Anne woke up and thought through her day and sighed.
“Would anyone even care if I stayed in bed all day? It’s not like I really make a difference in anyone’s life. I usually just mess things up. I say all the wrong things and do all the wrong things. I am a terrible mom. If my friends knew what I was thinking half the time, they would think I was crazy. Why can’t I just be normal?”
She heads toward the bathroom. Once dressed, she goes to have her devotions, thinking to herself, “Maybe the Lord has some answers. Probably not. Nothing ever changes for me.”
Anne proceeded to argue with her kids at breakfast about stuff other parents at church seemed to just calmly work through with their kids. This was followed by failure to locate a paper her husband asked about for insurance on the car. She told him that if he needed it, maybe he could go look for it as she was busy with the kids. Her tone of voice was edgy. He said, “YES, DEAR!”.
What felt even more frustrating than all that – if that was possible – is that women at church often asked her advice about parenting and marriage and stuff – as if she had it together. Well she did know the Word, but what good was it since she couldn’t seem to live it out very well anywhere?
“Those women don’t know I yelled at my son yesterday when we were getting ready for church, I let the words my daughter said stick to me – maybe she is right – and when I looked in the mirror I told myself I was fat. Why am I not very good at this parenting stuff? Why can’t I be patient and kind and trust the Lord with even the small things? I am not very good at ANYTHING. What was God thinking letting me be a mom? And my poor husband must think I am an airhead since that paper just came in the mail a week ago and I already lost it. I wasn’t very patient with him, was I? Ugh. I need some chocolate to get me through this day, even though it will just make me fatter. I have too much to do today without it. I feel so overwhelmed and inadequate. Is there hope for me? Am I too much of a mess to ever get this ‘life’ thing figured out? Maybe the present is what I deserve in light of my past. No matter how hard I try, I don’t think change is possible for me. Oh well… Welcome to MY messed up life.”
I know this sounds familiar to you. The struggles with kids and hubby might be in different areas, but they still exist. You feel defective somehow, unable to handle what others seem to just do with ease. And when asked for advice, you think you are not the one they should be asking. If you share any of your failures, it is with harsh words for yourself, because you know you should be doing life better. The Word of God is filled with truth and yet none of it seems to help you find peace, hope, and answers to your feelings of just not being able to measure up. You think you are too broke, the harsh words others say may actually be true, and normal is for others – not YOU. Maybe you DESERVE this kind of life, because you are too broken – even for God.
Truths To Understand
There are some truths you need to understand. Let me share each one and then expand on them so you understand what I am trying to say.
1. Other people’s lives have cracks too.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.
I know you have heard these truths from Romans 3. (If not, go check them out – awesome chapter of reality and hope IN CHRIST.) But do you also see the words “all” and “none”. You are not an exception to this declaration of brokenness. And neither is anyone else you encounter – even the ones you THINK have better or more perfect situations and lives. So stop looking at them as a standard for yourself – we are ALL cracked. We ALL need a Savior. We ALL need the Cross.
2. Your past does not define your future – you are not what has been done and said to you
Cracked is what you “were”, not who you “are”. Others may have used you and told you terrible things about your identity IN THE PAST. Their words are THEIR words, not YOUR reality. They have their own issues before God and even if there is a sliver of truth in anything they say, it has been dealt with on the Cross where Jesus took the stones that should have been slung at us, giving us HIS perfect reputation and standing before the Father.
You cannot change their brokenness and the way they treated or spoke to you, but you can choose to believe God’s Words over you.
Known by the Living God.
Child of God
Heir of all the heavenly blessings in Christ.
Here are some Bible passages to meditate on. Meditate means to ponder, chew on, investigate further. As you read them consider these questions:
- If I were to believe these words, what difference would that really make in my heart, mind, and actions?
- What lies am I believing when I do not receive these words as true?
- What do I learn about God and myself?
Here are the passages: Isaiah 43:18-21; 1:3-14; Psalm 139.
3. Your feelings do not dictate your worth.
Just as others words and actions toward you do not define your present reality in Christ, so your feelings can be wrong about your worth. What you feel in any moment is based on your perspective. It may be true from your point of view. But is that what God sees?
God is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. He lives outside time and yet is fully engaged in our lives as Creator, LORD, Savior, and Redeemer. If anyone has the true perspective of all of your life, its events, the people you have encountered and the needs you have, it is the Lord.
Remember from point 2 above that you were chosen in keeping with His good pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace. The declaration of our worth comes from the Self-Existing One – Jehovah. It pleased Him and was in keeping with His will to choose you for Himself. He is infinitely worthy of praise and honor and glory, so how could we be worth less than He declares us to be in Christ? Is God a liar or of less worth than the Word of God says? Then what He speaks is truth – including what He says concerning you – His child.
4. Food and busyness will never give you what you need to overcome your feelings of inadequacy.
When all things were perfect, before Adam and Eve got the bad idea from Satan that God was not all they needed. They had all their needs for food, comfort, relationship perfectly met in God. They didn’t crave anything but Him – time with Him, speaking with Him, working in the world He made for them, both woman and man in perfect partnership.
But after the Fall, because Adam and Eve believed the lie of Satan that they could be like God if they had the one thing He kept from them, the world turned upside down. We now crave everything but the One who can actually meet our every need in Himself. We hurt others to get it. We damage our bodies to try and fill it. We work so hard to impress others so we can find it.
God alone overcomes our feelings of inadequacies by giving us Himself. He gave Himself in our place, so we – in Him – might become what He always intended for us. We were made to be fulfilled and whole in right relationship with Him who made us. He makes us enough, worthy, and whole.
5. You must begin to identify and lay down the lies, repenting of unbelief, embracing GOD’S truth.
Lies come from feeling inadequate. Others have spoken words that have made us feel small, unimportant, even invisible. Satan has told us that we can never measure up. These and our own thoughts that have confirmed these statements, have created unbelief. We do not believe God is who He says He is in the making of us, the speaking of life over us, and His desire to make beauty from our ashes. We don’t dare to believe them – it is too good to be true.
And yet God’s reality trumps other people’s and Satan’s lies as we have explored previously, while speaking true words of worth and value over us because we are His IN CHRIST. Repentance is agreeing with God about the situation and the state of my heart and life. We are broken. We are sinners. We have believed lies. We have acted out of those lies which have made the lies seem more and more true. We are inadequate. We are small.
But GOD speaks over us a new truth in Christ. He speaks life where death used to live. He pours grace where condemnation once overwhelmed. He creates new things out of ashes, dead bones, what the locusts have destroyed. His reality crushes the lies when we embrace Him who is Eternal, Almighty, all-knowing, everywhere present, Our Abba – Daddy.
The truth is we are His and He gets the right to define truth about us IN HIM. We first need to know the specific lies we have believed, repent of them and their distortion of God and who He declares us to be IN HIM, and then embrace HIS TRUE AND LIVING DECLARATIONS of us.
6. You can and will find healing and the change you long for because the Lord is with you and lives in you.
God chose you before the foundations of the earth to do good works which He made for you before hand, that you should walk in them. You are His masterpiece – the beautiful story He is speaking over you and into you, from salvation, through transformation, to the glory of being His and letting Him pour through you. You are healed by the very fact that He chose you and He will continue to fill the holes sin and lies and destruction of others have made in you. His image in you has been marred by sin. He is in the business of restoring that image, one lie repented of and one truth of God embraced at a time.
He did not save you and leave you to your own efforts. His Spirit is in you, reminding you of the Words Jesus has spoken about you, showing you new and deeper truths, helping you overcome lies, and giving you strength to both embrace His truth and live with confidence IN HIM.
So what can you really hope for when you walk this process?
You will be able to :
Smile and speak kind words with a gentle spirit to others because of your awareness of how the Lord has done the same for you.
Address what is not right in your life out of a confidence in the declarations of God over you, which helps others treat you as the Lord already sees you – beautiful, treasured, and redeemed.
Do what is best in every situation, fully knowing your worth is based on what Christ has done for you in the Gospel – His death and resurrection.
Run straight to God in storms, letting Him remind you of His promises to work all things for your good, test the genuineness of your faith, and train you in righteousness.
Speak with confidence about your passions and convictions, assured that they have value because the Lord has given them to you, and everything He gives is good.
Learn freely and do whatever the Lord calls you to because you have learned to trust His love and understand your need of Him for your very life, with a desire for others to know this too.
Decide who is good or not good as influences over your life – walking away from people who speak lies over you, or seeking out those who will speak true life over you so you can be healthy and grow in Christ.
Become so aware of what a lie looks like, you can shoot it down with God’s truth before it has the ability to take up residence in your head and heart, creating destructive thoughts and feelings. Satan and your past will lose their power over you – Praise the Lord!
Create healthy boundaries for yourself and not let others manipulate you to change you for THEIR benefit. You will know your worth and love God, yourself, and others out of that healthy place.
Do the very things the Lord created you to do, because you now know and believe you have eternal purpose IN HIM, not measured by your past or what others say.
There are books, songs, and people who helped me grow from feelings of defectiveness through the encouraging process of God’s restoration. Contact me or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will give you the list and how each one did just that. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you on the journey from the labels of “Too Broken” to the restoration in wholeness of you through Christ!