Disqualified, Part 2

...here's a word for you!  

A few years ago I began blogging as an outlet during the heartbreak of our fertility issues. After I got pregnant and had Emmy I stopped blogging. Dumb. I know. I got busy with my new life as a stay-at-home-wife-mom-housekeeper-cook (all my friends just LOL-ed). But a few months ago I was at a leadership conference and God stirred my heart in an unmistakable way. I believe He was reconfirming His call on my life to write. So I got back to writing & blogging. 

So I'm going along blogging my heart out for two months when my news anchor friend contacts me to ask if I would consider becoming her family/faith/relationship contributor on her new lifestyle t.v. talk show. Umm, someone pinch me. Is this happening? Umm, someone pinch me again. I'm not qualified to do this...   

And just like that I began a downward spiral of self-doubt that needed no help from Satan to kick me and keep me down. I could do "kicking and keeping me down" all by my bad little self.  

At the bottom of my doubt, God began reminding me of His Truth, His Word. He whispered, "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). Yes. I believe that. Then as doubt and insecurity crept back up, He whispered again, "You are my workmanship, my masterpiece! You were created in my Son to do good works that I prepared in advance for you to do." (Ephesians 2:10).

I still don't feel qualified but I believe I am called. Christine Caine says "God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called." 

I don't feel qualified for the work and opportunities in front of me. I still feel like an awkward eight grade girl with braces, glasses and pubescent acne (I still have the acne). The opportunity to speak into people's lives about relationships (i.e. marriage, parenting). Wow. What a great opportunity. What a huge responsibility. 

Struggling to accept all this goodness, I decided I needed a mental break. Girl time was necessary. I called my sister and we took our girls for donuts, bought them new shoes and let them play at the mall's indoor playground. Leaving the mall, Jenni and I saw that Dillard's had a clearance on their children's clothes...score! We gazed and gathered quickly as our children began wilting.

I stood at the Dillard's children's counter with my two fabulous clearance items waiting patiently for the lady in front of me to finish her transaction. My child was not waiting patiently. She was holding my one free hand but moving away from me so that just our fingertips were touching. "Emery Noel, you have to hold Mama's hand." She looked at me, saw that I was stuck in line and her evil master plan would work...so she went for it! She took off running faster than a Kenyan at the Olympics. Can I say that? I just did. 

I stuffed the clearance items in my sister's hand and took off running, screaming to my sister, "Put the clothes back on the racks. I'm not buying her anything!" As I ran through the store I yelled at innocent bystanders, "Look out! Kid coming your way. Don't trip!" I noticed many people stop, look down just in time to see Emery race past them, and then look at me and laugh. They laughed. At me. The family/faith/relationship girl. When I finally caught up to her, I was out of breath and I had shin splints. I'm not kidding. Pathetic. Note to anyone reading this: next time you see me running through a store to capture my disobedient child, please help a sister out and trip that sweet child of mine. Good grief! 

We piled into my minivan and drove home. I promptly put Emmy down for a nap and then I cried. "I'm so not qualified to tell anyone how to do anything, most of all parenting." I felt disqualified. Like I just got caught taking the juice (is that the right sports terminology?). Except that my "juice", the disqualifying factor, was my lack of ability to maintain a pretend sense of control and calm in my life. Chasing my kid through the mall made me feel disqualified to talk about relationships and parenting.   

I told my friend, Di, about the incident a few days later and she roared with laughter. I was only at a point where I could politely chuckle about it. And then she spoke wisdom into my discouraged heart, "Jessica, that is exactly why Tatum wants you to be the family/faith/relationship person on her show. Because you'll tell that story. And the majority of moms will relate. And you'll offer them hope, unity, love. And, hey, if nothing else, you'll make 'em laugh...at your expense!" True that. 

God didn't call me to do any of this, writing/speaking, because I'm qualified. My sin has disqualified me from everything good. But His Son, on the cross, disqualifies my sin and calls me out as His daughter, thus qualifying me as royalty. How much more qualification do I need? 

He called me, I answered and now He will qualify me for the work He has planned for me to do. 

He'll qualify you, too. Listen, obey, answer His call. Today. Not when you've quit smoking or cussing or when you've lost 10 pounds or when you've fallen back in love with your husband or when you've served in your church for one year or when you've stopped sleeping with your boyfriend for three months. Stop trying to qualify yourself. Do what God's asked you to do and do it now. When you're not qualified, or when you feel disqualified. You can't qualify yourself - that's God's job. Your job is to answer His call with a "Yes." Get going and keep going!



Jessica Phillips

Jessica is worshiper and follower of Jesus. He rescued her heart at age 6 but he rescued her calling, purpose and direction in her early 20's. Everyday God is still writing Jessica's story. It involves her husband, Brad, her daughter, Emery, their extended families. But the story is a tale of loss of life and dark grief. And the story ebs and weaves and the grief story is followed by weddings and laughter. And what comes next? A Baby! God sends us a baby to shape and teach and grow right in the midst of our loss and realizing that life actually moves forward. We didn't think it would again after he died. But life just did what it was supposed to do...and it went on. And hope is born again. Everything I write is based on this fact: I'm God's child, I'm alive today. So what do You want me to do for You? Because I want my contribution to matter. I want to leave a legacy.