I learned a hard lesson this week. It’s not easy for me to put this into words – which is exactly how the life lesson started. You see, I am not a writer. By no means. My grammar is terrible. I write run-on sentences like it’s my job. And I’m really bad with starting sentences with and.
Sure, I can type up something for my blog and make it legible…but give me an academic essay assignment outside of Marketing and my brain freezes. Blogging is like talking. Just typing your thoughts. Real writing takes creativity, and coordinated thoughts, and planning, and…well..skill. A skill I do not have.
And I recognize that. Thankfully I work in an environment with some very amazing writers (3 links to click!) who are truly gifted. I envy their ability to paint with their words. At my job, they do all the hard work. ;) I just measure whether or not it was successful. ha!
I’ve written plenty of research reports. Marketing research makes sense to me. Writing that involves history, politics and government? ha! nooooo way jose. Not my area of expertise (or area of any general understanding at all..)
So this week? This week I had a HUGE HUGE HUGE opportunity to be involved in something outside of work with someone I respect deeply. Someone I could only dream of learning from on a regular basis. Their knowledge and understanding of the international relief world is rare. It’s pretty much rock star status. I happened to be standing in the right place at the right time when a need arose. A need that involved intense writing. “Sure! I’ll take a stab at it!” *ohhhh what a mistake*. And so I tried. I spent two whole days trying to figure out how to even start to accomplish this project. I spent two days wring a paragraph, erasing, writing another, realizing my analysis sounded like a 2 year old and trashing it all. And the two days ended with me being a sobbing mess completely overwhelmed as I tried to tackle something I was completely incapable of doing. But I was scared to tell said relief rockstar because I didn’t want their perception of my value to decrease. Oh how silly. I actually thought it would be better for me to continue doing terrible work just so someone would think I was capable of doing work. Yeah. I doesn’t make sense. Eventually I realized (through the help of my own personal friend rock stars) that to continue down this path would actually be a disservice to everyone. And they would be much better off to know the truth and find someone who could crank this out in a week, then to spend MONTHS waiting for me to come up with 6,000 words on a topic I knew nothing about. Admitting to someone that you are inadequate for the task they assigned you.. isn’t easy.
So what lesson did I learn?
I have a ridiculous amount of pride. It took me too long to figure out that I shouldn’t be taking on this assignment.
Admitting your weaknesses S.U.C.K.S. Admitting that you’re not good at something isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. Knowing how God has gifted me and how he hasn’t is a big part of following what he’s put in my heart. Trying to do something I’m not made for is not only a waste of my time, it’s a waste of the requestor, and it’s not achieving God’s best for my life. Why would I waste effort in an area when I could be focusing that on my God-given passion? He was very intentional when he made us all unique. One of my good friends (who happens to be one of the said writers/rock stars) said “We were created for community because we can’t do life alone. We aren’t equipped for it because we weren’t meant for it. Seeing your weakness helps you see other peoples’ strengths and helps you appreciate what God has put in other people.”
I am not a writer. God did not wire my brain that way. But this girl? She’s a winner.
I realize I am weak. I have a specific set of skills God has given me, and I have a laaarrrggeeee list of skills that are better used by other people. Being weak leaves room for God to be big.
The capacity to admit your own weakness is a great leadership skill that you can only learn in these types of situations.
I’m thankful that the Lord keeps breaking me down and molding me. I’m thankful to be surrounded by friends with such wisdom and understanding who truly want to see me grow.
So what’s the game plan now? A real writer is writing, and hopefully I’ll be able to support in areas that are my strengths. Like research. And numbers. And organization. And details. And planning.
Here’s to growing.
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?