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I never finished college. For some reason, that has always been a big deal for me. My husband, sister, and boys repeatedly tell me that a degree means nothing. Of course, they all have a degree. But I know they mean it, and I know their view of me isn’t any less because I quit college, albeit three times.
I’m a writer. I am not published at this time, and I’m definitely not the best. But I write. I write authentically and I write words to myself because I need as much encouragement and hope as my reader. I am real and raw with a goal to connect with people.
Last October I applied to write for World Magazine and some other Christian publications. What was I thinking? I filled out the lengthy application. Masters? No. Bachelors? No. Have you been published? No. And on it went. Until finally, do you have a website. Aha! Thanks to my friend Jasper Nicodemus Rodda I do have that, but that is pretty much all I had.
I received a phone call from a nice woman with the magazine telling me she loved my work. She then proceeded to tell me they offer an intense training class and thought I may be interested in and in order to write for the magazine, you must go through this training. I applied. Again, checking no to all the important questions.
However, by the time I finished and submitted the application, the class was full. They only take 12 writers a year for this program. I’d be out on a waitlist. I was discouraged and thought she was softening the real blow that I am way under qualified.
As the months went by I would periodically call to see if there had been any cancellations. I prayed that the Lord would open an unlikely door. In January they told me cancellations are rare and I’d be better off applying for the 2024 course. I prayed one more time and moved on.
On Friday around 4, I received a phone from World Magazine. Someone had to drop out. They asked if I could could attend the intensive training. I was excited and terrified. Eager and reluctant. Happy and nervous. I mean, when I was praying, I didn’t think it would really happen.
I got lots of advice, support, and encouragement. But the feelings of inadequacy loomed. I began to talk my way out of going through the very door the Lord had opened.
I vacillated on this. They emailed me some assignments and I was overwhelmed. This is exactly why I quit school! I cried. I cried more. I surrendered. And then, in weakness, He made me strong. I secured my flight, called an Uber and boarded a plane to North Carolina.
The story of Gideon is God doing what He does best. He takes the less than ordinary, and does something extraordinary. He takes the unassuming and raises them to new heights. He literally used the lowest of the low, the most cowardly of the crew, the weakest of them all as His perfect choice to accomplish His will.
I’m sure there were men upon men who were braver, brighter, and stronger, than Gideon. But that wasn’t who God chose. He hand picked, and intentionally selected the most unqualified for the job. Gideon’s achievements were through the masters establishing.
I’m a simple woman, and by world standards, there really isn’t much to me. But God reminded me it’s the simplistic He wants to use. It’s those who are vulnerable to His leading. He raises up those who are lowly and small. It is He who does this so that no one can boast. When we take that step away from ourselves and rest comfortably in the uncomfortableness of His plan, He is able.
I’m not sure where this is leading. Maybe it will amount to nothing more than polishing up my work. But maybe not. Whatever He has for me He will raise me up. And in His timing, I will go.