You do not parent correctly.
You are not good at your job.
Your house is not good enough.
You will never be out of debt.
You don't try hard enough.
You try too hard.
You never listen.
You are selfish.
You are a bad friend.
You are not attractive.
You are not smart.
You are not fun.
You are not what we want.
You. are. not. good. enough.
Do you know these days? These drag along, head down, heavy heart days? The days of an overwhelming message of INADEQUACY?
I am there. I am deep in there.
What I find most difficult about these messages of inadequacy are their varied origins and disguises. The mouths of dear friends. Well-intentioned advice from strangers. Impersonal lectures from professors. The cries of my daughter. The mess in her unorganized closet. My empty refrigerator. My restless sleep. The prenatal pills I forget to take, the homework I put off, the floors I do not mop, the money I do not make, and the people who say they love me but are relentless in their hammering home of my total inadequacy to meet their needs.
Are you as tired as I am?
I'm at a breaking point. And you know what? It feels good. It feels like freedom. Because I KNOW WHERE THESE MESSAGES COME FROM. I know these whispers and shouts of unkindness and judgement can only be the work of someone who really, truly, does not want me to grasp my true worth. These are messages of shame. And I know where shame comes from.
Because I have taken a stand, because I have committed my life to following the God of the Universe, I have invited the dirty work of the Master Liar into my head and heart. And he will take every chance he gets, through friends and family and strangers and my own anxious thoughts, to remind me that
I am not good enough.
But you know what kind of lie always works best? Take it from me, someone who has been a good liar her whole life: always use a half-truth. Big fat lies are easier to see, easier to step around. But half-truths are harder to discern, harder to sort through. So the Master Liar will use complicated half-truths to confuse you. And his favorite half-truth?
You are not good enough.
I will never be good enough. I will never be perfect. I will never be everything to everyone, or be able to keep everyone happy, and I will never find the balance in my life that I ache to attain.
But guess what.
It doesn't matter.
IT DOESN'T MATTER.
I don't know where your sad messages of inadequacy come from. Maybe your past. Maybe your friends. Maybe your family. Maybe your spouse. Maybe your own worries. But this is truth.
My worth is not determined by anyone except the God I worship. And He says I AM WORTH IT ALL. I am worth the life of His son. I am worth the daily battle for my heart, broken as it may be. I am worth new mercies every morning.
I am worth the world, simply because I am me.
Do you hear that? YOU ARE WORTH IT ALL.
I am valuable because I am deeply, unfathomably, as far as the east is from the west, LOVED.
My house is a mess. Twice in the last few weeks, I forgot to feed my baby dinner. People are mad at me. Homework is incomplete. I am barely making it through each day, failure at every turn, and yet.
I am valuable.
You are valuable.
I am worth more than my heart has room to understand.
You are worthwhile.
You are valuable.
You are worthwhile.
You are loved.
God doesn't swoop into my life like the rest of the world, demanding my time and my ears and my hands and my heart, demanding that I change to be what He wants before He can really love me.
He comes in gently.
He comes in Truth.
He comes because I am worth it, whether I believe it or not.
He comes because He is the Chaser, He is the Pursuer, He is the King and He wants me.
Shame is never the work of God.
Only justice. Only grace. Only love.
So join me. Let's see this half-truth for what it really is, and release ourselves from this enormous unreachable goal of pleasing everyone and being everything.
I am not enough for this world.
But I am enough for my Heavenly Father.
And because I am enough, because I am loved well, I CAN LOVE WELL. I can ignore the messages of inadequacy. I can look past the mean spirited words and actions. With the power of the Holy Spirit, I have the ability see the truth behind it all. I only have to ask.
I can love. Because I am loved.
Freedom, my friends. What glorious freedom.