I’ve considered how to respond and prayed about it because…well, you’ll see…I hope. I even considered saying nothing, but last week the Lord kept echoing in my mind one sentence people have said to me untold number of times over my life: “Jerri, I’m not you.” They say it with sadness, and it is obvious they think there is something about me that makes me somehow more than them. More gifted. More outgoing. More determined. More spiritual. More…I don’t know. I’m not more than anyone. That is what makes me small and insignificant. I’m no bigger or more significant than anyone else. I’m just Jerri, and, yes, there are some fantastically cool things that comes with that, red hair included, but there are some things that are hard and keep me on my knees praying because they are not something I want up where everyone can see them. They are ugly, and I know they are ugly, and I promise you have witnesses who will testify they are ugly.
But even with as ordinary and regular as I am, God can take all that stuff—even the ugly—and do powerful, powerful things I could never do on my own. If He can do that in MY life with my background and my ugly, He can do it with anyone’s life.
So, let me tell you about the real me. It may get ugly. Are you ready? Okay.
First of all, I am not "small" or "insignificant". I don't EVER think that way about myself. I think I was put on this earth to have powerful impact. I believe I am a gifted speaker and writer. I believe I am a force to be reckoned with. I believe I do have my Daddy's full attention, and, yes, I do believe I am the favorite.
I am fully convinced if I need my Daddy, He will send any resource He has in heaven to my aide, and if need be, as it once was, if I need Him to, He will get off His throne and come to earth Himself to do what needs to be done to save me from whatever has the audacity to attack me. Mostly, He saves me from myself.
I truly believe anything that comes before me I am capable to handle. I believe any giant and any mountain that steps in my way makes a mistake because it will come down.
I believe I often come across as harsh and overly blunt, and because of that, I sometimes say nothing when I should say something, even if I say it with a bit more edge than I intend. In my opinion, these are my two greatest weaknesses, and I would appreciate prayers for these things if my Daddy brings me to your mind.
One of my great strengths is my refusal to back down from a fight when I’m fighting for someone or when I know I’m right. One of my great challenges is learning when it really doesn’t matter if I’m right or not. I get to practice this every.single.day.
Because I know I’m a strong presence, I sometimes play “small” in order to not overwhelm people or to keep from being a target. This is one of my greatest faults. I truly believe I can be a strong presence and be a place of refuge in that strength without being less than who God expects me to be. I’m still learning this. I hope I get it figured out before I die.
It hurts me when people don’t like me or people don’t understand me. In fact, those wounds cut horrifically deep, and I expend absurd amounts of time and energy figuring out how to mend the relationship. The Lord is teaching me to know when that matters because not all relationships are meant to be mended. It is a hard truth, and I have to keep that on the altar before Him all the time.
Oddly, though, I have no problem standing against another strong person when I feel that person is threatening, and if they don’t like it, I don’t care. Still learning proportional response. Sometimes a .45 is enough to fix the situation, and I bring a tank, and sometimes the collateral damage is… Remember the ugly I talked about? Well, this is way on up there on the ugly list.
I stink at being vulnerable, and God has made it clear this is one of my greatest strengths. However, it has been stolen through people’s painful treatment, accusations, and abandoning me throughout my life. It is something He wants restored. Can I tell you how much I am not loving the idea of THAT battle? But I am also excited. Walls can be so hard to maintain, and it is not good for me (man) to be alone. It’s a worthwhile battle. Love the idea of when it is over, just not the walking through.
If God brings you to mind, please feel free to pray for any (or all) of the above.
I am far more the warrior than the woman of grace, and I realize that rocks some people's world's and upsets their happy apple carts and rips their comfort zones to shreds. I have been called "intimidating" by more than one person, and while I can assure you I never desire to intimidate, I also have no intention of being less than who God created me to be.
I can also tell you if you are fighting to be who God created you to be, I'll be your best cheerleader. I will be the warrior who stands with you to encourage you and defend you because when we start standing up in the Truth of who we are, Satan will start throwing bombs about who we used to be. I’ll be there to remind you of the Truth and to tell the liar to go to hell where he belongs. I just may not say it gracefully. J
I'm not perfect. I don't claim to be, and I'm more aware of my faults than most people think. I thank God for grace, and I pray every day to be a person who extends it more than I expect to get it. I make mistakes. I hurt people's feelings, and sometimes I can't figure out how to say I'm sorry without sounding not-sorry, and I hate that. But honestly, sometimes I don't say I'm sorry because I really think I am right and have nothing to be sorry about.
That is kind of the way I see me.
Now, let me tell you how I see YOU.
First of all, you are not "small" or "insignificant". Don't EVER think that way about yourself. I know you were put on this earth to have powerful impact. You have gifts and talents no one else has. He has a big plan, and you are part of it. You are a force to be reckoned with. You have your Daddy's full attention, and, yes, I do believe you are the favorite.
I am fully convinced if you need your Daddy, He will send any resource He has in heaven to your aide, and if you need Him to, He will get off His throne and come to earth Himself to do what needs to be done to save you from whatever has the audacity to attack you. He will even save you from yourself.
I know you are a gift and a treasure, and I also know I am no better—no bigger, no more significant, no more talented, no more important—than anyone else, not even you.
So when I say I am small and insignificant, I don’t mean I think I’m worthless and unimportant. I’m simply saying I’m a human being like everyone else. Period. I’m also HIS, and in Him, I’m everything I need to be for Him to be great through me.
I believe that is true of everyone. So anyone who has ever said or thought, "I'm not like (Jerri, Ann Voskamp, The Piano Guys, Tedd Dekker, insert the person Satan uses against you HERE)," no, you're not. But you aren't supposed to be. You're just supposed to be like Jesus...in the beautiful flavor He built into you.
And THAT is always significant.