I’m not sure when exactly it was that I started believing I wasn’t enough…that I wasn’t acceptable the way I was…that I had to do more in order to be more. As if doing more would help me become good enough to be accepted. But somewhere between getting picked last for tee-ball in Grade 1 gym class and getting prank called by the popular girls in Grade 6, I had bought right in – bought in to my “not enoughness”. I wasn’t enough the way I was.
The tee-ball captains knew it. The popular girls knew it. And I knew it. And so my life kind of became a series of attempts to fit in; to make myself more acceptable.
As an adult, my desire to “be enough” has taken many forms. It has looked like:
- Trying to say and do all the right things
- Being hard on myself when I failed or made a mistake
- Remaining over-committed and exhausted in my attempts to “do it all”
- Hiding my faults from others so I wouldn’t receive their criticism or condemnation
- Dreading each new day with the endless busyness it brought
- Going to bed at night with a heavy sense of failure for all that I had not accomplished that day
- Never feeling like I was doing enough for God.
And nowhere has my “not enoughness” been more apparent than in my relationship with God. You simply can not feel accepted by someone when you believe they’re perpetually shaking their head at you in disappointment. And wasn’t that what God had been doing? That’s what it felt like. Don’t get me wrong…I was saved. That wasn’t the issue. I had asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior at a young age. But the joy of my salvation was long extinguished under the weight of all that I felt I had to do to obey and please Him. I was afraid to go to heaven because I felt that I hadn’t done enough to earn God’s acceptance and approval. Surely there would be no, “Well done good and faithful servant” for me. My entrance through the pearly gates would probably be heralded with something more along the lines of, “You shoulda tried a little harder.”
The above is an excerpt from my new e-book Bible study, Free to Be Loved. It’s a four-part study that explores the concept of God’s love and grace.
If you have struggled like I have to understand and believe that God actually loves you, if you have spent years trying to earn His acceptance by doing all the right things, if you feel like a disappointment to Him, I wrote this book for you.
And my prayer in writing it is that it would bring relief to your soul and help you see a little more clearly – and believe a little more easily – in God’s amazing, unchanging love for you and the grace that He offers you.