These past couple of weekends I allowed the old familiar tapes of doubt and fear to play and replay over and over again in my mind.
There were situations that had come up with my daughter that really, as I look back at them now, can be described as fairly normal teenage growing points…and they had gained space in that oh-so-negative place my brain that looked at situations through the lens of fear and past hurts rather than health and truth.
However, because I recognized that in reference to this relationship (that means so incredibly much to me) that I was utterly failing—I began applying that feeling of failure to more and more places and relationships in my life.
The mental message seemed almost inconsequential at first. The idea of “I’m not good enough” seemed both familiar and insignificant enough that I hardly gave it a thought and in what I thought was my own determination, just brushed it away. But like the dripping of a leaky faucet, the constant trickling soon became an issue that I could ignore no longer. Before long that message had managed to permeate throughout the corners of my mind. There I began to notice that I saw my inadequacies everywhere I looked.
Each step I took felt racked with the concern of what others thought about me.
…They wouldn’t want to hear what I think, if they ask it’s because of their own kindness not because I can contribute.
…Would my words sound naïve or too simple… ignorant and not worth hearing…?
…Do I even add value to the relationships that I am in…?
The desire to be accepted and acceptable to those around me rose higher and higher on my priorities and I found myself just deeply wanting the approval and validation of the people around me.
The convicting words of Saul blink like neon lights against a dark night in my heart and mind—
1 Samuel 15:24 “Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.’”
My own concern, and really fear of the thoughts and beliefs of others concerning myself, pushed me to be in that same mental space as Saul. I may not have had people directing and pressing me to do the wrong thing…but I can say without a doubt that my mind dwelt on and gave much space to the impulse to put more weight in what people thought and believed about me than I did for my Father God.
Thank you Jesus for reaching into that toxic space—for placing people around me who you knew I would allow to speak into that pain and grossness. And who would reach into my mire and help me get back up again.
I believe that God never wanted any of us to feel inadequate or not good enough. I believe that maybe the real truth that I felt like I couldn’t even recognize is that he wants me to be aware of my weaknesses so that I may choose to lean into Him. That I would find my source of power and provision and strength in Him…that I keep my mind dwelling on the truth, His truth, and remember that not for one moment does He want me to cheapen how valuable I am to Him and who He created me to be.
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.”
God help me to hold onto the truth of Your Word when the familiar echo of lies arise and roar in my mind. God, help me to see always see through the lens of your love…Your love for me and those around me in the beauty of Your Word. God help me to be utterly aware of your blessings in my life—help me to express with deep gratitude the gifts you bless me with… And when the lies of the enemy rise up and cause me to falter, help me to combat those lies with Your Truth. Oh.My.Father.God…help my unbelief…