“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]” Philippians 4:13 (AMPC).
Growing up, my family moved a lot. My dad was a pastor, and it seemed like every few years we changed churches, homes, neighborhoods and schools. I was always the new kid.
By temperament, I’m an introvert, and regular upheaval to routine and familiarity only increased my sense of being on the outside, of not fitting in.
To make things worse, I saw myself as just an average person; there was nothing special about me. Actually, I felt average in every way — so ordinary. I wasn’t ugly, but I wasn’t beautiful. I could play the piano, but I wasn’t great. I did OK in school, but I don’t think I ever made the honor roll even though I tried hard. I had a few good friends, but I was certainly never one of the “cool” kids.
By the time I reached college, I was fairly certain that although I loved God with all my heart, He probably wouldn’t be able to use me for anything significant in His kingdom.
Then I met this guy — Rick Warren — and for some unknown reason (at least to me!), he thought I was wonderful. Shortly after, he proposed, we got engaged and within a year and a half, we were married. He was studying to be a pastor, so I transferred my dreams of being something other than ordinary in the world of academics or music to being the best pastor’s wife EVER.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that once again, I was just average. I couldn’t even tell Bible stories accurately to the toddlers in the nursery. My husband was amazing; I was ordinary.
Driving in my car one day, I turned on a Christian radio station to distract myself from the deep sadness, dissatisfaction, and disappointment I felt about myself. I was seeking a message of hope or a song that would encourage me, and an old gospel song, Ordinary People, was playing. The lyrics said that God chooses and uses ordinary people — those who are willing to give Him their all. The song continued with “little becomes much when you place it in the Master’s hands.”
That moment radically altered my perception of who God was and who He had made me to be. I sobbed with relief and gratitude; my long search for identity and purpose had found an answer. It was God who had chosen me to be an average, ordinary woman. He could have made me prettier, smarter, more talented, more popular or more gifted, but He didn’t. Instead, His intention was for me to bring Him glory by giving Him my little — my averageness, my ordinariness — and then allowing Him to multiply it in ways far beyond what I had ever dreamed of.
My pursuit of being “special” was shelved. My earnest quest to be the best at something was put aside. My focus shifted to accepting and enjoying who God made me to be: an average, ordinary woman who was willing to give her all to the One whose hands lovingly formed and shaped her.
I began to entrust myself — who I am and who I’m not — to God. If He opened doors of opportunity, I would walk through them. If He didn’t, then so be it. What mattered then and what matters now, is that in all things, I am His to do with as He pleases.
I had some relearning to do; I had to adjust my perception of myself. Instead of seeing myself as inadequate or incapable — too shy, too much of an introvert, not smart enough, not gifted enough — I began to believe and apply the truth of Philippians 4:13, “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses His strength into me.” Anything. Anything. In my strength? No! Only in His strength poured in me.
Hello, Kay. God bless you for your faitfullness. thank you for your testimony. I am sure that it will encourage many. I also felt encouraged that God uses little people and nobodies to do great things. And to just be available for him.
You are hardly average and God has used you in mighty ways and much need ways as you champion mental health issues!
Thank you. God is using you for His glory . I am in Ghana. How can my rural church benefit from your outreach projects?
Great, just what I need. Will use it in a training of High school chaplains in Kenya this morning. For each of us, God’s power is made perfect in weakness.
Sister Kay, You are more than enough through Christ Jesus.
Thanks so much for sharing. May God continue to use you for his Glory.
What a powerful lesson of life. Until we know who God is we definitely know nothing. Thank you very much Kay for sharing this powerful revelation. This revelation is nothing close to average!! Blessings
This piece really blessed me. Am so encouraged knowing that only God can turn what people perceive as small shot into big shot for his own glory.
Thanks for sharing your energizing story! I thank God everyday for the 25 years I was blessed to have you, your husband and your leadership teams pour into my new walk with Jesus Christ. I have been so very blessed with my new life with Jesus Christ. sincerely, Chuck Blasick, now in Waco, Tx.
Thanks for the encouragement. If I’m trying too hard then I’m blocking the holy Spirits working in the circumstances . I often have to remind myself of this.
Wow! This is me!!! Your story persuade me to continue on this journey! Thanks
Thank you for that message, I have always feel average myself, I am not good enough to do this or that. Now I know God has His purpose. His way is my way. God bless
Wow! This article was an answer to prayer! Thank you.
Iam very touched,incouraged and blessed by your testimony that God uses the average,God bless you .
Your words have surely inspired me this morning so many times I feel inadequate not enough and I feel I have nothing special to offer the world…. however now i know God created me in a unique he can use me to do his great works in amazing ways. Glory to his name forever.
Kay, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. When I was reading tears came from my eyes because I identify with you.
Kay, You inspire, give hope and strength to women everywhere! You’re like Mary, the mother of Jesus, how you walked alongside your son Matthew’s suffering and death… a cross no mother should ever have to bear. You’re gracious and humble, soft spoken and kind, in an unkind world. You chose joy, and shared your message to help others! Your words touched my heart more than anything. You and Rick are Saddleback! It wouldn’t be the same without you! It is the two of you together that make your church so successful and effective. Being a wife and a mother today would be near impossible without having access 24 hours a day to your videos and books! As a member of the largest religious denomination in the world….. fallen away Catholics, I’m thankful everyday for you and Rick! You are anything other than average or ordinary, Kay, and that is why Rick chose you!!! Saddleback wouldn’t be the same without you!!
Thank you for your honesty! I’m thrilled it’s ok to be ordinary. Rick & yourself are such a blessing to me. Shalom
I am glad to read what god have done in your life he it’s a good father, I do have a 45 years old sister living with hiv since she was 16 years old she also it’s a mother of Juan my nephew he it’s 28 years old he was born with the illness of aids or hiv the both are safe by gods grace my nephew it’s not going to church he thing he don’t need god but I think it’s because his life have being difficult and many ways please pray for them leti my sister and her son Juan de Dios Romero to god be the glory we lived here in L.A closet to downtown L.A
Thank you for this very inspiring!
Thank you for your encouraging word. It has put me somewhere, am not average
This is so encouraging- thank you so much
Beautiful story. Gives all us average people strength and encouragement.
I don’t know where to begin. Please bare with me. I have been struggling with spiritual warfare. I am a born again Christian for 5 years. My home church is Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos. For 3 years, I started Bible Study 5 years ago. Former Catholic. Always have had a personal relationship with Jesus. I so identified with your message. I have always felt just ordinary, not gifted, not outgoing, difficulty speaking up, because I felt my words were not good enough. Through His grace for me I’m starting to step out of my comfort zone. Not easy. Still feel inadequate. I know how Jesus loves me. Right now I’m struggling with doubt and unbelief. I know He is walking with me. I will become stronger in my faith walk. I need to trust Him. I teach bible study to two and three year olds, Community Bible Study. Never knowing the Bible growing up, I am learning along with them. I love their sweet innocence. They are like little sponges. Soaking up His pure love. God has given me the great love for children. That is His special gift to me. I am a Cuddler in the NICU at Long Beach Children’s Hospital. I serve in the nursery at Cottonwood Church.
Did you ever have the feelings of unbelief? I should not even ask that question. Because I think we all do at some point in time. I just want to be His good and faithful servant.
Thank you Mrs. Warren, I asked Jesus yesterday to place someone on my path, so I could just share these feelings with.
Thanks for sharing so honestly. It’s very encouraging.
Mrs. Kay! Thank you for sharing this refreshing and beautiful insight! I think a lot of us can relate to this but never recognized it within ourselves. Average is the new awesome! ;)
Amazing spiritual growth, very relatable
Thank you. To hear this truly helped me. I felt the same way and still struggle at time.
A great article Ms. Warren- Thanks!! You relate well with many people for sure. Your ministry and husband’s has touched a lot of people.
Thank you for sharing Kay. I often struggled with that feeling of needing to be exceptional at something. I am a single mom mother of two teenage girls. I am a nurse and I work two full-time jobs. I used to wake up in the morning stressed and overwhelmed. But with God‘s love filling me with the Holy Spirit every day my perception has changed. I wake up every morning listening to Pastor Rick reading the scripture and I am filled with the Holy Spirit every day. He gives me strength and contentment knowing that God chose me to be my daughters mother. I love the opportunity he gives me every day to help others in my job. That god made me to do these things that is exceptional.
He has also taught me to take time for myself. I now have a Sabbath and I’ve cut back at work. I learn every day from God’s love about being the person he made me to be.
Thank you for sharing this today – just what I needed to hear. I too am an ordinary girl, but I’m learning to depend on God’s extraordinary, and creative leadership in my life daily. I’m all His!
I love you Kay!
Thank you Kay. Beautiful words. May God bless you always. Vivian
Wow, your transparency is beyond average! Thank you for your words today!