Don’t Screw This Up


'Jerusalem Walls at Night' photo (c) 2007, Carol Cantrell - license: time I’m faced with an opportunity my internal dialogue goes something like this:

Don’t screw this up, Julie.  This may be the only chance you’ll get.  Seriously, if you screw this up, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.  How cool is this?  Only cool unless you fail.  Then it’s not cool.  Then you’re a failure and you’re never going to get past that.  This is what all this waiting has been for.

And I beat myself down and put so much pressure on myself that anything less than perfection is a failure.

I don’t think I used to be like this.  Maybe I have, but it seems to have grown exponentially in the last 5-10 years.  Julie, you’re finally starting to get your life back on track.  Don’t screw up now.

I think this is one of the areas that I’m really learning a lot from Nehemiah.  I mentioned that I’ve been reading it from the perspective of where faith meets ability.  Originally I thought I’d see a few places here in there throughout the story.  What I’m running into, though, is that it was Nehemiah’s faith to trust that God would carry out his plan through him.  It was his faith that broke his heart for his people.  And it was his faith to take the first step so God could give him the ability to see it through.

It’s everywhere.  We have no ability without faith.  Plain and simple.

It’s God who creates us and gives us talents and ability to do some pretty incredible things.  We just have to have the faith to take the first step.  And then another.  And then another.

And let’s face it.  We’re going to screw up.  I make mistakes all the time.  Perfection will never, every be attained by me here on this earth.  So why do I freak out and put so much pressure on myself?  Is it that I don’t trust that God will give me the abilities to carry out the tasks before me?


I hate to say it, but maybe so.   I know the extent of what I can feasibly do…at least most of the time.  Something going to the gym has taught me is that a person is usually stronger than they realize.  And while there is a lot of hard work involved in everything we do there, there is also something to be said for God-given ability.  And I think it’s at that moment, the moment we tap into that ability that God has given us that our faith and ability create magic.  It is in that moment where we find what we’re created to do.

Let’s face it, Nehemiah’s whole life purpose probably wasn’t to be the cup bearer to the King.  But I think he had the faith to make the big ask.  Hey, I know that I can rebuild this wall, and all these people are just sitting there in danger.  Why isn’t anyone doing anything?  Oh, wait?  Me?  You think it’s me that is supposed to go do this?  I know I can rebuild it, but there are all these ridiculous obstacles in the way.  I’m never even going to make it there without being killed first.

Without faith, Nehemiah never would have asked for the opportunity.  Without faith his ability would have never had an opportunity to be showcased in the manner it was.  Without faith he never would have been able to lead and guide the people of Jerusalem to build a wall.  By hand.  In an incredibly short amount of time.


About the author

  • Debbie Legg

    In the One Year Daily Audio Bible podcast we are in Nehemiah right now. Great insights, as always! 🙂