I strive to be an achiever. I strive to be dependable. I strive to be a people-pleaser. I strive to be perfect, in every circumstance & no matter the trials. I strive to have the perfect response, the perfect attitude, the perfect outfit. I strive to be looked up to. I strive in my job, my school, my personal life. I strive to be a hostess, come to me, lean on me, use me. I strive to be the perfect daughter. I strive to make people proud of me. I strive to be in control. I strive to know myself. I strive to understand why people act the way they act. I strive to help people. I strive to lead. I strive to uphold other people’s image of me. I strive to never shatter that image. I strive to be enough. I strive to be everything to everyone. I strive to be self-sufficient. I strive & strive & strive, and I end up so dissatisfied.
Did you just get exhausted reading off a grocery list of the different ways I strive and think, “Dear God, how does she function in her everyday life?” You should know that all of these things about myself dictate the way I have always navigated tough decisions. And I have never wanted to admit these things.
There is something to be said for moments of vulnerability. Moments where you admit these things, release a burden, and cease striving.
And that is exactly what the Lord has commanded us to do: cease striving.
It’s hard to detach myself from this striving mindset and make decisions based on who the Lord has called me to be because I’m still learning who exactly that is, so this is the tricky one.
What I do know:
The Lord has adopted me as His daughter. He has redeemed me from any sin I once used to define myself. He has restored me. He has renewed my strength & sanctified me. He has called me & set me apart. He has rescued me & set me free with His blood that was shed for my sins. He has purified me. When the world sees me drenched in sin, He pours His grace over me. He calls me lovable. He favors me. He sees me as blameless, no shame & no guilt. He delights in me. He desires me. He empowers me. He understands me. He has gone before me.
These are all such beautiful things to write & preach to myself, yes. However, having a relationship with the Lord means more than just having your heart recognize pretty words, and that is something I am just starting to learn. I’ve started to let these Truths fill the deepest & darkest corners of my hearts. The parts filled with the lies, “You’re not good enough,” and, “Why would He choose you?” or, “Who would listen to you when you can’t believe it yourself?” These are LIES. He’s maneuvering through the different parts of my heart like pieces to a one-thousand piece puzzle, and carefully. He meticulously chooses how He will work in & through me, and I am learning how to relinquish control. I cling to these TRUTHS.
And the only thing that holds me back from believing these things is thinking that I am not worthy enough to be called by Him. I have convinced myself that I am not worthy enough to do His work for His Kingdom. How messed up is that? How long have I believed these lies?
“‘My kingdom,’ said Jesus, ‘doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.’ Then Pilate said, ‘So, are you a king or not?’
Jesus answered, ‘You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.’“
// JOHN 18:36-37 MSG
This life is not mine. I am not my own. This earth is not my home. My heart longs for something more, to be with my Creator.
And I think that’s why we so often believe these lies. We try to fill these longings for different qualities in Jesus with earthly & temporary things. We search for love in all of the wrong places & begin to define our worth by earthly acceptance because it is tangible. It is immediate. We see it & we soak it in & we love every minute of being accepted. These people call us worthy & then they let us down & then we believe we are unworthy. Acceptance is fleeting. It’s a vicious cycle, and until you extract yourself from it, you will continually be empty & drained & dry.
When you begin to recognize His voice though, things change. He can heal those dry bones. He is not temporary. Fix your eyes on the Eternal One. Who better to understand how to give love than Love Himself? Your worth comes from your Savior and your Savior alone. He who has created you calls you His masterpiece. He created you before the foundations of the earth, before He even hung one star in the sky. How worthy do you feel knowing that? He chose you. He set you apart to do great & unspeakable things that you could not even dream of. He knows you. He knows your struggle & your sin because He has gone before you. How much more reassurance do we need?
You are worthy of love from the Most High God, and if there is anything huge in the past few weeks that God has whispered in my direction, it’s this: I am learning how to make decisions based on who the Lord has made me to be and not on who I’m striving to be.
This means: no more earthly acceptance, no more people-pleasing, no more feeling unworthy, no more chains. You are free. His grace is unending. His mercies are new every single morning. His grace is sufficient & all-encompassing. His mercies are innumerable.
And He calls you His.
(Originally posted to & written for IMPRINTED)