all i have to give
"I have nothing more than all you offer me.
There is nothing more that's of worth to me."
- Hillsong lyrics
i had not been writing regularly [on my blog, anyway] until a few weeks ago. in reluctant hesitation, i shared a post and in the days that followed, i received so much encouragement, so much affirmation, so much confirmation that my heart was literally overwhelmed. it came from the most random and unexpected places and people. people whose hearts were touched in some way by the words that i was given and had shared. i was so blessed - and so humbled. as frightening as it sometimes is to sit down and allow God to pour what is inside of me out onto the pages of a public blog, i realized that if just one heart is touched by Him through me - it is worth the risk. it is worth the fear. it is worth being vulnerable - and i won't hold back. not anymore...
hi, my name is nadia. and i'm new at this. no, not this blog thing... or this small group thing, but this obedience thing. because, truth be known, i'm still a toddler in my faith alternating between crawling and learning to walk - and pitching the occasional fit in between. for years, so many years, i struggled with obedience to Christ out of my own stubborn, sinful rebellion. in more recent years, months, days even - i have struggled out of my own feelings of unworthiness. and isn't that an ironic paradox, that the very one, the only one who is worthy my wholehearted worship and obedience is the same one i feel unworthy to follow. unworthy to worship. and yet, i know that "the one who calls me is faithful" (1 Thess 5:23).
it is a lifelong, constant lesson learning that He is worthy regardless of my unwothiness. faithful, regardless of my faithlessness. and daily, i am being reminded that all that i have to give is what He offers me. and so, much like a toddler learning to walk... i am taking baby steps towards that which He is calling me to, literally to "step out of my comfort zone and into the realm of the unknown" (Casting Crown lyrics). through my writing. through my sharing. through my hosting a small group. and with each tiny step i take, His blessing follows and i am reminded, with each step, that the more i surrender my self, my feelings, even my own unworthiness to Him, the more He is able to use it for His glory in ways i could never arrange on my own.
"Jacob was a cheater; Peter had a temper; David had an affair; Noah got drunk; Jonah ran from God; Paul was a murderer; Gideon was insecure; Miriam was a gossiper; Martha was a worrier; Thomas was a doubter; Sara was impatient; Elijah was moody; Moses stuttered; Zaccheus was short; Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead."
and in the span of just thirty-five years, i have been - or done - all of those things, too. and so, it is in utter defiance of all human wisdom, reasoning and logic that He can use even me, in spite of me.
it is the mystery of redemption. it is the mystery of surrender. it is the truth that Paul was speaking of when He wrote Romans 8:28. truly, He takes all that we are, all that we have been, all that we have done - and He uses it for our good and for His glory. my human mind cannot comprehend it and my human heart, apart from Him, cannot accept it. but grace through faith, oh - how i have come to believe it. and all i have to give, is what He offers me.
i remember the anguish of my teenage years (and my twenties for that matter), not understanding who i was, who i was supposed to be, what i was supposed to do. not knowing that i had a purpose. not comprehending that God had a plan for my life. it took me the better part of thirty-five years to realize that He IS the plan.
"I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,
“and will bring you back from captivity...
I will bring you back to the place from which I carried you.”
Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV)