Lately, I’ve been struggling with feelings of insecurity, value and worth, consistently feeling like I’m not good enough. Recently this all came to a head and God spoke incredible truth into my life.
As I had been preparing for She Speaks (for more on that click here), Satan had really been attacking me in that area saying “you’re not good enough,” or “what in the world do you think you’re doing thinking you could pursue ministry?!” Over and over these thoughts rolled through my head.
Last Wednesday up at work, we had a staff retreat. We were doing an activity that was supposed to be team-building and essentially make you feel good about yourself. The activity was to take a paper plate, write your name on it and pass it around to everyone in the group so they could write positive things they’ve noticed about you on the plate. Now, normally I love activities like this. I’m such a sucker for team-building activities and could do them all day long. But that day, that was hardly the case when I got my paper plate back. I was the first one to get mine back and was instructed to keep it turned over until everyone got theirs back. As I anxiously awaited to turn my plate over, I was wondering what my co-workers had said about me. When I turned it over, I saw words like:
always willing to help
Those words were written over and over on my plate. There were only 2 unique words that were different from those words listed above. My heart began to sink as I read those words over and over. All I started seeing was: AVERAGE. YOU’RE AVERAGE! You see, anyone can be a team-player, anyone can be willing to help, anyone can have a positive attitude. I was just filler. Somebody who just took up space on the team.
I was heart-broken because it confirmed my worst fears – I’m average, there’s nothing special about me, I don’t contribute anything unique to the team. I went on with the rest of my day smiling, trying to be engaged, but deeply wounded by those words.
Later that night, I had to shift my focus because I was attending the She Speaks conference the next day. I started practicing the messages I was giving at She Speaks to my husband and just completely broke down. He asked me if I was scared and I said yes and then I began pouring out my heart about what had happened at my staff retreat earlier that day.
Now, try to place yourself in my husband’s shoes. I’m telling him what people wrote on my plate. Most normal people would think all those things are great things – very positive. So I know he was totally confused when I just let the story linger there for a second before I told him how it made me feel. Then the words came spewing out “I’M AVERAGE!” And the ugly cry began – you know what I mean, the snot flying, I-can’t-catch-my-breathe kind of cry. He picked me up and carried me to our bedroom where he just held me and let me sob uncontrollably. He was so sweet, kind and tender toward me in my moment of vulnerability. He told me comforting and encouraging words, got me kleenex and then I realized I had to finish packing.
The next day (after a delayed flight, missed connection and becoming WAY too familiar with the Memphis airport), I finally made it to Concord, NC. As I settled in to the hotel around 1am, I took some time to be still before the Lord when I felt Him prompting my heart to go read Psalm 139.
I picked up my Bible, sat down on my bed and began reading at the beginning of the chapter. Then I got to those 6 little words, “For you created my inmost being,” and lost it again. As I kept reading, God’s truth began to penetrate my heart and the Holy Spirit was shouting at me. Here’s what I read:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
What truth was spoken into my heart and my life that night! God created my inmost being! So that deep desire for great purpose I have was placed their intentionally! He did that on PURPOSE! And my worst fears of being average disintegrated when learning (again) that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that ALL God’s works are wonderful – I should know that full well!
The Holy Spirit spoke such a great truth to my heart that night. I will never forget how impactful and life changing that moment was for me. Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword penetrating between soul and spirit, joints and marrow.
It was in that moment that I realized how much God loved me and how he created me. Just as I am is pretty wonderful! He created everything about me on purpose. And while I know I will still fight those lies that Satan tries to feed me about being average, I know I can claim this truth that I am anything but. Praise the Lord for His Word which is still living and active today!