It is a Blessing to be Average
In everything I do, I have to try. As an average person, I’m not naturally good at stuff. I spend hours figuring out most things through trial and error or watching hours of youtube videos and reading information on the internet. This used to frustrate the heck out of me when I would see things come so easily for others. I hated being average!
I always felt like I wasn’t good at anything. As a Liberal Studies major in college and then going on to get my degree in Elementary Education, I know a little bit about many subjects.
A Pastor’s Wife Confession
Over the years, I have come to see these deficiencies as a blessing. Here is another Pastor’s Wife Confession… God has used my weaknesses to encourage me and others more than He has used my strengths.
Many of us are just average at most things… and that’s okay. The discovery that even if I’m not the best or most talented at something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try has changed my life. I have learned to do things that I never imagined, simply because I was okay sucking at it and trusting God. Lol. And sometimes I find out, to my surprise, that I don’t actually suck at all.
I didn’t see the benefits of being average for many years. The perfectionist in me didn’t allow for it. I was so afraid of failure that I didn’t want to try new things, and I struggled with feeling like I don’t measure up.
But God in His goodness has shown me some amazing things about being average.
First, I have to depend on Him more often than not. Since I am not a naturally gifted person in most areas, I need to look to him for help. These deficiencies give me plenty to pray for. Often, that help comes through being taught by people who know more than me.
Also, the relationships that have come from not wanting to suck so much at something have been some of my most significant relationships.
Here are some relationships that grew from my being average.
Being Average as a Youth Worker
When I served as a youth worker in my 20’s, I was a baby Christian, new to the faith. Every time students would ask me a question; I would have to look into the answer. I grew so much since I had no idea how to lead students when I didn’t know this stuff yet myself. Constantly searching the scriptures and asking the youth pastor tons of questions, I learned to trust God and not be afraid to ask for help. The youth pastor was patient with me and guided me through how to study the bible.
Blessing of Singing Off-key
Additionally, students would sit next to me at church because I wasn’t afraid to sing out in my off-key voice. That seems silly, but I’ve been told on more than one occasion that it gave them the confidence to sing out to the Lord when they felt like they didn’t sing well. I make a “joyful noise”… but it’s not always pretty.
Then I took it a step further… even though music is not in my genes; I learned enough guitar to play a few songs at camp. However, I always needed one of the girls to lead the singing since I struggled to sing on key and keep the rhythm… but I did it. Because of that, I had some amazing bonding time with those girls.
Being Average as a Christian
As a young Christian, I couldn’t get enough of the bible. I spent time with my pastor’s wife and gleaned from her what it means to be a Christian woman. I also had a peer who was the friend that I followed a boy to church with when we were in Jr. High. (Yep… God knew how to get me to church!) She is one of my best friends and was married to the youth pastor. She and her husband discipled me, cooked meals for me, and treated me like family. I gleaned so much wisdom from observing their lives and relationship. Mostly… they made me feel loved.
Being Average at Quilting… and Learning Lots of Other Things Because of it
I learned to quilt from a friend’s mother-in-law. She made us treats and talked about life as we quilted. Her Pumpkin Eater Pumpcakes has become a tradition in my family. I looked forward to spending time with her every week because she was the picture of a stable family and a gracious woman. I wanted to be like her when I was older. And mostly… she made me and my friends feel loved.
No Idea How to be a Wife
When I got married, I had no idea how to be a good wife. In our first year of marriage, we moved to New Jersey, and I babysat for two amazing families. Both treated my husband and me like family. One of the moms would pour me a cup of tea when I arrived and spend the first hour asking me about my life. I cannot begin to tell you what an impact this had on me. I was away from my friends and family across the country with my new husband; homesick and struggling.
She also let me witness the reality of what your house looks like when you are trying to pack for a vacation with young kids, organizing a grocery list by each department, and planning healthy meals. This woman, who has since become a dear friend, encouraged me and listened to my struggles. Then she gently pointed me to Jesus and gave terrific advice. That was exactly what I needed in that stage of my life. I felt loved and accepted into their family. I still do 17 years later.
In fact, when we built our house in Utah, I actually picked out kitchen cabinets based completely on feeling. I went in with the idea of one thing and switched it up when I saw this one cabinet. I couldn’t place what it was, but they just made me feel joy. We went to visit our friends in New Jersey shortly after. After walking into her kitchen, I realized why they made me feel so happy. They were the same color as hers! That is how much of an impact she had on me!
Struggling as a Working Mom
Going back to work was difficult for me. I was excited to start my career, and both the boys were in school full day. I really struggled to figure out how to be a wife, mom, and pastor’s wife with my new career. I wasn’t doing anything well and felt discouraged. A wonderful woman from our church took me under her wing. We would sew costumes together for church, and she would share how she was able to make it all work when her kids were younger. Watching how she and her husband served so many in our church and gave so much of their time was inspiring. She made me feel loved and really helped me work through some of the “mom guilt.”
Friends had to Intervene
After an intervention from some of my best friends and some heartbreaking words from my son, I ended up making a tough decision to quit teaching and work part-time. It was the best decision I ever made! Those friends could see something that I couldn’t. I’m so glad I finally listened. God used the wisdom of others to show me His will.
Learning to Depend on God
Another way that God has used my weakness is to help me depend on and trust Him. My husband and I planted a church 10 years ago. We are not these dynamic, talented, stylish church planters that you see at conferences. We see ourselves as pretty average, but our hearts broke for an area and God was clearly calling us.
Because we aren’t musical, God continues to bring musical people. Because my husband is not gifted in the area of organization, God brings people who are. We felt inadequate through every stage of church planting, but luckily we serve a God who can do anything He wants. For some reason, He allowed for us to be used.
Being Average Strengthened my Faith
Watching God work in the lives of people at our church has strengthened my faith like nothing else. I see Him working despite our weaknesses. Because of that, it is easy for us to look at our church and say, “Wow! Look what God did!” Had we been naturally good at all of these things, we would have looked at everything and said, “Wow! Look what we did.” And while yes, there was a lot of our blood, sweat, and tears that went into this church, ultimately, we couldn’t have done any of it without God and all the people He provided to fill in where we were lacking.
I have a much greater understanding of what it means to be the body of Christ. Everyone’s gifts are needed… everyone’s!
I am forever grateful for my weaknesses that lead so many people to be a part of my life and ministry. Now I hope to support and encourage others since I actually know some stuff in my
old, wait, no… more mature age. Now that I think about it, what I think of as average, might have been God’s perfect plan all along.
What have you seen God do despite your weaknesses? Leave a comment and let me know.