Now, if I stop and read that statement, I can talk myself out of it. I can present evidence that I am surrounded by people and not, in fact, “alone.” But yesterday I could not shake it, and I spent most of the day internally building a case to prove what I was feeling was truth. “I am alone” led to “I don’t matter,” an age-old lie I have wrestled with throughout the years. As I laid in bed last night, I began scouring the recesses of my heart and mind to discover WHY I was wrestling, once again, with something God has shown me is not true.
I have been in a season of tremendous grief and it has caused me to slowly withdraw from others. For months, I have found myself with people, but not really being “with” them, my mind has been somewhere else.
My season of grief has caused me to feel completely out of control. I have spent many nights beating my fists against an invisible wall in protest to a reality that will never change. Silence has been my friend, because there are simply not words to describe the ache inside of my heart. I have spent time beating myself up because other people are hurting worse than I am, and trying SO HARD to just pull myself together. Regret has been the blanket I tuck myself in with at night, as I have wrestled with many, “I wish I would have’s,” and sorrow has been the pillow I lay my head upon.
I simply feel like I have nothing to offer to others right now.
As people around me have wrestled with their own stuff, I have not been available to help, to love and care for, or to even to listen to them. Because truthfully getting through the day, managing my own household, and caring for my husband and children, is about all I can currently handle.
So, in brief, GRIEF SUCKS, because surviving is about all you can do outside of aching.
However, I realized something this morning about that age-old lie I wrestle with, the one where I say I don’t matter. That lie has driven me to “perform” time and time again. I adopted the habit of striving to prove my worth by ensuring I was valuable to the people around me by what I did for them. I was conditioned to believe that I exist for everyone else.
It is this season, of giving myself permission to embrace the process of grief, which has made me come face to face with that age-old lie once again.Because when you spend your days trying to prove you matter and you sign a contract with the enemy to be a slave to the opinions, needs, desires, and happiness of others, it all comes crumbling down when you cannot perform. And for me, the jig is up. I am asking God to break this damn lie one last time.
I am daring to believe that I am not alone in this, and I want to whisper hope into your heart today.
You don’t have to perform. You don’t exist for everyone else, you exist for God and to display His glory. He doesn’t need you to DO anything for His love, approval, or acceptance. You don’t have to prove to Him that you matter; He already proved your worth when He died for you. He is ok with your difficult seasons, when you have to say no to serving the crowd in order to tend to the wounds of your own heart. That is not self-absorption, it is good stewardship. He is the One who whispers, “Be still, and know that I AM GOD.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) and “step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God”(MSG). When we slow down and look at Him, we are able to find the healing and the comfort we so desperately need. Striving to prove our worth will never take our pain away, we actually stand at risk of making it worse. We may let people down, but then they can reach for God, which is so GOOD. There will be new seasons where you can pour out the comfort and the love that you receive from God to others. I pray you will give yourself permission to simply be still if that is what this season requires. Let’s, in faith, BELIEVE we matter because God sacrificed a lot to ensure we would have proof that we do.
And, last but not least, you are so very loved.
PS. God Delights in You!