Equipping the Weak
Do you ever just doubt God?
Last semester, I decided that I wanted to become a CGL.
If you don't go to Liberty University, a CGL is a community group leader- almost like a small group leader for some of the girls on your hall.
I knew I was called to be one and had been called to this position since about freshman year (I'm a junior now), but I was never fully certain that I could do it because I allowed my shortcomings to blind me from the truth.
How could I be a leader when I was still struggling?
What if I'm too broken to pour into others?
What if I just break under the pressure?
I let myself believe that my weaknesses were bigger than God's power and they would prevent me from succeeding in His plan.
But God knew me when He called me. He knew all my struggles and my triggers. He knew which hall would hire me and which girls I would get in my group.
My weaknesses aren't a surprise to God.
And I am constantly reminding myself that I have weaknesses for a reason.
Something I told my friend recently is that if all the struggles that I went through help me to connect with one girl on the hall and pour into her and get her through a tough time, it will be worth it all.
God doesn't allow us to go through tough times in order to just claim our victory, but to help others claim their victory as well.
In James 1:2-4 (yes, overused passage), it says "consider it great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing".
I think one of the reasons this passage is so overused is because it is SO TRUE.
Having weaknesses and going through hard times are not only a part of life, but also the only way we can grow. If we didn't go through tough times, we would be stagnant in our lives and in our faith. Nothing would be tested and so nothing would really be strengthened.
That's why we ought to be grateful when we experience the tougher moments of life, because those moments lead to us growing closer to God and improving in our faith and lives.
But I still used my weaknesses and shortcomings as an excuse to not fully trust that I could do what I was called to.
And it was tough.
To become a CGL, you have to interview for a bunch of halls and see which one you fit into the best and how you match their vision for the hall and how your faith is reflected in your life.
I imagine the interviews were like rushing sororities. I say that never having rushed one, but that seems about right.
I interviewed with five different halls, all asking me questions about my personal life, my struggles, my walk with God... And one hall asked me which Bible character I would date.. But honestly, it was insanely hard and scary. People are judging you and debating if you're a good match for their hall. You put your entire life and experience and identity on the table and they debate if they want you. And while it's not a popularity contest or a judgment of you, but instead a question if you fit into the vision of the hall, it still hurt when I got rejected.
After every interview, I picked apart every second and tried to figure out if I did enough or was good enough to get onto the hall and if I answered the correct way and if the girls with which I interviewed were better than I and how I wished I had gotten a different question and... The list goes on and on.
And then I had to sit and wait to see if a hall would even want me.
I knew I was called to be a CGL, but I still doubted that God would let me be.
That's stupid, but it happens all the time.
We get called to do something and when it doesn't happen immediately or something doesn't work out exactly how we planned or wanted, we immediately lose trust and try to reinterpret God's calling.
But in truth, our small brains can't fathom the plans of God or His execution of those plans. And that's so wonderful because it means He has so much more in store for us than we could ever imagine.
So I waited to hear back from the halls. And after 3/5 halls rejected me, I was willing to accept defeat.
So that added to my doubts too.
Was I too immature?
Could I handle a girl rejecting me and not coming to groups?
What if the halls for which I interviewed knew I was weak and didn't hire me due to that fact?
Honestly, why does no one want me?
And then I got the email for which I was waiting.
I was a CGL.
I got what I wanted and what I knew I was called to do.
And then I started doubting again. I know, shocker.
What if I couldn't do this?
What if I was too busy?
Am I really called here?
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Gideon. God told him very specifically what to do and that He would be with him and his army, and yet Gideon kept asking for clarification and assurance, which he continued to get... But Gideon kept wanting more.
Guys, God will give you clarification and the ability to do what He has set out for you- but you also need to trust Him and have faith after you get that clarification.
Fast forward to this summer when I became a leader for two of my church's trips.
God went before me and made those trips my metaphorical 'fleece'.
On those trips, I learned that I could deal with some pretty crazy issues, but also lead a small group and teach about Jesus during that time.
I learned what it would look like to have my own life, but also be able to help others through theirs in a healthy way. And honestly, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
God let me be a leader on the trips to show me a glimpse into what this year would be like, assuring me that I could do this position and I could do it well.
A statement of which I keep reminding myself is that God doesn't call the qualified, but qualifies the called (groundbreaking, I know). But very true and honestly comforting.
I can't do or anything with my own strength.
I couldn't have gotten CGL, interviewed, or even be at Liberty without God.
God met me in my weakness and He grew me from there and helped me to know when to rely on Him and when to take a leap of faith.
So I am a community group leader, and I am not 100% confident that I will be as good as I would like to be. But I know that God has called me to be here and because of that, His strength will go with me and I will be more than well equipped for this job with Him on my side.
Where God calls, He equips and walks before you in order for you to succeed.
Fun fact- I still haven't heard back from one of the halls... But I totally think I got the position.