To give what I have and know it is enough

In college, I decided to major in journalism because I wasn’t quite sure what else to do with myself.

Most of my high school friends were education majors who had known from the time they were wee that they wanted to be teachers. Not having found anything that “made my heart beat faster,” as my old pastor used to say, I followed along for a while, even joining the Future Teachers of America club, because why not? I wasn’t an artist, wasn’t into science or math, and didn’t think anything technology-related would hold my attention. I could carry a tune and harmonize with my altos in church choir but I wasn’t a singer by any means, and the drama teacher always assigned me the role of peasant #6 or townsperson #2 so clearly acting wasn’t really my jam either. I was on the yearbook staff at my small high school and thought that was fun, so maybe journalism would be my best bet. I made good grades on my English papers and could diagram sentences like a boss, and I knew how to spell. And most importantly, a journalism track meant zero math courses, and I liked that idea a whole lot.

So off I went to the Communications building to first learn about marketing and the history of newspapers and magazines, which I found interesting. But as I moved through the years of college and into actual news reporting classes, I made a discovery. I didn’t really like writing the news—and haaated bugging people for interviews—and judging by the grades I received from my professors (mostly Orlando Sentinel adjuncts at the time), my writing was just okay. Feature writing was more fun—book review on Harry Potter? No prob!—but the feedback from my professor in that class didn’t leave me feeling too optimistic either.

Editing 1 though—the class where you memorize entries from the AP Stylebook (yup) and destroy sample articles with a red pen and proofreader’s marks galore—that class felt like home to me. Go figure. I got an A even though the prof said no one would… and thus began my career in copyediting. I guess if I’m not that great a writer myself, the least I can do is help other writers look better. Wah waaaah.

Yet somehow, here I am 10-ish *cough* years later with this blog and the stories in my head and the thoughts I try so hard to accurately express through written word. Lately I’ve struggled with this blogging business because the more I write, the more I want to read, and the more I read what other writers write, the more I feel like I’m back in journalism classes again with that disappointing, mediocre B scribbled atop every assignment, reminding me that I’m just okay at this and maybe I should just go back to helping other people with their writing.

It hurts.

There’s so much I want to do and often I feel too inadequate to even try. Too many things to attempt and not enough time. I want to encourage women. I want to help moms be better and kinder to one another and to our kids (and our husbands). I want to share these little thoughts I know God has put in my head for a purpose, whether it’s in a 1,000-word blog post or a quick sentence I throw out into the universe. I struggle with feeling like what I want to say is going to sound staged or fake or pretentious, because I hate that. I love it when people get real with each other in a way that is encouraging and promotes growth and change, steps forward—not pretty all the time. I still want to edit. I want to write a whole book. I want to organize all the photos I’ve ever taken and put them in albums so that when my children are grown, they will look back and know how much I loved them, because thousands and thousands of photos! 

I am quick to let my head take over and my thoughts spiral completely out of control. I get lost in them.

Rebekah. Stop.

What has Christ asked of me? For only the wisest and deepest words? For a sentence that will solve the world’s problems in addition to having layers and layers of meaning and mystery? For perfectly crafted, tweetable statements that someone will inevitably paste onto photos of sunsets and wildflowers to be reposted 26 times in a row on my Instagram feed?

No. He whispers to my heart simply,

Follow Me.

Share the stories I have given you as best you can, and know that I love your meager gifts—your B grades, your “just okay” words.

Be present with your children—the children I have entrusted to your care—in the everyday.

Love Me.

Love others. 

Just follow Me. 

We plant, trusting God for the growth.
We act in faith, trusting God for the outcome.
We build, trusting God to fill.
We offer, trusting God with the response.
Emily P. FreemanSimply Tuesday

The truth is, I need those other writers, the ones whose beautifully strung-together words frustrate me (why can’t I write like that?). I’m learning that God uses other people’s gifts to inspire me to use mine, however unworthy they are to my own critical eye. To encourage me to dig in a little more, to think harder, to study, and to remember that whatever I have to offer, God can and will use it if I just give it to Him.

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4 thoughts on “To give what I have and know it is enough

  1. Love it sweetie pie.  Enjoying your Mother being here. Wonderful to have such a friend who has been here with me all these years.  Still wondering myself at times what God wants from me.  Love you.  Aunt Dee

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  2. Another wonderful piece, Rebekah. I, too, struggle with getting started when the task seems impossible, has already been done, or I might not do it as well as someone else.

    In the web industry, there have been many recent articles about this “imposter syndrome” and I think everyone suffers from it from time to time. I wouldn’t say that I’m the best at any one thing, but I try to remind myself that I don’t get better by NOT doing it. Some of it will stick and some of it will fall away, but I’ll learn something new each time – either about the thing or about myself.

    Also, I think your writing is great. But you already knew that.

  3. Thanks for this Rebekah(I am a friend of your Aunt Melissa’s)…my daughter is a senior, graduating from college in December and panicked about her future. I emailed her this today, praying this will be an encouragement. Keep writing, you never know how God will use your good efforts!!!

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