“Take my side God. I’m getting kicked around and stomped on every day…But when I get really afraid I will put my trust in You. I will praise You for all that You have promised. I will trust You. I will not be afraid…Record my misery, list my tears on Your scroll. And remind me – what can mere mortals do to hurt me?” (Paraphrased from Psalm 56)
I was having such a great day yesterday, with things going so well I felt as though I was on top of the mountain, confident in my abilities and skills and all it took was one minute and one comment to bring it all crashing down around me.
How is it that one little thing could cause everything to leave me in tears, feeling inadequate and feeling as though I was completely stupid and useless?
It’s not the first time this week that I’ve felt inadequate so perhaps that’s why all it took was one person to intimidate me and ask me questions that I was unable to answer. As they say, “the straw that broke the camel’s back” caused me to become completely undone. I was rattled. I was upset. I became unglued. And I hid in the bathroom and cried.
Ridiculous behaviour! For goodness sake, I’m a grown woman!
I drove home in tears and collapsed into Tim’s arms (it wasn’t really as dramatic as that but I’m building the drama here!), hoping for some comfort and kindness (sympathy) and after he dried my tears he asked me, “Why? Why didn’t you stand up for yourself? You are not useless and the only way you can feel useless is if you allow someone else to make you feel this way.”
Why is he always so right?! Why do I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy after all these years? Of feeling like I’m not good enough? Or not smart enough? Why do I allow myself to get stomped on and kicked around? Why do I allow myself to feel like a child that should be sent to the naughty corner when I’m questioned and don’t have the right answer?
When will I learn to stand up for myself and say “I’m not useless you know?”
When am I going to realise that only I can make myself feel useless and inadequate.
As Lysa TerKeurst writes in her book “Unglued“: “Labels are awful. They imprison us in categories that are hard to escape. I should know…I was in an inmate in a prison of my own design, locked behind the many, many labels I’d put on myself over the years…(but) labels only stick if I let them.”
So, as I continue this journey of faith and discovery, I’m going to try not to stick these labels on myself anymore and nor am I going to allow others to place them on me. I am going to trust God and not be afraid of those “mere mortals” who stomp on me and kick me and hurt me with their words, causing me to become unglued and causing me to believe the lie that I am inadequate. And as I journey with God, I will praise Him and thank Him for reminding me that I am not inadequate. I do not lack the necessary skills and abilities. And I am not useless.