God gives us all talents and special gifts. I have been told this since the time that I was a little girl. Working in children’s ministry, I tell this to lots of children as well. I know that God made each one of us special and that he has a plan for our gifts. Psalms 139:14 says “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
I have this truth tucked away in my heart, but there are times as a woman in ministry that I don’t feel like my gifts are enough or even that special when I compare them to others. I’m an ordained minister and a pastor’s wife. When I visualize what a woman in my shoes should have in the way of skills, I picture a woman who is a great public speaker, who can sing or plays the piano, she is never frazzled or uncoordinated, she remains calm at all times and always has an answer to every question. This is very far from the truth of who I am.
Throughout my ministry experience, I have taken many personality tests that are supposed to help me figure out how my gifts, talents, and skills are best to be used. It turns out that I’m an introverted perfectionist who leans towards being a bit of a nerd and super organized. I will admit that even though I’m a good administrator and these tests are been accurate in their findings, I have found that these aren’t the things that define my life and my ministry. God has used these gifts I have for his glory, but under the surface I feel that there is so much more.
So I can organize things well and maybe I can’t sing, the truest gifts in my life I have learned are the relationships that I have built in ministry. Like I mentioned before, I work in children’s ministry. I spend most of my time with 4th-6th grade girls in a small group environment. The relationship that I have built with my students is a blessing in my life. Sometimes I may wish that I could stand up in a pulpit and preach eloquently to a crowd of people, but then I realize that I do have influence in many lives. It might not be in a flashy, eye-catching way, but each conversation I have with student or a parent is a divine appointment from God. The influence God has given me is not to be taken lightly. I view it as a precious gift.
I might not have all the skill sets I desire or even that I think I should have to fit my role. I know that God has equipped me with what I need to live his calling. Psalm 139:16 reminds me, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” I know that God has made me and all my complexities and I know that he has laid out each step of my journey. I might doubt my gifts. Sometimes, I would like to suggest to God which gifts he should have given me. My life would be so much easier if I was… Fill in the blank. God not only made me but he knew exactly how he made me was going to affect every day of my life. He isn’t in heaven thinking, “Oh no, I forgot to give her this specific skill! How will she ever make it in ministry?”
I can see that God has called me to where I am right now. I might not fit the mold I think I should, but then again, I’m not the one who created my specific mold! God created me just as I am and he knows how he is going to use each unique gift and what I view as sometimes a boring skill set. As I evaluate where I am, I see the faces of those I love and who I get to minister to on a regular basis. If it is just for them, if I am here just so I can be an influence in their life, then it is worth it. My gifts and talents might not be anything to brag about, but the truest rewards in my life are the relationships that the Lord has given me. I need to remember that I am where I am for a reason and I am wired and skilled the way I am for a reason.