I was recently listening to the Jennifer Allwood Show on iTunes and she said something to the effect of not letting fear be an excuse for not listening to Gods calling over your life. If you would have asked me this time last year to set up a photo booth for a large community event hosted my our church I would have declined our of pure fear. In fact, no one would have even thought to ask me to decorate because well, no one knew I could. Even me. I had chalked up my love to create and decorate and DIY as merely a hobby my entire life. Much less ever believed in myself enough to put my work on display for the world to see. I had not ever even considered it as a true God-given gift. I thought service looked like cleaning the church, greeting people at the door, cooking for the sick…you know, all those things us church people are supposed to do. Please, don’t get me wrong, all of those things are amazing acts of service but I never felt called to do any of those things. I felt like I didn’t fit it to any given spot for service, it always felt way more forced that I thought God would be happy with, if that makes any sense at all. I mean, wasn’t doing this stuff, being the hands and feet of Jesus, supposed to bring you joy? I never really felt that to be completely honest, not until recently.
Last night I experienced a whole different kind of joy. The pure joy of serving with confidence that I did have a gift that God can and would use for His glory. It wasn’t forced, I truly felt that I could put my talent to work and help reach people. I truly enjoyed every moment of the planning, preparation and the actual doing of this project. That isn’t to say that service isn’t going to require work and sacrifice of your time, because it will. God has opened so many doors for opportunity in my life and business lately and it felt so good to be able to give back to him.
You may be thinking, how in the world is setting up a cute area for pictures considered an act of service? Listen, y’all… you wouldn’t believe how many smiling facing I saw right here in front of this backdrop. I saw family and friends from all over our greatly unchurched community coming together to get that perfect (or not so perfect) family shot. Who knows, maybe God was working on softening hearts as those families squeezed in the photo, maybe He was birthing a relationship between a lost soul and a church that wanted to love on their community. Whatever the case may be, it’s not our job to worry about whether or not our gifts have made an impact. God only asks us to plant, He will do the rest. Sure, there would have been a photo booth without my help, but I would have missed the blessing God had waiting for me. I used the gift that HE gave me to create this lovely space for families and friends to capture memories on our church grounds. I was His hands and feet in that moment and that was all I was called to do.
Please hear my heart on this, I am not sharing this to toot my own horn, but rather to encourage you to listen to that tug on your heart. God has put something inside you that you may not even realize is there. Look inward and search deep to find that calling, that gift. Maybe look at the things you enjoy through a different lens and ask how I can do this to the glory of God. If it scares the heck out of you, do it anyway. I won’t go into all the details in this post but if you know me and know my story then you know that this time last year, I had zero confidence in myself and my spiritual gift as a creative. I rejected that calling for years. By ignoring that calling, I was rejecting God, telling him His gift to me wasn’t good enough for service.
Sometimes I wonder if we would be better off not worrying so much about the results of our service, God has that part covered, and instead, focused on what is taking place in our hearts as we serve. We can focus on the portion of the story that God has asked us to literally be the hand and feet.