Thursday, November 6, 2014

When I Am Not Enough.

                                                                                                                                         *Photo by the amazing Erica Bartel

One of the surest ways to cut off your source of strength is to discredit yourself before you even start. 

My life I have known what it is to be shut down, told I’m not good enough, that I should stop.  

I strive to do well.  

And inadequacy haunts my every move.  It’s not that I’m afraid to fall, I’m waiting to plummet.  Movement and failure are inevitably entwined in my life.

I long considered myself a perfectionist.  As that was pointed out to me on a daily basis.  If my house were too clean, it was because I was obsessive.  If I worked hard it was because I was trying to prove something.  

It is only recently that I have fully understood the weight of these words and harsh criticisms.  It’s not because I am trying to be perfect, or even live a life of excellence.  I have become an absolute underachiever.  I am afraid to do anything.  I live in terror of not being good enough and because that’s not something I can change.  I live as less.

As our family has moved recently and we are needing to become a two income family, I have had to find ways to work while still maintaining my role as a full time mama.  This has involved cleaning homes, taking care of extra children, and recently applying for jobs in the restaurant industry.  

Last night as I bent under the weight of my husband’s very mild criticism of my writing, I shook in grief.  Why wasn’t I able to do anything well?  I am striving to work hard, to let go of the voices in my head.  And one repeated itself over and over.  “Who are you Cherylyn, what are you good at?”

As I erupted in broken grief.  I realized that all of my life, I have been less.  I have been wrong at every turn.  And now as my options are work in a servant role or put my children in daycare, I find that this has been my broken self image.  This has been the role I’ve claimed.  

It’s not my identity, who I am.  Serving is a beautiful grace.  Loving my family and giving outside of what I long to do, is a heartfelt sacrifice.  It is not wrong, ugly, or less.  It is only what I make of it.  

I woke this morning, still weary from my emotional meltdown.  Eyes swollen from endless wells of sorrow.

And I lay my head on the chest of papa God.  Who am I, Jesus?

And words like oil run over my head and seep into my bones.  You are beloved, you are destined, called.  Do not be ashamed or afraid.  Move forward and rest in my presence, come into my excellence.  Let me train your hands, strengthen your arms.  You are my daughter.  Do not look at today or tomorrow, keep your eyes on mine and I will take you forward in peace.

Our identity is constantly attacked.  Who we are is shaped and defined by the careless words of those around.  Arrows can get through even the strongest armor.

When you find yourself repeating a phrase, a heartless word, strip it down.  Find the source, what it connected too.  Then repent for allowing yourself to believe lies.  Forgive those who cast words like stones, unaware of how they break against you.  Then ask Jesus what he says.  

Let truth be your guide.  Walk in what you know, not what you feel.  

You are worthy, you are good enough.  You are exactly who you are supposed to be.  The painful lies and shame that have come against you are not who you are.  They do not define you.  Papa God has your identity, your role, your existence written in his hand.  When you forget he whispers it over you.  Just listen to His words and walk faithfully in his presence.  Break off the chains and broken illusions.  

This has been incredibly raw for me.  I hope it encourages you.  Strengthens you.  And pushes you to the excellence that is in you.  You are so much more than what has shaped or defined you.

Grace in the journey, peace in the storm, and hope in the morning.

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