Whenever my father, my brothers, or I sing, my mother always says, “Ako, mahilig kumanta, pero ‘yong kanta, walang hilig sa’kin.”. She means that she loves to sing but she cannot sing very well. She does it, anyway even though she knows she is almost always out of tune. She doesn’t care. She sings her heart out regardless of how she sounds. I admire her for that.
Although there are several things that we cannot do well if we don’t have the talent or even some knowledge or skills to do them, there are some things that we can still do kahit hindi natin ‘linya’ or even if we know we are not very good at it or are not inclined to do it. Sometimes, we just have to be willing.
Willingness to Learn and Try
When I started in college, I knew I will have to do many things that I have no idea about, things that I have never tried or that I have never thought I will have to do.
Never have I imagined that I will have to dissect a baby shark and a cat when I decided to take up Psychology for my bachelor’s degree. Along with the seemingly endless and relentless memorization of names and terms in one of our minor subjects, Zoology that are difficult to spell, to pronounce, and to understand, the careful dissection of the delicate body parts of these animals are all very challenging to me not only because I can hardly see the intricate parts and layers of every muscle and tissue (due to my low vision and not having enough assistive devices at that time), but also, memorization is not my cup of tea and I have always been not good at it.
But I still had to do it, anyway, along with many other things that I had to learn and to try so I could accomplish a task at hand or a goal in the long run.
Few years after college, I may have already forgotten the names and terms, what was imparted in me was the discipline, the perseverance, and the tenacity, and all the other qualities that the Lord has taught me to develop my character through these experiences that I carried to use as I face difficult situations from which I still continue to learn and grow.
Willingness to be Real and Confident
I really don’t like the fact that I used to shy away and be reserved, or to become too conscious whenever I sing in front of family or friends. I was way too careful to not pick the songs that I thought were too high for me to sing or that I thought I will not be able to sing perfectly.
I was too scared to show any hint of imperfection to people whenever I sing in front of them because I was too insecure of myself and my talent, I became too conscious of the fact that these people know very well that I can sing so I thought they will ridicule me the moment I go out of tune or whatever. I realized now how silly that thought was!
It was only after several years of struggling with insecurity and lack of self-confidence that I finally learned that those who truly love me won’t mind seeing my imperfections because that is the real me; that the people around me will enjoy and be happier when they see me having fun and being carefree; and that I can be confident enough only if I am willing to be real.
“And the only way to keep it real is to care more about God’s approval than other people’s approval.”–Rick Warren, Daily Hope
Jesus has taught me that if only I will be willing to show vulnerability while being confident and secured in Him, I can do mostly anything beautifully with joy and peace in my heart, knowing that my confidence comes from Him and that my identity—my worth and value—will always be in Jesus and not based on what I am capable of or how well I do things.
Willingness to be Used by God
When I felt a gentle but persistent prompting to go back to writing, I knew I wanted to write for Jesus and not just for my entertainment or other people’s pleasure. But I wasn’t quite sure how or if I will be able to do it well because it has been years since I last wrote a few short stories in the horror and romance genre and a few poems/lyrics, not to mention the essays, case studies, assessments, and all the other school-related writings.
So, I was thinking, how do I start? And, can I really do it? Especially whenever I get to read a lot of good Christian novels and pieces, I tend to get intimidated, thinking to myself that I can never be as good as those authors. But God never ceased to gently tap my shoulders until I finally started writing something.
As I began doing my blog, Jesus was giving me all sorts of encouragement and direction, and I can really notice how my worries, my anxiety, my doubts, and my insecurities are gradually diminishing.
And one of the most powerful and enlightening advices that Jesus utilized to inspire me was given through my favorite author, C.D. de Guzman a.k.a. Frustrated Girl Writer (FGW). She once said, “Keep praying for wisdom. The Lord takes over us while we write about Him. It’s not about our talent in writing but our willingness to be used by God. Kaya I know you’ll be able to write all for His glory and by His glory!”.
How liberating and empowering that is! Through these words I was reminded that whenever I do something for the Lord, I should not worry about what exactly I will do; whether I am talented enough or not to do it; and most importantly, whether people will like it or not because I am doing it for God, anyway.
Three months after I started my blog, one of my best friends suggested that I should create a Facebook page where I could post quotes or excerpts from my blog posts or short writings about things that are related to what I write on my blog. The initial objective of creating the page was to promote my blog. But it ended up going beyond just mere promoting.
When I focused only on promoting my blog, something felt odd, like I was pressured to post stuff that must be creative and interesting to the public—something that I am not witty enough to do. So, when my anxiety and doubts were about to step back in, the Lord was quick to intervene just in time and reminded me what I am doing this for—why I am writing and to Whom I am writing for. I now just post thoughts, realizations, learnings, and lessons that I believe the Holy Spirit breathes to me that are still related to the theme and purpose of what I write about—the gradual process of our growth in our spiritual walk with Jesus.
“LORD, HERE I AM! I HAVE THE TIME. WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?”
Sometimes, even if we have the talent, the skills, the knowledge, the resources, and even the experience, if we are not willing to be available, to commit, to sacrifice and to offer our precious time and gifts, to intentionally and voluntarily serve, the things that need to be done will not be done.
But when we are willing to do what God wants us to do, He will certainly provide all the necessary tools that we will need to do His will.
Just be available, just be willing. And He will provide. He will guide. He will sustain. We will have the confidence and the courage that we will need.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”–Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)