No, I am not Madeline Albright

Last night I was very dispirited about my vocational life. Since graduating from seminary, this has happened. . . ah. . . more than once or twice. Nothing has “worked out” like I thought it would.

One reason I started blogging was to try and help myself figure out what it is that God wants. Because writing is good therapy. And much cheaper than real therapy.

Last night, after I wrote about my Wheat Thins affair, I was talking with my husband. I told him I couldn’t BELIEVE I had just publicly put up an unexpectedly long and ridiculous post about CRACKERS.

Trying to be encouraging, he reminded me that I am not Madeline Albright. “No one expects you to be blogging about policy in Iraq,” he said.

Sadly, I could not receive this as encouragment. I actually think I should be doing something as hard core as Madeline Albright. In fact, I am a failure because I am not doing anything hard core. I am not even an associate pastor at a big ol’ church. Or the senior pastor at a little church. Or . . .jack! In part, I think this is because I have the motivational capacity of Madeline Albright’s pinky toe. This, in spite of the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God and encouraging friends.

I’m not sure how to keep myself out of a spiral of self-condemnation that I am not doing as well as Madeline Albright.

When the Holy Spirit helps me to see something in my life that is holding me back from serving God, it usually comes with a feeling of conviction. It is not accompanied by guilt and shame. It makes me feel guilty and low that I am not Madeline Albright’s peer. That is not the Holy Spirit speaking to me, but my own craziness and inability to accept where God has me and who I am today. Sigh.

To quote my favorite seminary professor (and favorite preacher) Darrell Johnson, “Mercy!”

Mercy! May I learn to have mercy on myself. Even if it is just mercy for not being Madeline Albright.

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11 Responses to No, I am not Madeline Albright

  1. reallifeinsc says:

    At least you are recognizing that you need to have mercy on yourself! I think Satan intentionally targets women in this area of their lives. “Look at So-and-So. Look at what they are doing! You are worthless!” Then we find ourselves competing and trying to keep up with others when God just wants us to be us and follow His plan for our lives.

    But God created YOU for a specific purpose and you will fulfill His purpose. You do not have Madeline Albright’s calling. You have YOUR own special calling. You don’t have to be her peer, nor an associate pastor in order to touch people and change their lives. You just have to be willing.

    I’m a stay at home mom with five kids. I don’t have an important title. I am just me. I guess I’m saying that I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes I stop and think that I am missing out, or should be doing something much more important…and then God reminds me that the people I have touched are very important to Him, and someone like Madeline Albright never would have been able to reach them.

    May God bless you as He shows you just how important you are to Him and His Kingdom!

    Melissa

    P.S. Wheat Thins are yummy!

  2. Megan says:

    Melissa:

    Thank you so much for these very wise words of encouragement!! I know, it’s true, a lot of us women struggle with thoughts of inadequacy that totally minimize what we are doing. I’ll bet Jesus is like, “uh. . could you just value what I’ve given you to do right now?” Minus the “uh” part.
    God bless YOU, sister. And your family!
    Megan

    PS Wheat thins. . .I know. Crack in a box.

  3. CJ says:

    Megan,
    I was led to your blog by my Dad. T. I’m hoping to get to meet you, someday, in person but this will have to be our introduction for now. I have to “ditto” the remarks from Melissa and add that I had great dreams when I was going to college about becoming the female “Charles Kuralt” who used to do a show on TV called “On The Road.” I envisioned myself traveling around the country and reporting about all the wonderful people I would meet along the way. The trouble was that after I graduated I found myself working part-time for a Cable company in a local community programming department and couldn’t begin to get used to being in front of the camera. I tried to produce several little shows about the local community where I worked and found myself getting nervous everytime I had to do an interview or do “opens or closes” to the stories I had selected to do. After several attempts of doing some programs, I discovered that I had more of a knack doing things behind the camera than in front of it. I got to take my turn at: director, editor, camera and sound person for several types of shows over the next 8 – 9 years and even won some small awards in the local cable business for some of the shows I was directing and producing. I guess you could say that I found what I was “supposed to be doing” by doing what I really enjoyed and letting go of the “fantasy” of what I thought “I should be doing.” It kind of goes back to the Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.” Once I accepted that I wasn’t cut out to be in front of the camera (wisdom or fear?), I was able to make the change in my pursuit of happiness to enjoy where I was and what I was doing right then.
    Anyway, you can check out my blog Serene In Sequim.
    Blessings on your happy home and family.
    CJ
    PS How did you post this tomorrow?

  4. Megan says:

    CJ:
    Thank you for telling me some of your story, I appreciate it very much. It is so good to know that I am not the only person who takes time to figure out what she’s going to do with her time here on earth! Sometimes I feel like a freak.
    Oh – the worddpress blog clock is set to GMT time. I keep trying to fix it to be Cali time, but I am a techno-dork. (I bet Troy could fix it!)
    I’m on my way to check out your blog. I heart Sequim! You are SOO lucky to live there.
    Thanks again,
    Meg

  5. Troy says:

    Ditto to the advice of Melissa & CJ. Megan, you are indeed multi-talented and the least of which is certainly not your ability to “provoke thought” with your blog! I won’t try to list everything that this one led me to, but here are a couple of Bible references that I came back to after a full circle! Micah 4:12 & Philippians 4:4-9.
    T.
    P.S — “GMT”?? I have trouble setting my watch much less a blog clock!

  6. Megan,

    I was led to your blog by Billy Chia’s blog and I laugh so much reading the section of Former Seminarian. Very surprised of what you have gone through. I am United Methodist Pastor working to finish my B.A. so I can go to Seminary to have a Master in Divinity. This is one of the requirements the church has for pastors. I am originally from Mexico but God gave the gift to learn English while I was still living in my country. I’ve never knew why I was supposed to learn English, but I decided I was not going to give up(and let me tell you on those years I didn’t have a relationship with Christ), so I learned. 20 years later here I am a missionary in the United States; I waited 14 years for the purpose to learn English was fulfilled. I am not saying you wait 20 years…but your story made realized what the United Methodist Church defines as Provenience Grace(i think spell this way, I am not sure) the Grace of God before we come to know Him. Or the Grace of God asking you to do something you don’t even know where will take you.

  7. corisa says:

    ahh megan, and i almost phoned you to whine about how poorly i did on an interview for a job I AM PERFECT for. i think from reading the comments above that you are underestimating that your blog is reaching people and you are doing something. and people like to know that you are human – by this i mean, that you are a cracker junkie. it makes us laugh and that is terribly important for healing in this crazy world. when was the last time madeline made you laugh? hmm?

  8. shauna says:

    Girl! Just for fun, I went to look at Madame Secretary’s bio. She did not start in public life until she was 40…so. Next, I think the comments above are all so right on about the voice of condemnation and exactly where THAT comes from. Failure? I don’t think so. You, like many women I know, get hooked by that voice of shame, doubt and self-criticism. Unlike many, however, you are continuing to ask the questions, pray the prayers, and look for the place God would have you be. Not to mention the impact you are having on the lives around you, just as you are, today…no appearances on TV or anything:)

  9. […] Goodness, people. I just wrote a big ol’ diatribe about Burma, fear and God. Obviously, I’m still not Madeline Albright. […]

  10. sara says:

    The need to have success in a big, public way…gee, I can’t identify with that at all. :) It sounds silly, but one thing I have to be aware of is reading interviews with famous, “successful” people because sometimes it really gets me down on myself. What have I accomplished? What have I contributed to the world, etc. Dude, even listening to “Fresh Air” gets me down sometimes!! Who are these talented, perfect and charming people that have done “so much” with their lives?? But I have a sneaking suspicion that “why have I accomplished so little?”is NOT the question God wants me to be asking!! So right now I’m just trying to learn to ask different questions…

  11. Dear Friend,
    There are many things we can do for God.The fact that it even has impacted your heart is a wonderful thing.God will send in your path many people and things that will change your outlook.Some people we help,some will help us.In time you will find out what your calling is.These are the last days and we need to turn away from sin,repent,turn back to God and he will forgive our nation.It starts in our own homes.
    Go room to room and anoint with olive oil and ask God’s blessings.Pray with your children out loud and with them everyday.Most important-Have you ever asked Jesus Christ into your heart-It’s s simple ask the Father in Heaven to forgive your sins ask Jesus to come into your life-wash you wth His blood that he shed for you and that’s it.It’s a gift from God -you don’t Have to earn salvation.It is a gift from God.Read your bible.And this is the exciting part-ask the Father to touch you with Holy Spirit before you read.God’s words will jump off the page to you! You can call me at anytime-I won’t bible beat you I promise. I am wondering what state you come from. Iam from nj and there is so much that needs to be done. Call me I am a retired tractor traier driver 27 years at ups.Have a nice weekend.God bless you and your family.

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