In my young mind I equated age with strength, with ability, with freedom. I remember many times feeling limited by my age. I felt like there was so much I wanted to do, and even felt convicted to do, but was unable to because of my age. I felt limited mostly by people. I cared deeply, not about what people would say, but about what people would think. I had this nasty voice in my head that translated everyone's thoughts. That voice would tell me, "Well that person doesn't really believe in me. They don't think I can accomplish this because I am too young. They are probably laughing at me on the inside." I even remember my little voice calling out to God, many times with tears running down my cheeks, asking him, "God I feel like I can't do anything. I am just a kid. No one will take me seriously. Why would you want me to do this if I am too young to do it?"
I specifically remember one instance that at first discouraged me, but then gave me wings.
It happened at a church service at my home church when I was around the age of 7 or 8. It was during the prayer time at the conclusion of service. The Lord was moving and many people were gathering around the altars praying for one another. I remember crying. The Lord was working in my little heart. I followed the people around me as we gathered around and prayed over one man in particular who was seeking the Lord. We surrounded him with our love and with our prayers. I was in the front of the prayer circle, with my hand extended to the desperate man. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up at another man who gently guided me away from the prayer circle as he said, "You need to move out of the way."
I was confused and I was crushed.
I continued to pray and cry, although I am not sure if they were tears of worship or tears of hurt.
I accepted his apology.
I couldn't help but feel some sort of satisfaction. I always felt pushed aside because of my age, because I was "just a kid," but in that moment I felt like the most qualified person in the room. God had stood up for me. God had defended me. God had qualified me. In that moment I knew that I was not "just a kid" to God, I was HIS kid. If I was willing, no matter what anyone else thought, He would use me.
In all honesty, that nasty voice that spoke to me as a child as returned time and time again as an adult. After I graduated from college it would tell me all the time about the people who didn't take me seriously because I was only 22, because I am female, because I am single, and on and on it would chatter. But I have had to learn again that if I remain willing God qualifies, God justifies, God fills in the places where I am not enough, and He gets the glory from my life.
Never let anyone disqualify you. Never let anyone discourage you.
No matter where you are lacking, God can use you.