When You Feel Out of Your League: Encouragement for the Self-Doubters

“I can’t believe I am 53 years old! I don’t feel qualified to be this age.”

That’s what I told Phil as we drove home from seeing our new grandbaby.

He laughed and reminded me that I say that about most areas of my life. Unfortunately, he is right.

I mean, there have been days I’ve thought, What am I doing writing blogs and books? I am way too under-qualified to write – like I have all this life stuff figured out?!

Or, I will be standing in front of my kitchen sink, self-doubt covering my heart and suds covering my hands, reviewing my latest parenting issue and think, Why can’t I master this mom-job? It feels so much bigger than me.

Or, inevitably before I get on stage to speak, I’ve fought the feeling that I am too immature or too inexperienced or too inadequate to open my mouth!

Do you ever feel out of your league when it comes to living your life, or pulling off your purpose, or following your calling?

Sometimes when demands grow, our confidence shrinks. When unchartered waters are before us, we can feel under-qualified to navigate them. Sometimes big opportunities come our way and we feel we have little skill or ability. And sometimes it’s just the sum total of all the “same-old, same-old ” responsibilities that bury us in a pile of self-doubt.

No matter what you do or who you are, you know how you can find yourself in the midst of your life’s calling and suddenly ask yourself, “How did I get this job?! I can’t do this!”

If you’ve felt that way or talked to yourself that way before, trust me, you’re not alone! I’ve felt it and done it and I know most women feel it and do it every now and then. But, we’re in good company because a very famous prophet did the same thing.

Let’s listen in on a little conversation between the Lord and Jeremiah — whose belittling self-talk had convinced him that he was too inexperienced, ineffective, and immature to be of any use to God. The Lord took issue with those negative, self-defeating words of the prophet.

And the rest is history!

The word of the Lord came to him….

God: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah:  Ah, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.

God: Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.

(Jeremiah 1:2, 5-8, NIV)

God has set you apart for a great purpose.
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My friend, I can just hear God’s voice whispering to you and me just like He did to Jeremiah. Do not say, ‘I am only a child” (or whatever it is that we may say when we feel out of our league).

There will be days we have no confidence in our abilities. It’s on those days we need to hear what God says about us and our callings and our purposes. He reminds us that before He formed us in the womb He knew us. Before we were born He set us apart.

Before God formed you in the womb, He knew you.
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God appointed you as ______________ (fill in the blank because God has appointed you to something).

God is with us in all situations and in all seasons. God equips whom He calls. He rescues those who trust Him. He lovingly corrects our misguided self-talk with His truthful words.

God is with you in all situations and seasons.
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If you feel a little like Jeremiah today, let the word of the Lord come to you, too. Listen to His words to you. Let His voice be louder than that nagging inner-voice that tries to convince you that you are not up for the task.

Admit to the Lord that you feel out of your league and then thank Him that you are still under His calling. He calls you, He equips you.

His calling upon your life is secure, so rest in the security He gives.

God’s calling in your life is secure, so rest in His security.
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For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. (Proverbs 3:26 ESV)

What triggers self-doubt in your life? Jot it down in the comments and write beside it what God says to you about who you are and why you are qualified. 

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