Today I have the pleasure of sharing a post written by a dear friend of mine from Instagram. Amanda is a home school mama and entrepreneur. She also owns Move the Mountains and teaches others how to bible journal. She is here to share her very intimate story of how her greatest strength was first viewed as her greatest weakness.
Have you ever been told you were too much? Perhaps it was too wild, too quiet, too soft, too bossy, too emotional…Whatever those words of “too much” were, did they stick with you and wound you? Do they still resonate in your heart and mind? I know what it’s like to be too much and I know what it’s like to be free of that wound. Jesus took me on a journey of how that wound of “too much” was keeping me bound and how He could set
me free from it. It would be my honor to share this journey with you because I believe God wants to take you on a similar journey of freedom.
Hi, my name is Amanda and all my life I have been told I am too bossy. As a child, I had the nickname “Demanda” and as a young adult I was labeled a bitch. I have always excelled at seeing issues and figuring out solutions to fix them. I have a quick mind.
By nature, I am also very driven, intense, and not afraid of conflict or to speak my mind. If I had been born a boy, I would have been told I had excellent leadership skills and been patted on the
back. But because I am female, my confidence and intensity is often considered a threat and treated with hostility by those who lack self-confidence (which is a considerable number of people).
What I want to suggest is that whatever your adjective of “too much” is, this is the gift God has placed inside you for the benefit of the world. The world needs your “too much”, but it is a gift that needs to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Tired of Being Misunderstood
Once upon a time, while working on my business Move the Mountains (a Bible journaling boutique), I threw up my arms and told God I didn’t want it anymore. I was tired of being misunderstood, I was tired of being labeled “bossy”, “too much”, and “confrontational”.
I told God that I was done being me and that I was going to give all that up and be the opposite of me. I wasn’t going to speak up any longer, I wasn’t going to point out issues and inconsistencies or offer solutions, and I wasn’t going to share what was on my mind. No one could misunderstand me any longer because I wasn’t going to say anything.
I wanted to live in a place where no one would know me. I wanted to be small and quiet. I wanted to be unnoticed. What I really wanted was to be insignificant. But God spoke to me in that moment and said, “Why would you want to be anything but who I’ve made you to be?”
Because it’s too hard? Because I’m tired of being misunderstood? Truly, it was because being me hurt me.
Afraid it’s True
Does it feel like being you hurts you, too sometimes? I need to be honest before we go any further: all those things people called me, they were actually true. Do you fear that what others are saying about you might be true too?
I often acted bossy, I could definitely be confrontational, I certainly had moments where “bitch” fit my actions. But that was when all my gifts were in overdrive, that was when my gifts were undisciplined and selfish, that was before the Holy Spirit tempered me.
Can I make a suggestion for you to consider? God wants to take your raw material (whatever you have that is “too much”) and He wants to purify it to create something beautiful with you.
God’s love speaks a better word than that of shortsighted people. We serve a God who sees, He sees the end from the beginning, and He calls you into your potential, the fullness of Christ, from right where you’re at now.
Dear one, if you are wanting to shy away from your “too much”, it isn’t because God made a mistake with you, it is because your “too much” hasn’t been refined by God yet.
Tempered as Steel
If being you hurts you like it did me, then your “too much” likely needs tempering from the Holy Spirit. Your “too much” is a gift to the world from God but when it is not used in the way God has designated it, it creates hurt in you and others.
Once upon a time, my intensity was grossly abused through anger for the purposes of getting my own way. Once upon a time, my skills of identifying issues were dangerously wielded like a flame that could set fire to dry forest. Once upon a time, my forthrightness was used to cut others down rather than build them up.
I, me, Amanda Schenkenberger, misused the gifts God gave me and hurt myself and others. Like a boy who had been gifted his first knife, I ignored my Father’s careful, detailed instruction and started slashing because I was small and ignorant (and a terrible listener).
Only later, after the damage had been done that I realized the consequences of my actions and inexperience. And because of my tender heart, I wanted to throw away the gift because of all the damage it caused through me.
“What the enemy cannot take from us, he’ll convince us to give away.” –Havilah Cunnington
The gift, the “too much”, was never the issue, it was how I handled it. The Lord spoke to me and said, “The enemy is trying to steal your purpose from you. He is trying to convince you to swing to the opposite side of the pendulum so that you will be ineffectual for My Kingdom. You have to
be who I made you to be, you won’t be able to help it, but you have to learn how to use the gift My way.”
Your gift is linked to the calling God has on your life. The enemy fears you operating in your gift and calling so he has devised a plan to take away both. He waits for us to misuse our gift enough to see the terrible consequences, then he convinces us to give our gift away so we avoid the pain of misoperation. It’s simply self-preservation.
But this doesn’t have to be our story, God provides an alternative timeline. Is it free of pain? No. But neither is the enemy’s version of our story (although he would like us to think it is free of pain). The difference between the two options is that God’s story provides the opportunity for
growth and meaning.
God’s version of our lives provides purpose, strength of character, and grace. He desires to accompany us on our journey of learning how to operate in our gift. He wants this because it requires us to search Him out and lean on Him.
Learning how to use this gift of “too much” His way can only be done through seeking Him daily (through His Word and prayer) and listening to the Holy Spirit. If you want to hone this gifting, you have to tune into the Holy Spirit.
Using your gift in God’s way is accomplished by being aware of the Holy Spirit each and every minute. It requires more listening than action. It requires patience, wisdom, and insight. It requires time alone with God and quiet prayer with Him.
So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to give away your gift of “too much” to the enemy or are you going to choose God’s timeline for the story of your life?
If you’ve chosen God’s option of growth then let’s get ready sister, you’re going to need some training.
To learn how to use your gift of “too much” in the moment, you need to train yourself to hear God and respond how He tells you. You are going to be battling your selfish defaults and the enemy in the very moment God wants to use your gift and if you haven’t prepared for battle, then you will likely fail.
This preparation is done through seeking Him daily and tuning into the voice of the Holy Spirit who “guides us into all truth” (John 16:13-14). The proper wielding of your gift comes through abiding in Christ.
The World Needs Your “too Much”
It is so important, dear heart, for you to learn how to wield your gift. The world needs your “too much”, it is a weapon against the enemy and when used properly, it will defeat his purposes of destruction and bring God’s peace.
If you are ready to learn more about your God-given purpose and how God can use your “too much” for His kingdom, sign up for the free mini-series “Do I have a God-given purpose?”. To learn more, click the banner below.
Don’t forget to join our giveaway here! We are giving away an amazing course by Amanda and several books to help you on your journey!