“Am I good enough?” How often do you ask yourself that question? We wonder if our husbands are happy, if our children are satisfied, if our employer will hang onto us through yet another round of budget cuts.
Over the last few years, I’ve been feeling oh so inadequate. For the second time in my life, I was let go by a company that saw the creative writer as a good place to start dissecting costs, leaving me unemployed once again. And, after weeks of encouraging consideration, an editor decided to pass on my nonfiction manuscript. Last, but certainly not least, as a still-single woman in her upper-forties, how could I not feel rejected by men? One guy actually seemed to be pursuing me quite enthusiastically for about a week recently, then . . . nothing.
And every time I’m hit by another failure, I hear the voices. No one wants you. You can’t do it. You’re not good enough. I know these words are from the Enemy, yet they ring so true and hurt so much. As Vivian said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”
So, for our peace of mind—and sheer sanity, for heaven’s sake—we need to reject the negative and not only find our way back to good enough, but to who we truly are in Christ.
I love that moment in the best romantic movies when the man lets the woman know she’s the one, the only one for him. Still better, when he risks all, even his life, to rescue her from her mortal enemy. Like Kevin Costner’s Robin in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves—beating down doors, smashing through windows, and going sword to sword to save Maid Marion from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.
“You came for me. You’re alive,” she cries, rushing into his arms after the final battle.
He replies, “I would die for you.”
Remind you of anyone in particular? Someone who died for you but is alive and will always come for you, no matter what? No wonder women love scenes like this in movies. They speak to the soul of our relationship with God. “You are the one,” He says. “I choose you.”
More specifically, Scripture tells us, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9–10).
So we are chosen, but for a purpose: to proclaim the Good News to those who are still in darkness. In our despair He came to us, held out a hand and said, “I have so much more for you.” And, being the cynical, flawed creatures we are, we ask, “Why me?”
You Are Delightful
Of course, before he risks life and limb, the Hero falls for the girl. Do you think Robin would have gone to such extremes for just anyone? His friend asks, “Is she worth it?” and Robin nods.
“Worth dying for.”
How we long to be that girl. But so many things in this world crush our spirits, making us feel inadequate, unwanted, and stupid. And how do we react? We let ourselves fall into the role of supportive friend or trusted servant, instead of stepping forward as the leading lady. The world tells us we’re not special, and sadly, we start to believe it.
That is not how God sees us. In fact, He considers each of us worth dying for. I think King David said it best in Psalm 18:19 – “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” God broke down the walls, slew the enemy, and offered up His life to set you free. Take that, Robin of the Hood!
Still, I know how hard it is to see our own delightfulness when our issues take up so much room. They do seem to be compelling proof we’re not that great. But isn’t that the point? Doesn’t God have a knack for accomplishing great things despite—sometimes even through—our inadequacies and failures?
As a matter of fact, yes . . .
You Are Flawed
Lest we get too carried away, let’s also remember just how much we don’t deserve the grace and beauty He bestows on us. You are not perfect. No, that’s a good thing. Sit back, leave the dishes in the sink, and take that in. Relax into it. You are not perfect . . . but He adores you and chose you anyway.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty” (1 Cor. 1:26–27).
Not wise, not mighty, not noble, but foolish and weak. Not very flattering but that’s alright too. This reminds us it’s not about you or me. It’s about Him. Our failures and imperfections flash a neon marquee announcing God’s greatness. You know how a mother sees the beauty of her child even when others cannot? And how she’s the only one allowed to say anything about her child’s shortcomings? I think it’s like that. God as our Creator can see and acknowledge our imperfections, but heaven help those who dare impugn His beloved. Weak, ugly and fragile, we find shelter under His wings.
You Are Not Trusting
I know your doubts because you, like me, are sitting there mumbling, “Well, sure that all sounds nice and sweet and very Disney-like . . . for everyone else. But things haven’t been that way for me.” We can all fall into pity party mode. Still, haven’t years of canceled dreams and disappointed hopes made our negative attitude not only reasonable but logical?
Absolutely. Everything that seemed so possible twenty, thirty, forty years ago while gazing ideologically through the sunshine-colored glasses of a youthful heart looks a bit murky and gray and kind of pathetic now. Why? Because we’ve moved from trusting in dreams of a bright future to not trusting in anything. Including God. It’s all a tactic of the Enemy, castrating us at the very essence of who we are in Christ and moving us back into that mindset of believing the worst.
And that’s when we go back to our King, our Prince, crashing through stained glass to rescue us against all odds, defeating our doubts and fears and insecurities, and pulling us into His perfect freedom. Which brings us full-circle back to being chosen and loved.
The world will continue to tell you you’re not good enough, pointing out your flaws and ignoring all the wonderful attributes that make you unique. God sees all those things and, despite your faults and shortcomings, says you are more than good enough.
You are His.
(c) March 7, 2013
After earning a bachelor’s in communications at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, she spent several years working as a newspaper reporter, almost a decade serving as an award-winning radio writer/producer for Focus on the Family, and even took a job for six months penning a television show for an Ohio-based mega-church. Then, for two and a half years, she was the senior writer for the marketing department at Cedarville University (OH).
Most recently, Sharyn has made her living as a freelance writer and editor. Her work has included co-authoring/editing Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury: One Woman’s Journey from Death to Life (published by BookJolt, 2012), writing and directing plays for an annual Cedarville University event, writing and editing numerous web articles, and editing a 400-page devotional, which was published by Kregel in 2012. She has a short story that will be included in the Western Ohio Writers Association’s 2013 inaugural anthology. And in February, she won Write Integrity Press’s One Hope Contest in fiction. Her first novel, Spinstered, will be published by WIP this fall.
In her spare time, Sharyn plays the piano, makes the best fudge ever, rages against unnecessary uses of the Oxford comma, and watches too much HGTV. She lives in Jamestown, Ohio, but plans to move to Bellefontaine in April to be closer to her family, especially her amazing nieces and nephew.