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.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the week things of the world to shame the strong" 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NIV)

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…

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

When God put a calling on your life, he already factored in your stupidity. attributed to Graham Cooke
This is the most comforting thing ever!

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.

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  1. I have always thought you were exceptional–and talented. But then, I’m a little biased. The truth is, everyone is faking it. Everyone is insecure. We only get good at things after we make mistakes. We all feel like we disappoint God, but those are the moments he uses to teach us. I am still SO incredibly proud of you–both the person you always were and the woman you have become. Thank you for having the courage to share your struggles. They are a HUGE blessing to others. Love you, Bear! Auntie Lorna

  2. This was such a timely blessing. I have been thrust into a “mediocre” situation and this is a wonderful reminder to just be myself and let God do the rest.

  3. A beautiful reminder that being perfect doesn’t equal happiness. Thank you for sharing!

  4. This is such a humble testimony to your faith! I am also relatively new to the Christian faith, and similar to your experience, God taught me how to find strengths in my weaknesses and utilize them for the benefit of others. Miracles can happen when we simply sit with God and invite Him into those areas of our hearts!

  5. What a beautiful reminder of being average and allowing God to fill in the gaps! Thank you Carrie for sharing your journey and your heart! It will give hope for those constantly striving towards perfection – and find joy and contentment for the journey, no matter how messy or inadequate it may seem.

  6. I love the idea of this post. I totally can relate to that feeling of not being great at anything but being average at a lot. But I feel like God calls me to different aspects of my life at different times. And I when I listen to where I’m being called, I see the opportunities to grow more in that area. It’s like I can’t force it. I have to wait for the right timing.

  7. LOVE THIS!!!! Being in the ministry for over 20 years, I love that I am average. It’s because of this gift, God chose me to bring my motivational skills to mentor youth and young adults It has been a blessing touching young souls and showing them that God can use them as well. You are correct, when we let go and let God, He brings out so much in us we did not know we had and He shows us how to use it to help others even though we still need help ourselves.

    Keep doing what you are doing, you are blessing more souls than you know with this blog.

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I’m so grateful that God is faithful… even when I don’t know what in the world I am doing. lol

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and your heart! I struggled for years with some of the things I was repeatedly told when I was growing up like: be ladylike (be quiet), do your chores perfectly (not possible), and defer to men.
    I learned that God made me as I am, and being quiet isn’t me. In my not quiet way, I can reach people that quiet women can’t. That’s God.
    I learned that perfection is an idol, and that reaching for excellence is not. While I am mostly not excellent, it honors God that I try.
    I learned that I don’t need to defer to my husband (41’s anniversary today) because it is his goal to honor my feelings and opinions as much as his own, and that a healthy relationship is mutual in all things.

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. It’s great to know we are not alone and that God can use all of us!

  9. I love how you explain how being average in different situations is a blessing. You inspire me to not be afraid of not being as good as others when singing or in crafts. Sometimes I felt inadequate to the point that I either lipsang or stopped the activity, like painting. I like how you share the Christian side of being average.

  10. Carlyn Paschall Reply

    I know God uses everyone, but I never thought about how He can use people in their averageness! singing off key & feeling you don’t know enough, espescially about the Bible. Thanks for sharing

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey! Perfect reminder that we all struggle in our own ways! I loved how you outlined the every little thing! God does work in amazing ways! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Kim morris Reply

    You’re so right perfection doesn’t equal happiness. I loved hearing your story

  13. This is a great perspective. It is easy to to fall into the trap of being hard on ourselves. Focusing on the positive and accepting ourselves, flaws and all, is important for our mental health.

    • Yes, it is! It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and only see our flaws! We are so much more than that!

  14. I am so grateful that God uses our weaknesses to make His power perfect. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us. And we grow through the journey. Thank you for your vulnerability. ❤️

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