Sometimes the truth of who I am knocks me down a few notches. Today I’m little. Thanks to seeing myself as I really am.
And still struggling with shame.
I’m discovering that I cope with my inadequacies by AVOIDING anything or anyone that makes me feel inadequate. Hmm. Brilliant strategy. Have you ever tried that? If so, you know that creates another kind of crisis. Failure. Not to mention it also messes with dreams, personal goals and even relationships.
Here’s a few examples of my clever avoiding strategy:
Exercising: Going to the gym makes me realize I’m flabby and out of shape, so I don’t go. Smart, right? Meanwhile I lose physical stamina and strength. The truth is I WILL weaken if I don’t do something about it. I’m over forty.
Making meals: Cooking makes me feel incompetent, so I don’t cook that often. I think I’ve burned or ruined one too many things over the years. So instead I buy pre-made meals or I drive through Taco Bell. And our budget pays the price. If my family doesn’t like the meal, don’t blame me, I just reheated it.
Writing a book: I dream of writing(finishing) a few books someday. But writing makes me feel uneducated and unqualified. So what do I do? I print out my chapter summaries, tape them to my office closet doors and wait for inspiration. And when inspiration doesn’t come, I go to the thrift store and buy another used book and read. Meanwhile, unwritten words whisper, “I want out.” Sigh.
Connecting with my husband: I don’t know where this idea came from but I don’t feel like a good enough wife. My husband is not a complainer. Actually he’s easy to please. But still I don’t feel loving or affectionate enough. I’m sometimes critical. And I don’t feel like I wash dirty clothes fast enough. I wish I were more invested in our relationship and yet the reality is I still hide. People call a guy’s hangout, a man cave, right? Did you know women have caves too?
This kind of avoiding pattern invades my everyday life. It’s humbling. But I am SO glad God opened my eyes last week to see the pattern for what it is: A mess only He can fix.
The truth is I am not enough. I’m not enough as a wife, mom, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, friend, speaker, or writer. That’s truth for all of us. We will never be enough. We are not perfect. We are all a work in progress.
For some strange reason, I measure myself against a standard not even God has set for me. Hello! Why can’t I just look at myself –just as I am– and say the whole truth and nothing but the Truth:
I am not enough, but GOD IS.
Somewhere along the way I lost the last part of the whole truth. God IS. He is my enough. So what if I never will be. . .
* What if I worked out knowing I am weak and out of shape, but I did it anyway because God is for me and He is with me. He wants me to take care of the only body I have.
* What if instead of failing in my kitchen, by not even trying, I made simple recipes and thanked God for an abundance of food and a family to eat it with? What if I helped reduce our food budget by making a quick pasta salad instead of buying a pre-made one?
* What if I saw writing as the way God wants heal my wounded heart? What if I saw book writing as a way to share hope with the hopeless and not as a guilt burden to carry? What if I let go of noticing every passive verb, prayed and then wrote for His pleasure?
What would be different if I stopped pouring my life into my self-made measuring cup and started pouring my life out just for Jesus?
Instead of feeling like I’m not enough, might God measure my life using another word?
More than enough because of Christ living in me. Overflowing.
Yes, Lord Jesus, please fill my life with more of You. I want to live in that overflow. Overflowing with gentleness for myself. And overflowing with grace, mercy and love for others.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
(PS – I made a great black bean and corn salsa last night. Yum. And I still have leftovers.)
Question: Do you struggle with feeling not good enough? Do you relate to avoiding?