How confident are you about ______________?
I couldn’t get past that first part of the questionnaire. In fact I had already stopped listening after the first four words “how confident are you. . . . ” I’m sure the rest of the sentence went on about something, but whatever it was didn’t hold my attention.
My mind was already loudly protesting: What kind of a question is that?
I’m not confident about anything these days. When my husband died unexpectedly last year, my entire world shifted, and I still haven’t found my footing. And there is so much uncertainty in so many areas of the world today, how can any of us be certain about anything? Certainly not about the effectiveness of government policy, or the health of the economy, or whatever else was in the rest of that question.
Yet once I got past my initial reaction, I realized that there are some things I have confidence in, where I am convinced and personally convicted. So I decided to make a list. Not a general list of true things like God is love, Jesus is Lord, or other articles of Christian faith. Those are bedrock for me and for many. But my list today is more personal, the things I’m confident about in my own life that are unique to me.
Here are the first three things on my list:
- I have confidence in the love and support of my family and friends. I’m grateful beyond words for this deep and wide circle of relationships.
- I have confidence that when I ask my church for prayer, people will actually pray for me. I’m grateful for such responsive, consistent care, and grateful that I can share in this vital ministry on behalf of others too.
- I have confidence in God’s call for me to write, edit, and speak. I’m grateful for many opportunities to serve and for the leading of the Spirit in discerning specific projects and bringing them to completion.
To some this may read like a list of privilege, and I agree. Not everyone has this sense of family, friends, church, and vocation. And certainly I haven’t done anything to deserve these things. But I also see them as signs of God’s grace, as gifts that I can offer to others for the common good.
To that end, I offer this prayer based on Isaiah 30:15:
God, let me return and rest in you.
Quiet my anxious thoughts.
Be my sure strength
that I might find my confidence in you.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: What are you confident about today? And how will that confidence help you find your footing and move forward?
A version of this article first appeared on Asian American Women on Leadership.
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4 thoughts on “Finding Confidence”
Thank you for this reflection and prompt. Very meaningful and significant!
I appreciate your comment as I continue to sit with this question. I keep thinking I should be adding to my list, then think just those three are more than enough!
April, I love your prayer at the end. Sometimes, when we have tried everything else, and all that we have left is God, we realize that is basically the only place where we can feel confident and experience the peace we are looking for!
Thank you, Elfrieda. In this life it seems we are always longing for something more. I was recently introduced to the poem, Sister Cat by Frances Mayes, that speaks to the longing for “Milk / Beyond milk. World beyond / This one.” Just “As sometimes / I want the light on / When it is on.” https://www.loc.gov/programs/poetry-and-literature/poet-laureate/poet-laureate-projects/poetry-180/all-poems/item/poetry-180-061/sister-cat/