I recently attended a conference for women in leadership that was filled to capacity. The conference was centered on encouraging and empowering women through opportunities to share ideas and resources, create enduring networks, and garner the professional development tools necessary to succeed, particularly in a male-dominated workplace. This conference wasn’t the first of its kind, and of no surprise to me, some of the same challenges that were discussed at previous conferences were again discussed at this one. We’ve come so far, but have yet to arrive.
I’ve heard this shared more often than not, studies reveal that women will likely not apply for an open position if they don’t meet most, if not all, of the stated qualifications listed in the advertisement. On the contrary, men may only meet one of the required skills or competencies stated, and will confidently apply, unwavering in their ability to do the job.
Women sometimes lack confidence in their ability to rise to the occasion. The occasion that could propel us into the impossible made possible, the abundant life that’s promised to us through Christ Jesus. Our shortcomings or areas of weakness are often showcased and magnified on the billboard of our minds, while our hope and faith are obscured by the big, bold print of negativity.
Why do we as women tend to focus on what we’re not rather than who we are, and if we’re Christian, whose we are? Instead of asking, “Why me?,” why not ask, “Why not me?”
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29). You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
You were intended to be thrust into situations and positions for God to do over and above anything you could ask or think and yet, AND YET, we cannot fathom that the GREAT BIG GOD that we serve could seat us in heavenly places, commission us to do incredible works, before great men & women, to confound the wise and mighty. God will cover and supplement our shortfalls, but He desires that we recognize where our help comes from. He deserves the glory and expects it will be freely given. For that, we need to be aware and continually mindful that with Him, all things are possible. And if nothing is impossible with Him, “Why not you?” Why not me? Why not us?
Now, I could wait until I have all of the qualifications, or I could rejoice in the room that God has to move on my behalf, strengthen my faith, and make Himself more visible and real to onlookers.
God, in the name of Jesus, help us see what you see, your divine intention, even before we were formed in our mother’s womb for such a time as this. Help us take leaps of faith…withholding nothing. Never allow us to let our circumstances dictate our destinies.
What if Esther (The book of Esther Chapters 1 – 10), looked to someone who was more beautiful, wiser, more eloquent, more graceful, stronger, holier, more seasoned, wealthier, or even male to appeal to the king and ultimately save the Jews? Esther wasn’t perfect; in fact, she grew up in exile in Persia and hid the fact that she was a Jew. However, she was brilliantly aware of this…she needed God’s favor if she were to succeed and she had just that, favor. Her mission wasn’t impossible, with Him.
So, why not Esther?
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. Ps 46;5
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
Why not you? What have you shied away from that you should be running towards?