I have spent most of my life believing the lie that I was never going to be “enough.” Not pretty or smart enough. Not a good enough wife or mother. Not a good enough teacher or kids pastor. The list would include every area of my life. My enemy was “Perfection “, the world kind. Even after beginning my journey with Jesus, I wasn’t good enough as a Follower. I have beat myself bloody with this word. I am done with it. I am being perfected by Him… And I am enough because God says I am. ~ Julie
As I read these words yesterday, words smothered in heartache that looked exhausting, I knew that they didn’t just belong to her. These thoughts, these life stealing words have robbed so many of us for way too long and like my friend, I am done. These words have taken our childhood’s captive and robbed us of beautiful friendships. These questions have snatched our joy and replaced it with shame. These expectations have left us lonely and worn. The lies that we tell ourselves have broken our hearts and our dreams. Tears have rocked us to sleep at night and insecurity has paralyzed us. We’ve felt unworthy and hopeless. All as a child of God. How can that be?
Tomorrow I turn 35. And although I love the homemade cards and what feels like thousands of birthday wishes, thanks to Facebook, it’s not what I’m most excited about. You see, this year is different because I am different. My thoughts have changed. My choices are new.
I’m done with people pleasing. The lies that my girl’s choices are my fault are over. Rejection, hurt feelings, disrespect, not about me. You heard me. My husband’s issues are not my fault. My dad didn’t leave because of me. Life isn’t hard because I’m not good enough. I no longer have to work to prove my worth. And in the words of my sweet friend, “I am done with it.”
I’m not for certain what your hangup is but I’m sure of one thing, you’ve got one. And if it’s not perfectionism, it’s something else. Your identity has been woven into a web of lies that this world has confused you with or your past haunts the future and renders it hopeless. The need for approval distracts you from the truth and the search for love convinces us to make choices that we regret for the rest of our lives. It smells dirty and you know what? It’s not the life Christ died for His baby girls to have. For anyone to have. We are more than the trap set before us. We are children of the King.
God has sat me down for a season to speak directly into my being to whisper, “Melissa, I love you.” In order to be free from the habitual thought trap of shame and unworthiness, I have to understand that I am loved. In order to change my behavior and my bent towards not being good enough, I have to really believe that the blood of Christ was for me. I need to soak up the hard facts that my hairs are numbered and my tears have been collected. He knew me before I was even created and even still, He loved me. I can sit right here and not make one more casserole for a family or lead a congregation to the foot of the cross in one more song and He will still love me the same. I don’t have to fix my family or yours. I can be imperfect, messy, and problematic, and I’m still loved. What love this is. A love that I have never earthly experienced and a love that I foolishly throw to the wayside to feed my issues. What have I done?
Beloved, do you know the true love that is your’s tonight? I mean seriously. Is is just me or haven’t we become numb to the generalization of John 3:16 and even the idea of blood shed for us? We’ve heard it since we were toddlers and we shout it from the rooftops but yet, we lie awake in fear and worry and regret. We make stupid decisions out of jealousy or pain and we assume that if we make mile long checklists we will be good enough. We attend church just to be seen or throw money and titles around to impress and all the while, we have missed it all. Our churches are filled with hypocrisy and backstabbing and our homes seep with bitterness and anger. Addictions of all kinds, even the ones that you’ve convinced yourself are for the good, blind us from the truth. The truth that none of the above or none that you can think of make a difference in the eyes of God. Our actions, our words, nothing can rob us of the love of Christ. Nothing.
I don’t know about you but I’m ready to study, to pray, to worship, and my goodness to believe that I am loved by a Risen King. I am willing to just sit in His lap and feel His warm breath of love. I truly believe that when we lift our eyes from this world to our Father, we will begin to notice His love more and more. And then, the scales will fall from our eyes. We will see it in the mountains and in the sunset. His love will be in the ocean waves and the fall breeze. His provision and His care that always comes at just the right time will all be evidence of a mighty love that we don’t deserve. It’s all because we are loved. And most importantly? A son that was slaughtered and died on a cross because of love. A love so unconditional that blood ran red so that we may be as white as snow. A love that freely gives grace and mercy. A love that is unimaginable and hard to comprehend but yet is for me and for you.
So how about it friends? Do you want to spend the rest of your life letting outcomes and relationships define your worth? Do you really think it’s promising to find your approval in man or in money? Aren’t you just sick and tired of being sick and tired of trying to be good enough? Join me on this adventure to really grasp the love of a Heavenly Father and then, we will be free. Open your eyes to the sight of His love and see that it is everywhere. And even better? You didn’t do anything to get it. It’s just yours. You are loved completely and wholly just as you are. Messiness and all. Stop striving and start receiving. Jesus loves you.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-8
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:18
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
I would give you more, but it’s your turn to go and find them. You need to know the love of God for yourself. Don’t take my word for it.