I have a confession:
I nominated myself for the Premier Digital Awards. I didn’t tell anyone, I didn’t even mention it to The Boy until I was shortlisted.
Every part of my internal code of conduct felt awkward doing so but I gulped, filled out the form and sent it off. When the shortlist came out I confessed to The Boy to which he replied,
‘That’s what a bloke would do so I wouldn’t worry.’
(Do you see why I love him?!)
Why did I nominate myself? Recently I have come to the realisation that I have to take responsibility for putting myself ‘out there’. I don’t want to look back at my life and see myself constantly sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to pick me for the team.
This used to be my natural temperament. Growing up as a confident only child, I would be forward, always the first to put my hand up in class but I quickly learned that young ladies shouldn’t act that way. We should wait to be asked to the dance, and certainly never kiss first. Women need to be chosen and picked by others, we shouldn’t be so arrogant as to think we’d make the best team leader or decision maker.
This quickly moved into my understanding of God’s calling on my life. I waited for my (hugely amazing, wonderful and Godly- I should add) pastors to pick me, to tell me what God has called me to do. I waited and waited, and although they supported me when I discussed what I thought God might want, I didn’t get what I wanted. I wanted them to sit me down and say,
‘God has called you to do *this*’
Of course, no vicar or pastor should do this and I’m now grateful that they didn’t but I spent over a decade looking at the boys, and then men, I knew putting themselves forward to lead groups, to preach, to go forward for ordination. I looked on thinking, ‘perhaps that’s for me but if it is my vicar would tell me so.’ Don’t get me wrong, I was actively involved but not with the confidence that I saw in the men around me.
So now, a decade on, I have realised that just because I put myself forward it doesn’t make my calling any less God-given. Yes, God uses the body of the Church to help us discern his Spirit but that isn’t just at the first stage. That discerning can happen take place after you’ve preached, led a reflection or started a community out of your living-room.
Having realised this, now I say,
‘I believe that God has called me to do *this*, can I give it a go?’
So yes, I nominated myself, how very unladylike, but I didn’t pay off the judges as they shortlisted then ultimately chose my blog. I have an award winning blog, I just had to put myself forward for that to be recognised.