My story has a significant past of hurts, anxiety, worry of being abandoned, lack of trust, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and my worth being found in all the things the world equates with success. I can trace many of these struggles back to childhood through my parents’ divorce and the absence of a strong bond with my dad in my formative years. Feelings of insecurity and trying to figure out where I fit began to manifest itself in friendships, achievement at school, fear of being alone or not belonging, and even anxiety about the dark as I went to bed each night. In a time in my life when my circumstances felt uncertain and unstable, I began attempting to maintain “control” over as many areas of my life as possible. However, my story of beginning to work through those things begins largely after the loss of my son, Tyler. Although I had previously experienced things outside of my control, such as infertility and miscarriages, Tyler’s death was the first time I finally understood what it meant to surrender my ways, hopes, fears and anxiety to the Lord. In the loss of one of my most precious earthly possessions, I actually found God’s deep, deep love for me. It may seem like a paradox, but that is the beauty of Christ – when we are lost, He finds us; when we die to ourselves, we actually gain true life in Him.
As I still find myself struggling at times with feeling unworthy, insecure, and like I don’t measure up, I often wonder why my heart wrestles so deeply with these foundations to my theology. I know the answers in my head, but my heart struggles to catch up. It seems there is a generation of women today that is struggling to make sense of who they are, what makes them special, what makes them okay and acceptable. Every where I turn, there are women trying to come to grips with who they are created to be, myself included at the top of the list. I would dare to say that many of us, even those of us who have walked with the Lord for many years, are wrestling with these things because the Gospel has not fully penetrated our hearts on a regular basis.
When we begin to comprehend the Gospel, we are forced to recognize our depravity and our inadequacies. But our God does not leave us there. The Lord breathes in, leaning into the pit of lies we believe about ourselves, and changes everything. Freedom in exchange for bondage. Truth in exchange for lies. Hope in exchange for despair. Joy in exchange for sorrow. Our God offers new life to anyone willing to accept it. For me it is a daily choice to put on Christ and to take off selfish ambition, self-pity, insecurity, self-righteousness, self-reliance, and pride. Jesus desires nothing more than for you and me to be set free from sin, no longer living like slaves.
Our stories come to life when we learn to stop asking if we are enough, and rest in the fact that HE is enough. Enough to cover all our pain, enough to erase all our sin, enough to handle all our disappointments and fear, enough to walk us through life’s darkest and hardest moments, enough to embrace us when our world is falling apart, enough to reassure us that we am enough just the way we are because of Christ. I am so thankful that Christ has come to set us free from every single thing that entangles us. How has Christ set you free? What are the areas you need to surrender to Him today?