When my book Untangled was first released, I was anxious to find it in stores. There is something affirming about seeing your work—the 260 page baby you just birthed—sitting on a shelf for the world to see. It wasn’t a pride issue, it was a gratitude issue. God and I had done a lot of work through those pages.
I battled deep insecurities as I wrote.
Not only was God asking me to face the feelings of worthlessness that had plagued me since childhood, I was also facing limitations as a writer. My words weren’t as potent as other authors I loved to read. I didn’t have the powerful catch phrases that would stick like in other books I’ve read.
Honestly, I felt “lucky” to have even gotten a book deal and was worried the editor at the publishing house was going to laugh at my attempt to be a writer. And to top it off, God asked me to share some very painful stories—stories that made me worry about being judged or criticized. And while God healed some very tangled places in me as I penned it, I still struggled to feel that it was good enough.
Almost every time I visited a bookstore to see if I could find it, I couldn’t. The helpful sellers would ask, “Can I call you when it’s back in stock?” Struggling with the confidence to admit I was the one who shed blood, sweat and tears as I wrote the book, I usually shook my head and told them I’d check back later.
But this time was different.
I mustered my courage, took a deep breath, and said, “Actually, I’m the author.” And that simple sentence tangled me into deep knots of insecurity because the enemy quickly whispered… “I can’t believe you admitted that. You’re a horrible writer, and your book is a joke.”
I hate when he does that, and I hate even more when I listen. Sometimes his voice is unrelenting though, and it’s all I can do to remember that perfection isn’t God’s goal for our lives—obedience is. And when we do what God is asking, He will bless it.
God knows our limitations. He is fully aware of the places we fall short. And what He is looking for in you and me is our… yes. Because the truth is, He doesn’t call the perfect. He perfects the called.
Paul knew this first hand. I just love this guy because he is real and honest and relatable. Listen to him tackle this struggle in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 MSG.
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become”.
Paul found a way to be content with being imperfect. As a matter of fact, he was relieved that he didn’t have to be something he was never meant to be.
What a powerful truth. You see, when we spend time lamenting over the places we fall short, we’re not allowing God’s strength to make up the difference. We see our limitations as deal-breakers, but God doesn’t. He sees them as opportunities.
Let’s face it, we’re not all that and a bag of chips. We may not be the best leaders or teachers. We may fall short as moms and wives. Chances are we’re not the most thoughtful friends or caregivers. And we can become so focused on our limitations that we forget that God starts where we stop. We are not—and will never be—perfect women.
So the next time you start to feel inadequate, I want you to remember…
1) You have human-sized limitations by design. That’s why you need God. He didn’t create you to be complete without Him. So don’t try to be.
2) Rather than seeing your limitations as handicaps, see them as God-designed opportunities for Him to fill. Let it be a beautiful part of your relationship with your Creator.
3) There is nothing more glorious than a real woman who can ask for help, laugh at herself when she messes up, and be vulnerable with her struggles. Be like that.
I’m working on my next book now, and I’m having a blast! I’ve settled in my heart that I will write to my best ability and trust God for the rest. This go-round, I’m not comparing my style to anyone else’s, and I’m not worried what others might think of my writing. Hey, I’m not perfect right?
And sweet sisters, rest knowing neither are you.
Carey Scott is the author of Untangled, a book where she bravely shares her story of abuse, the insecurities birthed from it, and the freedom she now has through Jesus. She is also an international speaker who loves to have honest conversations about real life. She discusses the struggles women face the most, always reminding them of their immeasurable value. Carey lives in Northern Colorado with her family. Learn more by visiting CareyScottTalks. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.