This blog post was written at about 11:30 at night, sat cross-legged on my bedroom floor with a giant cup of tea and an old Matt Redman album on in the background. It’s going to be one of those blog posts that is straight out of my journal – but I figured that if you’re anything like me (and if you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you are), these are words that you need to hear as much as I did.
Do you ever get paralyzed by that feeling of not being good enough, of not doing enough, and of not being enough?
For me, if I give it the power, that feeling can make me completely freeze up and just procrastinate a day away, not sure of where to start or what to do – or if doing anything matters, anyway. I see the irony in the presence of these things coming up as an issue for me when I head up a ministry around identity, and worth, and value: but I also know that this is a lie that a lot of people come up against, and I know that when we don’t talk about these things that come up against us, we take on shame and guilt about them that we don’t need to have – and I know that this is such an obvious tactic from the enemy, that we can’t let him get away with it. So let’s deal with it!
Here are a couple of things that I know to be true, in this area:
1 – You’ve got to handle it with your Dad:
Firstly, I’ve learnt that the only way to push past this feeling is to spend time with God. There’s no amount of work that will prove that I’ve done enough, when I’m feeling that way; there’s no goal I can achieve or task I can get done that will show me that I’m good enough. But when I scrap everything that I’ve got to do, curl up with a blanket and dive deeper into Him, all of that other stuff just fades away. The anxiety lifts, the accusations fade out to nothing, and I realize in that moment that nothing else matters – that it’s all just about Him, anyway.
When we get stuck in our own brain, we go round in circles of the same thought pattern, and we get frozen in inactivity because we just can’t move forward. When we’re in that place, the things that we’re telling ourselves in our own mind sound and feel true; but if we take a step back and strip things back to the fundamental things that we know to be true – like the fact that our success actually has nothing to do with whether we are good enough or not, but is all about His power in us – then we can write that thought pattern off straight away as rubbish. If we take a step back, we can see that nobody else in the world is looking at and thinking the same things that we are thinking – it’s literally just us: and our feelings lie to us constantly.
But get alone with God, and let Him tell you how to feel about yourself. Let Him tell you how much He loves you, and how much He created you on purpose; how you are enough, you are doing enough, and how you are in exactly the place that you need to be. Let His words get deep into your heart, until it’s beating in time with His, and watch all that other stuff fall away.
2 – When there’s purpose, there’s going to be attack:
Once we get that in our heads, the little wobbles and the opportunities to be discouraged that we have actually become an encouragement. When we get this in our head, we won’t be shaken when opposition and anxieties come up against us, because we’ll know that that means we’re on the right track. Here’s the thing – there is an enemy, and he is very real, and he does not want you to be doing things for the Kingdom; because when you’re living with God, and praying, and doing things for the Kingdom, you are powerful – so of course he’s going to try and take you down. He can’t do anything except lie to us and try to discourage us – he’s a mouse with a big megaphone, and we need to not let that shake us.
Here’s something that comes up for me – I wonder if it does for you, too: I’ll get involved in something that is moving things forward, and bringing people towards God; I’ll have the opportunity to do something really cool – and almost immediately, I’ll have a conversation with someone who is totally against it, and tells me all about how bad an idea it is. It’s funny, because if I let it, that is enough to cause me to stop doing whatever I was doing, and doubt that it was a God-thing in the first place: and yet if I push through (with the support and accountability to check that it actually is a God-thing), really amazing things happen.
If you are discouraged, friend – if you are in a place of not feeling good enough, then know this: your heavenly Father is on your team, and you are not alone. He wants you to lean deeper into Him – because you can’t do it on your own; but He wants to go with you. You are so much more than enough – God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and I know that you are not exempt from that.
Get your Bible out, get that worship music on, and ask Him what He thinks of you – and watch all that other stuff fall away.