Tomorrow is a big day.
I’ll be a year closer to 30.
I don’t know what it is about 30, but it is freaking me out. When you’re 30, you’re an adult, right? You have your life together; you don’t doubt, fear, question. You’re an adult. Right?
But when you feel like your life is not yet “adult” enough and that your ducks are flying around wildly and flailing around and not anywhere near close to lining up neatly in a row, fear sets in and you begin to question yourself and your choices and your maturity. Fear speaks words like “you’re not good enough”.
I realize now that all of this fear has caused me to root myself in things I (think I) can control. My identity begins to reside in my stuff and my reputation. The more I think I’m finding myself, the more I am losing myself. The more I “find” my identity, the more I believe lies and ignore what I know is truth.
Just about a year ago, I went on a women’s retreat with our church. We had only been going to the church for a month or two and I didn’t know too many people. I don’t know what possessed me, shy me, to want to join ten other women from our church on this weekend away, but I signed up and merrily and fearfully went along for the adventure. Because I had signed up late, I was placed in a room with only two other people. I didn’t know either one. Both nights, one of them put her ipod in around 9:30 and went to bed while the other, a wonderful woman named Jenny, and I stayed up until after 2am talking. We shared our lives with each other and laughed and cried. On the second night, Jenny paused midway through our conversation and spoke these words of truth into my heart.
I keep hearing a similar theme in your words. It sounds to me like you can’t help but believe that you’re not good enough. What is it that you don’t think you’re good enough for?
We pondered then continued talking well into the night. The next few weeks though, her words stayed in my mind. I thought long and hard about it…did I really not think I was good enough? And for what wasn’t I good enough?
I was shocked when I began to see a theme emerge in my life. I found myself consistently thinking I wasn’t enough…not good enough, not pretty enough, not faith-filled enough, not enough. And like being jolted with an electric shock, I was struck one day with the realization that it all stemmed from my belief that I wasn’t good enough to be loved by God.
I know that truth in my head but it has taken too many years to permeate into my heart. Over the past year of asking God to remind me of this truth—that I am loved by him, he has been slowly and consistently teaching me. And like wet sand pouring through an open hand into a bucket, he is filling me and providing a foundation for me to stand upon.
My prayer of Ephesians 3:17-19 has been freeing me from the chains of fear and expectation.
And I pray that [I], being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that [I] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
God is constantly reminding me of how wide and long and high and deep his love is. That nothing at all…”neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [me] from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
I am so thankful that none of it—my fears and doubts, my lack of adult-ness and ducks-in-a-row-ness—can separate my nearly 30 year old self from the love of God.