This fall has been rough. It’s been constant realization of sin – sin patterns that were so engraved in my life before I trusted Jesus, but I had thought that they ceased to exist. And while God no longer punishes me for them, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I found myself living back in the patterns. The past two months have been filled with doubts – am I enough? Constant thoughts running through my head, any given day they could be “am I pretty enough” “am I smart enough” “do I work hard enough” “am I skinny enough” “am I doing enough”… and while I know in my head that the answer is yes, an overwhelming yes, I was experiencing what we often refer to in the ministry world as “head/heart disconnect”. It has been an inner battle, one I would see days free from this mindset, but something would easily trigger me right back into these same doubts over my worth. And because my heart wasn’t feeling worthy, I fell back into trying to earn my grace, earn beauty and earn wisdom, but obviously I was failing.
The sad thing is, this fall I’ve seen so much fruit from ministry, I’m doing well in school (finally), and my friendships are the healthiest they’ve ever been, but I was feeling the need for control. This need for control wiggled its way into every area of my life. Before I knew it, I started obsessing over my to-do list, stressing about if the girls I was investing in felt loves enough, and controlling what I ate, when I ate and how much I worked out. Basically, I decided that I was going to make myself feel like I was “good enough” for God. The sad thing is, I knew (and know) that this is so contrary to the Gospel. I am freely given grace through faith; Jesus died a brutal death on a cross to tell me that I’m enough, there’s nothing I can do to add to that sacrifice. But the head/heart disconnect was still occurring full force.
Last week I hit rock bottom (well I hope that was as low as it gets), I was sick of fighting the Holy Spirit. I wanted to be able to let go, but I was clinging to every piece of control I had left. I left the house during dinner time so I could skip it without feeling guilty and ran errands, I came back and kept myself busy so I didn’t have to deal with my feelings, and the overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t okay. Finally, on Wednesday night, during a wonderful bible study, I confessed that I didn’t feel like I was enough for God, and that I was spiraling out of control because of it. The girls prayed for me, and then again on Thursday night a friend prayed for me. On Friday, during discipleship as I started to process all that was going on, it became evident that I wanted a sign saying that I was enough; I also wanted to just be done struggling, but instead what I got was a reminder of what walking in the Spirit is. It’s a momentary decision to believe that Jesus died for me and then gifted me with the Spirit – a powerful spirit living inside of me to help combat the lies and walk by faith moment by moment. The blood of Jesus already freed me, now I had the decision to live in this freedom.
I could choose to view myself as a child of God or as a slave to everything that is not of Him. What will I choose? It isn’t a matter of how God sees me – that doesn’t change base don my emotions – it’s all about how I view myself. And out of how I view myself, my view of God will be affected. When I say that I am not enough, I am saying that 1) The Gospel is not always true, and 2) God can create something that is less than worth Jesus dying for.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
I have the Spirit living in me. That means I’m free. I’m free from feeling unworthy. I’m free from believing that if I’m not in control then no one is. I’m free from what others think. I’m free from being the cookie cutter Christian. I’m free to worship Jesus will all that I am. Do I believe it not only in my head, but also my heart? Well, I’m trying.