I grew up in a society that’s always pressing me to be dependent on myself. This independent thinking has lead me to believe that if I don’t succeed in some area of my life then I’ve failed – then I’m not good enough.
This lead me down a path where I was constantly trying to figure out how everyone else seemed to have a “perfect” life, but why couldn’t I measure up? I became an imitator of these people until I realised I didn’t know who I even was anymore. I spent so much time letting the world identify who I was that when I inevitably failed to measure up to the standards of the world, I formed lies about myself and believed them- lies that I’m not good enough, pretty enough, smart or talented, and it drained me of confidence and hope.
As a child, I had Disney princesses telling me to believe and trust in myself, my gut and courage, as if I had all the answers to everything about my life. Who I am, what I’m capable of, what my future could or should hold and how to get there! As empowering as this is, I ultimately don’t and will not have all of these answers to these questions. But this unrealistic expectation shook me. My assurance in who I am was shaken and where I would go was unknown and scary. This anxiety made me feel like I was winding down a dark tunnel where I couldn’t see the end and I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore. This was my everyday life – I went to church, but once I left church and went to school, home, and even work I felt constantly reminded that I wasn’t capable of figuring everything out on my own and that I wasn’t good enough. And then I did my DTS (Discipleship Training School)… and things began to change.
These last two months of DTS lectures we’ve learned more in-depth of how Jesus made us worthy and good enough! He came and gave us the good news of hope, outside of ourselves and offering to carry our heaviest burdens. He wants us to rely on Him, because who else could carry our burdens better than him? He wants us to depend on Him and live in close relationship with him as we question and learn about our worth, our futures… our everything really. The answers aren’t found within ourselves, they’re found within God, the son, the Spirit. He guides, He defines us, He gives us our worth, our value, identity. And when we don’t feel like we understand, we lean on Him even more! I learned that my worth isn’t in what I could accomplish, what I looked like, what I knew or anything like that. Our worth is in Him.
He also put other people in our lives to be able to walk through this journey, to build each other up and encourage each other to continue to come away from the dark and into the light. In Ecclesiastes 4:9 it says that two people are better than one, because you’re stronger together and can help one another up when you need it. We don’t need to do it all ourselves.
He taught us that our life has a purpose, even when we feel like we’re not good enough, and that He created a purpose for us before we were even born. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us.” YOU ARE LOVED! Just as you are. I know sometimes people get tired of hearing that, but that doesn’t prevent it from being anymore true (because it’s true!) Romans 8:39 says, “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And these are the things we can lean on, to depend on when we feel lost. We aren’t alone, so we don’t have to try to do it all alone.
When you feel weak and inadequate just remember that there is someone who always believes in you and is cheering you on! He is the place where you can rest in peace, and not be filled with restlessness. Leave behind the mindset that you have to be your own rock and understanding, but lean on His understanding, because God can handle it. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” You can use this to not just encourage yourself, but others around you. I always like to say, sometimes it’s good to just let Jesus take the wheel, and be a passenger for a while, and rest in the truth and your identity that is in Jesus Christ.