Last night I was thumbing through my old iPhone Notes and discovered a quote I had written down back in 2013 from the HBO show, Girls.
“You judge everyone and yet you ask them not to judge you.”
“Um, that’s because no one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself. Okay? So any mean thing someone’s gonna think of to say about me I’ve probably already said to me, about me, probably in the last half hour.”
I remember when I wrote this quote down. I remember having to pause and rewind multiple times in order to make sure I got the words down accurately. I had wanted to write it down because of how strongly it resonated with me at that moment, in that season of my life.
Unfortunately, I think too many of us women can say the same thing. The soundtrack on repeat in our heads tells us, “You’re too fat, too loud, too inconsequential. You did the wrong thing. How could you be so stupid? You should feel ashamed of how you acted. You’ll never be as good as her. You’ll never be worthy of him.” It goes on and on until it pulls us deeper and deeper into ourselves, where we hide in our shame and regret.
It’s been seven years since I wrote those words down, and since then, I’ve become a Christian, gotten married, had a baby boy, started and left a career, and gone up and down several pant sizes. The only thing in that list that really matters, though, is the first one. We all know the truth that no person, not even your true love, no size on a clothing tag, no position, no real estate address can erase the feeling of insignificance you feel at times. None of those things that we spend so much energy pursuing can add to or subtract from our inner sense of self-worth or our value as a woman. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing that can make you feel the satisfaction you desire that comes from this world.
What you may or may not know, is that living in the risen body of Jesus Christ, can. There are many beautiful messages throughout Scripture that speak intimately to the hearts of broken souls, but one of my favorites comes from Psalm 139:13-14:
What these verses affirm is the truth that God made you (and me, and each one of us) intentionally and with a purpose. Many of those qualities you criticize in yourself are likely the very same ones that God gave you for a good purpose. Even the parts of yourself that you see as the “broken bits,” aren’t wasted.
Of course, he wants us to grow more into the image of Christ; we’re not supposed to stay stagnant or use this as an excuse to continue to engage in behavior that is unbecoming to a child of God or unhealthy for us, but God made each one of us with unique gifts that he desires for us to share with one another for His kingdom. The voice inside you telling you otherwise is a liar.
So the next time you feel that you are too loud, too quiet, too much, or not enough, listen to the voice of your Father who says, “Feat not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God” (Phil. 4:13). “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9)
Lord God, sometimes I struggle to see myself through your eyes. Help me to look beyond my own estimations of myself or what the world says about me to see my worth in your eyes. Let not my gifts be wasted out of fear or shame, but help me to grow in the gifts that you have given me so that I can be a more effective witness for your love in a broken world that so desperately needs your love. Amen.