it's ironic that God has reminded me of all of the "fear not"s in His Book. I don't think it ironic that tonight's studying took me to Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five small loaves and two little fish. Nor do I think it ironic that it also took me to the pages of Jonah when God told Jonah to go, but he turned instead and went the other way. And mostly, I don't think it ironic that God reminded me of the scripture that tells of the woman who "did what she could." God didn't expect her to do what she couldn't. As I once wrote earlier in another post, "every could that does counts."
Nope. I don't think it ironic. I think it's my Father trying to encourage me. The Holy Spirit trying to comfort me. Jesus wanting me to follow Him. He came to set the captives free... and sometimes He uses the skins and feet and mouths of people to help Him do just that. It's not what we can do... it's what He can and plans and purposes and wills and wants to do through us! It's not just about us, it's about the people He still wants to reach.
Oh, Jesus, do only what You can do and let this skin of mine be a "Jesus with skin on" to those looking and longing to see Him.