Last month I took our very own GGF self-esteem workshop out to the New Life Children’s school in Gambia for 5 days. It was such an amazing experience and as much as it impacted the girls, it also impacted me!
Being a girl in Gambia can be quite tough at times, women are often seen as second class to men and even talking about normal things like periods and relationships is very taboo! It was such an honour to have the opportunity to provide the girls at the school with something especially for them. I worked alongside the school outreach worker, Mary who was on-hand to help with translating. In her words it was “exactly what they need in Gambia, for girls.” It was difficult for me to comprehend or even imagine what some of the students struggle with on a day to day basis, but there were some things like what we look like, problems at home, arguments with friends, that alllllll of us can relate to. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world there are some battles we can all relate to.
Ever since my last trip to Gambia I had had the dream of being able to take the work of GGF out there. I had no idea God was going to make it happen within a year and it really was a prayer dream come true. But standing up in front of a group of people and having to lead a session is definitely not my comfort zone! I am much happier sat behind a mac designing a message rather than speaking it. Before I left for the trip I had a really bad end to my week and I was feeling very rubbish about myself. I honestly thought “Why am I doing this? Who am I to go and speak to these girls about self esteem?” But that’s when I realised this really wasn’t about me at all. This was about what God wanted to do through me.
Taking inspiration from some of the strongest women in the bible, I realised God put them in situations not based on what their comfort zone was, but based on how He wanted to use them. Esther was put in a situation where she would have to have a very difficult conversation that could cost her her life, but actually it saved her people. Mary had to go through her first pregnancy being the subject of gossip and with the weight of knowing she was carrying the Son of God insider her, but she gave birth to the saviour of the world. These are two examples where trusting that God wouldn’t set you up to fail has to come into play. I had to choose to believe that God wasn’t going to have made this trip happen just for me to fail.
Yes there were hiccups along the way. Yes there were moments when I stumbled on my words. Yes there were times when the power kept cutting out minutes before a session was due to start. But ultimately it went soooo well. The girls really enjoyed it and Mary even had girls from other classes coming up to her in the week asking when they were going to have their session, which was so encouraging.
Even as I was delivering the sessions I realised how much I needed to hear the message too. I needed to remind myself that I was good enough, that I was able, and that I could be confident in what I was doing. Have you ever felt unqualified or not good enough to do something? Have you struggled with having confidence in yourself? Remember, God is for you and not against you and you can be confident in who he has created you to be, and confident in the situations he places you.
“For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13
I know that when I next feel like I’m scared of doing some thing I’m going to remember that new things begin on the other side of my comfort zone! And I don’t want to let fear make me miss out on experiencing them!