Up until this point in my life, I always followed God’s voice, the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and poured my heart and soul into whatever I was doing. For four years it was full-time youth ministry, and I did all that I could to care for teenagers and guide them in the way they should go. That opportunity ended abruptly and frankly I wasn’t sure if I was called to ministry anymore. So for two years I poured my life into retail. I did all that I could to make the best sales, to make sure my co-workers had what they needed, and to stay energetic throughout it all. I saw promotions and other opportunities knock on my door, but I still couldn’t reach that goal I had set for myself. I still wasn’t doing enough right in my superiors’ eyes. As I continually surrendered my future to the Lord, I started to sense the tugging of the Holy Spirit drawing me back to full-time ministry. So I followed where He led me and ended up back in a church setting, this time sitting behind a desk doing things that I struggled to enjoy. But still, I was thankful to be in ministry and to have another chance to prove to myself that this was where I belonged. During this time, I really just held on for dear life to Jesus for joy, enthusiasm, and hope that I was on the right path and that this position would lead me ultimately to where I wanted to be. Still though, it seemed like NONE of my efforts were ever good enough.
Through each experience, the enemy repeatedly led me to believe that something must be wrong with me, and that I’ll never find a place to call home. I’ll never find a place where I can just thrive and be myself, but also where I can learn. I’d never find a place where my gifts and natural talents will add value, but where they’ll grow and be challenged to add even more. So the conclusion was: I just don’t belong. I walked around with all of this baggage, and with every new experience I would begin with excitement but with an understanding in my soul that someday the other shoe would drop. “They” would figure out that I don’t belong and I would just leave empty handed yet again. Still, I would work my little butt off just to be recognized and to be told “good job.” I’d work so hard just to get a pat on the back because honestly, I needed it! I felt like I just kept failing and I needed to know that I was doing something right. I needed to know that I was valuable, that I could change this pattern, even though I didn’t believe it could change at all.
Through it all, God continued to speak to me, to redirect my path in a way that led me to the feet of Jesus every single time. Even today He continues to point out every single lie that I started to believe back then. I know now that living for this type of approval from others — living for the “good job”s and for the pats on the back — they are not how He designed an abundant life. I was looking to belong in the world, but that wasn’t where God designed for me to belong. I was looking for value from the people around me, but that wasn’t where I would ever find it.
I belong to God. I am His daughter. He paid the ultimate price for me. That makes me very valuable.
He never stops repeating His Truths to me over and over again, even though some days I struggle to believe them. It must never tire or bore Him to remind us time and again who we are and who He is. I think it’s probably because He loves us that much. Does a mother ever tire of telling her little one, “I love you?” And so neither does God. In fact, I know for sure that He never stops. I know this because He has never stopped reminding me of Ephesians 2:10 =
“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above— spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].”
I can no longer let any past voices linger in the back of my mind. I have to start taking each and every thought captive and replacing them with the Truths God has been repeating over and over to me all these years.
I am not too young — I have lived 31 years, and who cares if people assume differently because of how old I look. How I look has nothing to do with the wisdom that God has given me through my experiences.
I am not immature — Silliness is not immaturity. God has given me a mission to communicate His message to people. I can only do that by being who He has created me to be, and boy has He given me a sense a humor!
I am enough — There is nothing wrong with me. God created me. Everything about me has been intentionally set in place to be used by Him. He can absolutely use me, and in fact, He has already begun!
I am God’s masterpiece — He has a purpose that is designed perfectly for me. I am not here by any sort of accident. I need to walk forward into what God has planned for me!
What are the labels that others have given to you in the past? What are the lies that these labels have caused you to believe? How do these lies and labels effect the way you live your life every day? What are you believing about yourself that have NOT been spoken to you by your Creator?
List out any lies or labels that you have been carrying around with you. Ask God to reveal to you His Truths about you as it pertains to each item on your list. Write down what He speaks to your heart.
Make an “I am not” list based on what you’ve learned. Be sure to share it with your closest friends so that they can partner with God in reminding you of the Truths about yourself. This is just one of the many reasons we are called to live in community with one another!
How can you cultivate these Truths every day so that they bear fruit and begin to take root in your heart? How can your friends help you in this agenda?
Lastly, share your list with me! It encourages me to no end to be a part of what God is doing in your life!