I recently celebrated ten years of ordained ministry. To commemorate the occasion, I did two things. I first wrote letters to ten people whose lives and witness have blessed my vocational walk over the years (a few seminary professors, the pastor who ordained me, mentors from around the country). Second, I spent some time on retreat reflecting on my ministerial journey.

During this quiet look back, I found myself reconnecting with my first few years of ordained ministry. Sadly, the feeling that I recalled more than any other was not excitement or delight. It was insecurity. Not just a rookie's nervousness and unfamiliarity, but a deep, binding insecurity that dominated much of my early ministerial work.

The chain that binds

Many of us wrestle with vocational and personal insecurity, but in the life of the preacher, scholar, or writer, insecurity can be a chain that holds us back from saying, doing, and being all that God has for us.

Oh, the sermons that I almost preached! ...

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