“Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. Be firm in the faith and resist him …” 1 Peter 5:8-9
People think I am this confident woman. That I am so outgoing and afraid of nothing. Truth is, I am really good at faking it. I am almost always terrified and worried people will see through me and know how inadequate I am, or rather how inadequate I feel.
I have always struggled with this, struggled with feeling good enough for all my life. Truth be told, I don’t know what good enough is. If I ever really sat down and thought about what the definition of good enough was, I don’t remember. All I know, I have never felt good enough. Because of this I have made bad choices repeatedly. I am a total self sabotager. If things are good, I ruin them. I have done this time and time again in my life. Why do I seem to always repeat this pattern? It comes down to one thing, I don’t feel good enough.
I can look back at my life and try to pinpoint the moment when this feeling of not being good enough became so strong, but I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel that way. From some of my earliest memories, I remember feeling not good enough.
A moment with my foster mother when I was 5, saying how her children never got sick, but how I had to have weird illnesses. It seems trivial, but to me, it was I wasn’t as good as her real daughter. Asking my step-mom if I could start shaving under my arms, (and not telling her it was because the boys at school were making fun me, saying I had more hair under my arms than a monkey on it’s back) and being scolded because I had just gotten a bra and what else would I want. I can remember going to my room after that statement and just crying, I wasn’t good enough to have my basics needs taken care of (a month later I stole my dad’s razor and shaved my armpits for the first time).
Even as an adult so many moments continued to feed into my not being good enough. My former in-laws made it clear on so many occasions that I was not good enough. Not for their son, not to mother my children and not as a person. I can recall sitting at a Sunday dinner with them, and the conversation of my not calling my (now ex) father and mother-in-laws by Mr and Mrs. (insert surname) came up. Very quickly my (now ex) brother-in-law pointed out I was only a couple years older than him, and that would be like (insert kid from church here) calling him by his first name, because they weren’t suggesting I call them mom and dad, but by their first names. That ended the conversation, and I was instructed to continue to call them Mr and Mrs (insert surname). I wasn’t good enough to be their daughter-in-law. Even my ex-husband reinforced my feelings of not being good enough, with physical aggression towards me, leaving me more times than I can remember and making sure I knew I wasn’t as good as his mother.
From constant rejection by those who I believed I was supposed to be cherished and loved by I have been “told” I am not good enough. I have made so many bad choices because of this feeling. Always striving for someone to show me love, to feel good enough, to be cherished. But the kicker of feeling this way, the moment I do, I wait for the other shoe to fall, for the situation to change to prove that I am not good enough for this. If doesn’t, or takes too long, then I do what I always do, I make sure to sabotage myself. This has been a vicious circle in my life and I have allowed it to be my pattern simply because I let the enemy win and didn’t listen to God. Yes, it is really that simple when it comes down to it.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16
God says I am loved, I am good enough to be loved, I am chosen, I am adored, I am his. No one else should ever matter more than that. I allowed myself to let the enemy in by taking the words and actions of men, mere mortals and let them fester in my heart. I pushed God and his truths out by allowing my heart to hold onto the hurt and letting it take root in my very being. I became what the enemy wanted me to become instead of the woman Christ says I am, loved, adored, cherished. I allowed myself to be filled with doubt, fear, bitterness and self loathing.
“God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.” Galatians 5:22-23
Until the last few years, I have never truly experienced a kind love, a love that didn’t judge me, a love that accepted me. Through this love, I am learning to feel good enough. I am not there yet, but I know that when the enemy tells me I’m not, he is wrong. While my husband and parents in-law can’t love me like Christ loves me, they give me a glimpse of what God’s love looks like. The love without judgement, the love that never says you are not good enough.
“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,” Ephesians 5:28-29
God Says I am Good Enough, God Says You Are Good Enough
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19
“The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” – 1 Peter 2:9