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The Mirror Next Door

Posted on Mar 8, 2016 by in Blog, Faith, Life | 4 comments

Even though it was nearly 12 years ago, I still remember my first Sunday as a Worship Pastor.  It was July 4th, 2004. I was 21 years old, not yet graduated from college, and terrified.  It took me almost a year and a half to feel comfortable in my own skin on that stage.  My dad would remind me, over and over, that God had called me to ministry, and that I needed to remember that He was the One who had given me authority to lead, but that was often something I had a hard time getting through to my heart.

You’d think now, at 33, after more than a decade in ministry, that the idea of being unsure and uncomfortable would have long gone away, but the truth is, these last few months have found me right back where I was 12 years ago.  While I’ve never doubted my calling into ministry, I do doubt my abilities as a musician, my ability to effectively lead.  I could chalk it up to a difficult year in ministry, and that may well be a big part of it.  Maybe it’s just pride, plain and simple.  Or, maybe it’s a post-marriage identity crisis. Who knows?

So where is all this coming from?  Well, earlier today, I saw a photo on Instagram from a Christian author and speaker that I greatly admire.  Right next to her in the photo was a familiar face; a guy I went to college with.  It really stopped me in my tracks.  I tweeted right after, “I see people I know doing life with influential Christians I admire, and it’s easy to forget that God writes unique stories for each of us.”  My friend, Ian, replied, “Comparison is the enemy of God’s glory.”  He’s right.  It is.  That’s why Satan uses it against us so often.  Comparison is insidious because it leads us to believe that the story God is writing for us is lesser than the stories that he writes for someone else.  It leads us to believe that we are insignificant to God.  It leads us to believe that God is holding out on us. (Funny…isn’t that the very first strategy Satan used on Eve in the garden?  If it ain’t broke…)

Mentally, I know that God has me right where He wants me, and I’m content in that if and until He says otherwise.  My heart, though…it’s giving me fits.  It’s telling me I’m ineffective.  It’s telling me I’m not talented enough.  It’s telling me that I’m not good enough for God to use like He’s using my college friend or other friends of mine who are doing big, flashy, extraordinary things for the Kingdom.

Maybe this is mere wanderlust.  Maybe it’s God preparing me for something.  Maybe it’s just weariness.  I don’t know yet.  If it’s sin, I want God to root it out.  If it’s preparation, I want to be ready.  If it’s burnout, I want to know God’s rest.

But more than anything, I want to honor God with whatever it is that I do, wherever I do it.  I want God to get the glory.  I want those that are far from God to draw near to Him.  I want the lost to be found, and the blind to see.

And that means less of me, and more of Him.


  1. Oh, my dear Jess, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I know it’s been a rough year even though I do not know the particulars. It is satan, call on Jesus to get him away from you. I have to do that several times a day because of my negativity, and some circumstances in my life. You are a beautiful young woman whom I admire so much. I love listening to you sing. Your voice is of the angels, your talent on musical instruments is unbelievable. I hope God is calling you to stay in our church. If not, then I will have to deal with it. I truly want you to stay, but, I am being selfish I know. If you truly want to move on, then I say to you follow your dreams. I only want happiness for you. The songs you chose are so appropriate for the sermons. Your prayers are so sincere. Your love of God is so apparent in all you do. I will be praying for you. God bless. Luvulots

    • Oh Sweetie, I’m not looking to leave. That’s God’s call, and so far, He’s not saying anything about that. It’s just easy to compare my story to the story that other people are living. I’ve always had that problem. Other people got married young. Other people got the cool job. Other people had great hair. Other people had amazing metabolism. But I’m trying to learn, like Paul, to be content in all circumstances, and to live out the story that is unique to me, trusting that the role I play in God’s Kingdom is exactly the right casting.

  2. I’m right there with you Jess. I definitely go through times were I see worship leaders our age doing great things and being publicly praised for writing songs, and it gets to me. I want to be there, right in the forefront of worship and reaching the masses for Jesus. But I am right were God has placed me. God makes men who they are, and I trust that God is using my life for His Glory, period. Who am I to tell God he’s using me in the “wrong” way. Soldier on Jess. Many worship leaders struggle the same way.

    • It’s a challenge that I think is really poignant for Creatives. We have to constantly check our ego/drive against our calling. In order to be good at what we do, we have to possess a certain amount of pride, but we have to constantly keep it in check to be humble enough to lead our churches well.
      The struggle is real, friend.

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