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This is a book I will read again, and I can’t say that about many books. I’m normally a once and done kind of reader.
With any Christian motivational book I go into into with my glasses of discernment on. I think there are books that are damaging to Christ followers, there is a lot of fluff and if you are not strong in your walk with the Lord you can read something and get God all wrong.
So I’m not going to lie I was a bit cautious as I started to read. I have only followed Jess Connolly for a short time and didn’t know all too much about her.
I was pleasantly surprised at how truth filled this book was, and how much supporting scripture there was. Jess managed to get me excited about my mission and purpose in life all while pointing me back to Jesus.
Over and over she reminds us of our capacity is because of Jesus.
We were put here in our own individual circumstances with various paths laid out before us for a reason. Nothing in our lives is a mistake. And being intentional about our journeys and doing all we can to follow Jesus and obey God along the way is the key to a life of fulfillment.
We all have a mission to live out. And we need to stop doubting ourselves because of our Lord and Saviour. I love to me what the other theme of the book seemed like (other than you are the girl for the job) is that GOD IS THE HERO AND WE ARE HIS RESCUE PLAN.
For me, I know I am meant to be a foster parent. So much of my younger life led me to this exact point and when we finally stepped into the role of foster parents so many other God appointed things started happening. Before then I felt like I had been searching. Searching for more meaning and purpose to my life. To that point I had enjoyed my lie and went through my fair share off trials but something changed when I felt like I had stepped into my purpose.
Not only did my walk with Jesus grow so much stronger but I felt different and started to act differently.
I started this blog and youtube channel and then a podcast all to the glory of God. I am doing things now and working towards things in the future that I never thought I would be able to do, that I would be ever equipped for.
So often we fall into routines and riding out the everyday life, ignoring our dreams or being unhappy or just plain comfortable in our lives but we don’t step out into the small whisper God puts in our hearts because we feel like we are not enough.
One thing she says in the books opening is something she heard from someone else and it profoundly impacted her and it had the same effect of me.
“You will repeat what you don’t repair.”
Our brains our wired to keep us safe. Dating back to ancient times when we were literally fighting for our lives from wild animals. But today in North America we have all the comforts we could dream of so our fears manifest in other ways. What others will think or say if we step into our God given roles.
Here is what Jess says about it.
“I find most of us are pre-wired with fear, anticipate struggle, and carry a massive amount of doubt about our capacity. And honestly? We’re not crazy. Life is HARD. Loving others is MESSY. Very few people are wildly successful, and no one is immune from getting beat up when they are on mission. We aren’t crazy for having fears; we’re realistic.”
“The old adage “she believed she could, so she could do”? I find that for me, just about nothing is further from the truth. I know my own natural capacity – it is very very low, if left to my own devices, I’d watch Netflix and eat dairy free yogurt all day long. I’d probably never enter into hard conversations or get out of my comfort zone. If I wanted to do things that made me feel capable, things that celebrated my strengths I’d have a life consisting of taking naps and making coffee. I’m good at those things.”
“If I worked only based on what i can do well in my own strength, I’d never have children, get married, do ministry, drive a car, write books, go on vacation, live on mission, serve the homeless, lead a church, start businesses, have friends, or encourage anyone. I would never live. I would never love. I would never taste abundance.”
“We are the girls for the job because, of the God of all capacity who not only calls us but equips us, and dwells within us, enabling us to carry out His plans. We are able to live, to love, to move, to repair, to receive, to heal, to hope because of Him. We are the girls for the job, for this season, for this life, for the joy and blessing of those around us at this exact appointed time because God has placed us here. He’s called us to be his ambassadors, and He doesn’t make mistakes.”
“This book won’t puff you up and tell you that you have all your need, but it will point to the One who does…. you’re placed where you’re at with what you’ve got on purpose.”
“Rest on His strength and shine right where He has placed you.”
I love how she reminds us that we need to take ourselves out of the race. We can be doing things of purpose and helping others and let our pride take over. I get comments all the time about how I am such a good person or I’m a saint because I am a foster parent. And honestly it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t foster for the recognition or some sort of status. I foster because God has called me to it. He has made my heart broken for orphaned and vulnerable kids. And not every Christian is going to have the same burden and calling. But to me it is incredibly important. So I need to steward the gifts he has given me to do the best I can in this area. For me this doesn’t mean just fostering but sharing in an online platform to encourage others who foster and adopt, show people it’s not some crazy thing that seems so unattainable to fit into their family life, caring for kids who need temporary or forever parents is something so many more people can do and should do. Again not all people but more, and I believe part of my purpose on this earth is to help others step into this vital kingdom role.
“We cannot seek God’s glory and our own at the same time. If any part of our hearts is divided, seeking to win rather than seeking to wonder at His goodness, let’s just quit right now. We can’t seek to be the girl for the job and the girl who wins at the same time.”
“Because he calls us, we do have a race to run. But it’s not our race. It’s not a race in which we win the prize and claim the glory for ourselves. It’s HIS race, aimed at bringing as many people under it’s light and life of His love as possible.”
She talks about this ideal self exercise and how our true selves are actually better than our ideal selves could ever be because they have been hurt and had hard experiences along the way that gives us compassion and empathy and grit. (not her exact words but this is what I took from it) But our ideal self lets us see our God given potential.
Here is what Jess says;
“I think, in a lot off ways, when we imagine our ideal selves, we’re just dreaming about who we could be, we’re exploring part of who God made us to be. We’re opening up the boundaries that used to hold us back and seeing our potential with His eyes.”
“You’re placed right where you’re at-in this season, around these people, with all the tools you need to love them and continually point them to Jesus-you are the girl for the job. You’re ideal self has got nothing on you.”
“I refuse to miss out on what God is doing, what He might be saying, and how He may be miraculously intervening. I refuse to miss out because I’m focused on myself, my insecurities, or my perception of my own capacity.”
Another part of the book that I really enjoyed was her talking about oppression and God. So often our world blames God and not our own human selves who have actually all the responsibility. Remember God gave us free will because he loves us but how much have we humans screwed up over the years.
Here is what Jess says;
“Where is God in the midst of oppression? I believe He’s often working miracles on behalf of His people – miracles we couldn’t dream of or see, and He is also stirring, calling and equipping His people to meet the needs and fight for justice on behalf of their fellow humans. Our Father was not and is not inactive in times of injustice, but rather He is carefully and intentionally using His favourite tool to activate justice. His people.”
And this note on sexism, girl I was clapping along as I read.
“Patriarchy and sexism and the enemy of our souls may discount women, but God never did and never does. In fact He invited many women to rise to the occasions and be His coworkers in the dight against injustice in the story of Moses as a baby. Pharaoh ordered that all the baby boys be killed, but he made the fatal error of discounting the power of God amongst women who would rise up and fight against Him. The midwives fought by disobeying his law, Moses’ mother fought by hiding her son, Moses’ sister fought by strategizing his rescue, and God even used Pharaoh’s daughter’s gift of mercy to save the man who would come to represent God’s power over Egypt. Big mistake. Pharaoh. Big mistake Satan. Culture can discount women, but our God never will.”
“If we are not careful we can look at world leaders and their work and misplace them as the target of our worship and reverence. Bit it has always been Him, always God, beckoning and calling and equipping normal people – even those of us who are reluctant to practice simple obedience, so that rescue plan can have human hands on it.”
“Make no mistake that he wants to use you – you to fight the darkness that lives both within and outside off your comfortable boundaries. Make no mistake that we’re still in the midst of rescue, that He is still in the process of setting things right, Let’s not make the mistake of missing it because our eyes are focused on ourselves, or because they’re overwhelmed by the size of the fight, or because we’re waiting for a hero to do the work for us.”
Let’s stop doubting ourselves and our God given dreams. Step out in faith get uncomfortable. I love what she says here;
“And in the name of Jesus we’ve got to quit telling God He’s got the wrong girl because if we don’t acknowledge that He knows better by this point in the game, we’re being crazy and eventually He may listen to us and use someone else. And then we’ll be the one’s missing out”.
“God is God, but we are the gals He’s ordained to bring light and life to the corner of the world where He has intentionally placed us for mission.”
I am not going to share too much more because you just need to go read it, especially if you feel God stirring something big in your soul. And maybe you don’t know where to start. I know I didn’t but when I started stepping out in service as a foster parent. Using my God given gifts to help a people group that my heart was burdened for thats where my heart became full, my life became abundant. So if you don’t know where to start thing of others and what hurts your heart. Jess says this;
“Brokenness for others is the most beautiful starting line we can ever have for ministry.”
“The Giver has given you an intentional set of strengths, and to shirk them, to hide them, to let them atrophy is the opposite of worship. It is honoring to our Father when you acknowledge what He’s given you for the good of others and for His glory.”
This doesn’t mean things are going to perfect along the way. I have had my heart broken, been scared literally for my life, have been annoyed, have had my integrity questioned, have lost friends, have felt isolated. But all of these things have grown me into who I am today and for that I am truly thankful.
Jess says this;
“What if loss and failure are supposed to be the cornerstone of our testimony.”
“God is the hero. You are the rescue plan.”
And my most favourite thing she says in the whole book which is one of my mantras.
“Do you want to get to the end of your life and say “I was comfortable”???