I sat on the front stoop of my church building, head cupped in my hands. It was hot, and the sun beat down on my shoulders. I could feel the sweat beading along my neck, slowly dripping down my back.
“So, I think there’s been a mistake,” I told God. “You’ve got the wrong girl.”
A little less than a year ago, I quit my job as a news producer at Canada’s largest broadcaster. In a complete plot twist, I discerned God leading me to pastor and plant a church. (In case anyone tells you following Jesus is boring, let me be the first to say that’s not true at all.)
In the span of a few months, I went from producing news stories to pastoring a group of people and preparing to launch a church this fall.
I had a laundry list of reasons why God had the wrong person. I hadn’t gone to Bible college. I was a twenty-something-year-old girl. I didn’t know anything about hiring staff or managing a building or running a church. I mentally ran through all the things I needed to do: choose paint colors, stay on budget, find volunteer teams, and figure out who would cut the grass and take out the garbage each week.
I shook my head and prayed again, “I’m not cut out for this, Jesus. I can’t run a church. I can’t do this.”
Discouragement settled on me like a weighted blanket for the rest of the day. I was convinced this wasn’t going to work. Why on earth had I decided to leave a well-paying journalism job to pastor a church plant?
Later that night, I went on a walk with Jesus. It’s my favorite way to talk with Him. The sunset was streaking pink and lilac across the sky as I poured my heart out to Jesus. I confessed every fear and insecurity I had — telling Him how terrified I was that I might mess this up for people, that I might somehow become a barrier between the people I pastored and Him.
But you’re not their Savior. That’s up to Me.
I took a deep breath, and then another one. His words lifted the blanket of discouragement right off me and replaced it with peace.
Jesus says His burden is light. When I feel like the work I’m called to is causing me to feel more heavy than light, it’s a good cue to consider if I’m trying to be God instead of pointing people to Him. It’s not up to me to save people. That’s up to Jesus. It’s up to me to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love others in the same way. It’s up to me to become as passionate a disciple of Jesus as I can, and to invite others to do the same. It’s up to me to become involved in my local church, surround myself with community, and practice spiritual disciplines that take me into a deeper union with God.
But it’s not up to me to save anyone. That’s all up to Jesus.
Perhaps you feel like you’re not the right person for the job. You might have a long list of reasons why you think God’s got it wrong. You might be convinced you’re not enough or not cut out for this. You might think you need more education or more money or more faith. You might think you can’t do it because you’re a woman.
You may not feel like the right person. . . but the Holy Spirit is — and He lives in you.
God has given us His very Spirit to live and dwell and take up residence within us. When you follow Jesus, you have all that you need. The Holy Spirit equips and empowers you. He counsels you and guides you.
David once prayed, “May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground…” (Psalm 143:10 NIV) When you follow the Holy Spirit, He may take you on an adventure that you never expected, but He is a good God who will lead you on level ground. With the Holy Spirit equipping you, empowering you, leading you, and filling you afresh each day with more of Him, you’re exactly where you need to be.
You may not feel like you’re the right person, but the Holy Spirit is. And He won’t leave you for even one second.