I once asked an "if" question that was: Would you rather be a really great singer but think you aren't good... or not have a good voice and think that you do? The first option seems a lot better. But if you think you aren't good, you'll never sing. So what good is that to the world? It's just like when I was a kid, and I told my mom she couldn't sing well, and that made her stop singing. Not that she was under the illusion that she was a great singer, but still, it seems that it would be much better for her not to know.
When praying one evening with my bible study co-leader, Jenn, I was struck by her words: that I would know that I am making a difference, that my place here at M-ville matters. Because you know what? I don't feel that way most of the time. I feel like I'm failing. I feel like it's all crashing down. It's like I'm that person who is a good singer, but I think that I'm not. And what good is that to the M-ville students? It reminds me of this kid who sang at Jump Start, a middle school BIC conference I went to... there was a talent show, and this kid just got up there and sang the song "Don't Laugh at Me" acapella. I mean this kid wasn't Billy Gilman or [insert child prodigy's name], but God shined through him that day in amazing ways. He got a standing ovation. Plus I'm sure that none of those kids knew that song, seeing as it was popular when I was in middle school, and that was only in country music circles. Actually, I tried out for the Brownstown talent show in 6th grade to play "Don't Laugh at Me" on the piano. hahaha!
I say all this to say that I'd much rather be the person who sings just so-so but thinks that I am good. Because that's the only option that results in me singing. God can't work through me if I've handicapped myself in believing that I'm a failure and will be forever. God can only work through me if I keep singing, knowing that the story doesn't end here with the failure. What a beautiful truth it is to know that God's story always ends with a win! My weakness results in God's strength.
Of course, when it comes down to it, and you find that things didn't work out as expected, you will ask yourself, was it just an illusion all along? And frankly, it very well could have been. Whatever you thought it was, well maybe it wasn't. But that doesn't mean it didn't matter, that it was a waste of time, that you made some wrong decision. And I'd much rather live under the false pretense that it was real rather than to risk the tendency to "be safer"--to protect myself--next time. Even if it seems like ignorance, I must keep singing.