A few times a year, I have the opportunity preach the Sunday sermon at the small church my family attends. I spent a few weeks preparing my message—encouragement to pray the Psalms aloud. I practiced what I would say. I tweaked a few things here and there. As Sunday approached, I began to feel more and more insecure.
My oldest son had an embarrassing anxiety attack in public. I struggled to help him calm down and still respect the quiet theater setting. Then my middle son made fun of a child with special needs at school event. The child’s mom later posted about the incident on facebook. All of the peace that I had felt about speaking to the church came crashing down. Who am I to tell anyone anything? What could I possibly offer?
I wanted to back out. I seriously considered trying to get my husband to preach for me. But it was too late. I had to honor my commitment.
We tend to expect that leadership comes from a place of authority and expertise. The preacher should have his or her life figured out. I feel like leadership in my life looks more like the blind leading the blind. Maybe blind is the wrong analogy. It’s more of an honest struggle, trying to do the best I can while learning from others.
Many people, especially women, exclude themselves from leadership because of a perceived lack. I think Jesus asks us to offer what we have, where we are. We don’t have to wait until our lives are perfect to answer that call. I remember the words of Isaiah, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!”