There are 1,257 words beyond this point. This blog will take the average adult reader approximately 4.5 minutes to read. You might be able to consider this something of a part 2 to “Unwanted” (and other lies I believe).
I have had a serious case of writers’ block for about two months now. Generally, when this happens, it’s because there is something I need to write that I’m not writing. It is called writers’ block for a reason—there is literally an obstacle, a blockage, in the outward flow of words. A few nights ago, I was confronted with my obstacle.
I do not want to write this. But I also know I will not be able to continue if I don’t. This blog feels scattered to me—I am not sorry. I am still scattered.
It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but before I begin, I want to invite you to shut up. Read. Sit with me in this. I don’t want your platitudes or condolences or comforts, no matter now well-meaning they may be. Sit with me—in silence—observe how your own soul identifies with mine—receive this. Trust that the Holy Spirit is a sufficient comforter for me—and for you.
If you were to excavate fire of the terrible things I believe about myself—unwanted, unloved—you’d find a smoldering ash heap of thousands of instances of this phrase: Not good enough.
If you’re willing to sit in this shit heap with me for a while, I suspect you’ll find your soul occasionally anchored by this thought as well: Not good enough.
I am haunted by the notion that I am not good enough.
(I think in modern society this sometimes goes by the name “impostor syndrome”.)
There are some days that, in my head, there is nothing about me that is good—let alone good enough. And if I’m honest with you—and I aim to be—I’ve been drowning with the weight of that anchor tied to my soul for a few months now. It has been a hard summer for me. This summer has been lonely and isolating, and that has lended to getting wrapped up and tangled in the chain on that anchor—again. This is not the first time, and I doubt it will be the last.
It comes in a million forms.
My body is not good enough.
My personality is not good enough.
My efforts are not good enough.
My social skills are not good enough.
My emotions are not good enough.
I am not a good enough thinker.
I am not a good enough daughter.
I am not a good enough sister.
I am not a good enough friend.
I am not a good enough woman.
I am not a good enough Christian.
I am not good enough to be wanted.
I am not good enough to be loved.
When it’s not one, it’s another—and often multiple at once. I can trace it back to right around the time I turned four. But even at that first memory of “not good enough” that I have, it seemed like an old acquaintance. It has followed me around like a dissonant band of minstrels clanging pots and pans ever since.
But I don’t want to dwell on that. I can’t. The water is too deep, and the anchor is too fucking heavy for me right now. Instead, I want to dwell on Truth—whether I believe it or not at the moment.
I believe that humans are created in the image of God—Imago Dei. I write about this a lot. I make every possible attempt to fight for it in others. But I often forget that I am among the image bearers—and it is so easy to forget when so much of what the world screams states otherwise.
It is easy (for me) to say, “That person is made in the image of God, and deserves to be treated as such—but me? I’ve annulled that for myself.” and list a fucking plethora of reasons why and how I’ve broken the divine image that I bear—why it has been stripped from me. Why I have stripped it from me.
I am better at speaking the truth of the full gospel of Jesus to others than I am at speaking it to myself. If anyone else were to do the very thing I do in my head, and were to share it with me, I would attempt to lovingly tell them that is a lie and it is idolatry. I would confront the lie of “not good enough” with the truth of Imago Dei & the gospel. I would explain to them that it is not up to them, whether they were created in the image of God or not. I would tell them that to declare anything over his or herself that is not in agreement with Scripture, is not just a lie—but idolatry. I would explain to them how when we choose our own fucked up identities, like “not good enough” over the identity given to all of us in the womb (divine image bearer, worthy of love, unfathomably valuable), and the identity bought for Christians at the cross (adopted, loved, saved, redeemed, sons and daughters of God), it is choosing to put ourselves in the very position of God. We have neither the power nor the authority to “correct” God’s view of us.
Every time I declare “not good enough” over myself, it is an attempt to subvert the throne of God. It is unholy treason against the very God gives me any worth to begin with and at the cross through Christ declares “good enough”. (Although admittedly, it never feels that violent in the moment.)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55
He knows me better, and He knows better—and while it is altogether tempting to think otherwise—it is foolish. It is destructive. I am becoming my own accusatory voice—reflecting voice of The Accuser to myself.
“Our thoughts aren’t authoritative.” Jackie Hill Perry tweeted that a few days after I started writing this blog. I’ve been ruminating on it since.
I do not have the authority to declare that I am not good enough. That thought, that statement, was killed with Christ on the cross.
The lie seems unrelenting right now. Everywhere I turn it is repeated.
But… I have neither the power nor the authority to declare it. And when it is hurled at me, I do have the power through Christ to choose the truth over the lie. To choose Christ sitting at the right hand of God the Father, rather than attempting to usurp the throne. And it is better. I know it is. Though this is seemingly not a season where I am choosing God’s authority over my own, I’ve been in those seasons—and that gives me hope. Hope that I can again begin to trust what God says of me, over what I think of me. Hope that I can turn toward Jesus, and away from my hell-bent and navel-gazing ways.
I need to recall when I hear “not good enough”—that I am made in His image—that I am wonderfully made. I need to recall when I hear “not good enough” that I am new, whole, complete in and reconciled to Christ, actively being redeemed.
No being on this planet has the power or the authority to strip me of the Imago Dei and declare “not good enough”—and that includes me.
“But He gives more grace.” – James 4:6