I am undeserving.
I have been feeling that sentiment a lot lately--the full weight of it. I've always known I've been greatly blessed to have wonderful family and friends, a very comfortable life, and a private college education that is so graciously paid for by my parents. I have wrestled with having guilt over these things, but know that I need to just accept them as gifts from God. And of course do my best at being a good steward of what he has given me.
But there have been events in my life lately that I just don't understand. And that I can say "Thank you" to God or to people for, but it's not enough. Not only is it not enough, I don't feel worthy to accept the gift, so a "Thank you" is accompanied with a bit of hesitancy or shame or guilt or nervousness. When I say this all, 2 events come to mind, but since I've become even more closely aware of my undeservedness, I have been soaking in even more of the blessings I have and have been even more keenly aware of God's grace.
The feeling of undeserving started with this major event:
I got a 1st grade teaching job at Highlands International School in BOLIVIA for the next 2 years. How? By the love and grace of God, that's how. It is all a very long story, and I had to go through some pretty significant spiritual warfare (ask me about it sometime) but God definitely wanted me there. The door was wide open for me. And I walked through with faith and trust, turning away from the fear that was holding me captive. And now I feel totally undeserving of this position. Shouldn't they have picked someone that speaks Spanish?? Or that has had some more teaching experience? Or that has won some teacher award or something? Why ME? How did this fall into my lap so effortlessly? How did I get a teaching job in South America where I can also be a part of an amazing Christian school and staff...where ministry opportunities abound?! How did I receive the humongous blessing of not having to job search--at ALL?! I feel I am the target of jealousy of some people, and it is just so weird. I do not deserve this. My "Thank you" to the director sounded so..so..not enough. And then he was saying thank you to ME. What?!
Undeserved Event Number 2
2. I got pulled over for speeding on my way to church this morning. No, I was not undeserving at all of this...bear with me. So I was running late, there was an open road ahead, I was on the lookout for cops in my rearview mirror.....feeling guilty the whole time. Feeling that pit in my stomach like I should really slow down but I'm late and there's no one near me. My dad had even given me a lecture before I left for school telling me I could absolutely NOT get in another accident or get another speeding ticket. It was not an option. Our insurance would go up dramatically. And guess what? I guess I was too busy looking for cops coming behind me that I didn't see the one that was just up ahead in the medium....oh, and now I'm passing the cop going 84...oh no. God, no....gotta slow down to 70. Lights go on. I pull over. I'm going crazy on the inside. How can I be so STUPID?! I was praying the whole time he came to the car. He asked me some questions..we made conversation..he asked what I was at Taylor for, I said elementary education and I'm graduating in May...he asked where I was going to teach..I said Bolivia. He took my driver's license and registration and went back to his car...he hadn't said anything before that about letting me off. I expected him to come back with a ticket. I was praying the whole time he was back at his car that he would let me go. Praying SO hard. And then I saw him coming back...there was nothing in his hands. He had decided to let me off. I said "Thank you so much" ....let me just tell you, that did not even BEGIN to cover my feelings of gratitude. I was stupid and that was undeserved.
So, what to do with all of this? I recongize that a lot of things that happen to me I don't deserve. And while it's good that I'm being greatly humbled, I need to actually learn what humility looks like. It obviously does not mean glorifying myself or my abilities or the good things that happen to me, but it also does not mean I should be shameful, guilty, fearful, nervous, or hesistant to accept the things that come my way. We don't do that with the greatest undeserved event that's ever happened--Jesus's death on the cross to cover all of our sin! We worship Him and praise Him for who He is, giving all the glory to Him, and at the same time we accept this gift of grace. And I need to do the same, even if I feel completely inadequate, undeserving, fearful, or hesitant to do so.
Praise God! He is so GOOD!