Welcome to Week 3 of our Untangled Summer Study!
Thank you for being here and for doing the hard work and seeking God’s face on all this! It’s been incredible for me to hear from you all and hear how God is loosening the knots…knots that have held some of us for years. YEARS! That’s no small thing, sister. Take a second to acknowledge the work God has done and give Him thanks for how He is in constant pursuit of our hearts. Oh, how He loves us, and how He wants to set us FREE.
This week? We’re diving into the tangle of WORTHLESSNESS. This is THE one that messes with me the most.
So, a couple Saturdays ago I was working around the house, kids were playing outside with the neighbor kids, Wimbledon was on in the background and Serena Williams was playing for the women’s final. The girl is an amazing force on the court, so I stopped to watch her compete (and take) the title.
But as the afternoon progressed, here’s where my crazy brain went…”Serena’s arms are ridiculous. It would be so awesome to be in that kind of shape…I’m not in shape…I’m not even remotely in shape…I’m sitting on the couch, not working out for like the 47th day in a row…I’m a total slug.”
Then two of my kids ran through the door with a full report on how their sibling had said something horrible to one of our neighbor’s daughters. Seriously? Have I not raised you better? Awesome. My neighbor now probably thinks I’m awful as a parent, and soon the whole block will start questioning our family’s values (I know, so dramatic).
It all just sat on me and brewed. As the day wore on into the evening, I was in a compete funk, and my mood had turned into a justified sad-fest. I felt so defeated about who I was, my parenting and really, my whole life.
I caught myself in a moment of reality and stopped long enough to ask this question: How did I get here? Why am I in this funk? What have I been thinking about? Where has my brain gone that’s allowed me to wind up here?
I began to recount all the negative things I’d been saying internally that afternoon. It was A LOT. A lot of junk that I’d been telling myself for hours, and then believing it as if it were truth.
Why do I do that?
So, I decided to do an experiment. I decided to keep track of the horrible things I say to myself for 24 hours. Every time I put myself down or had thoughts of feeling worthless, I opened up the Notes app on my phone and wrote it down. Here’s what came out:
- Serena Williams’ arms are incredible, and I’m old and out of shape.
- My parenting is apparently out of touch since my child can say such unkind things.
- I look awful in that picture I was tagged in.
- I look awful period.
- I can’t manage my finances.
- My house is a wreck, that one project is still not done. I’m so inept.
- My friends’ kids are involved in so many great camps and sports, I’m not providing good stuff for mine.
- That friend has tried to connect with me this summer, she’s such a better friend than I am.
- I haven’t called that friend enough, she’s probably unhappy at how lame I am as a friend.
Big shock: all of that internal dialogue made me feel horrible about myself. And mostly left me saying these three words: I’m not enough.
Why do we do that?
That phrase “I’m not enough” is so loud in our lives. We look at how we fall short, what we don’t have in comparison to others, and how we wish we could do more.
There are so many reasons we land here, feeling not enough. Our culture screams messages of performance, to “look right” and be “perfect”. Social media inundates us with posts and pictures, showing us that everyone else apparently has their act together, and we, again, fall so short.
But so often, beyond the externals, I am my own worst enemy in the battle of feeling worthy. I can beat myself up like nobody else. I withhold grace from myself, while extending it generously to others. I hold myself to unreasonable standards while offering acceptance to everyone else. All of this…generating only one thing: worthlessness.
But that is not God’s heart for me. AT ALL.
What are the thoughts that you have about yourself?
It’s a really important question for us to answer, for us to recognize what we’re thinking about. Because I believe this to be true:
Our thoughts lead to our words.
Our words lead to our actions.
And our actions make up the whole of our lives.
You have SO MANY THOUGHTS. Every single day, so much is swirling around in your mind. Often, you can keep those thoughts hidden and known only to you. Eventually, however, those thoughts will surface and turn into the words you say. Your words will inevitably influence and become how you act and move. Those actions will then make up how you spend your days, which then turn into a life.
Your thoughts matter, because they become the driving force of how you live your one and only life.
So, where are you today?
What messages are you hearing? What are you telling yourself? Do you believe that you are enough? Do you give yourself grace or do you find yourself buried in worthlessness?
What if you began to believe something different?
What if you began to believe that you are precious? That you are cherished and loved beyond anything that you can ever understand? That you are wired to be all and exactly who God has created you to be?
What if you began to believe that you are, in fact, worthy?
WORTHLESSNESS: NEXT STEPS
Take time this week to be intentional. Determine in your heart to stand up against those negative thoughts that contradict everything that God says about you. Here’s some ideas:
1. Make Your Own List.
For the next 24-hours, keep track of all the negative thoughts you have towards yourself. Whether it’s with pen and paper, or the Notes app on your phone, write it down.
2. Begin to ask God to show you the “whys” of all that made that list.
What is going on with all those negative thoughts? What’s their root, their ground zero? Ask God to begin to shine a Light on it all.
3. Decide to Choose Truth.
I say that at the risk of sounding cliche, at the risk of making it sounding so simple. Just choose joy! Just be happy!
Not at all. Deciding to choose Truth can be the hardest thing to do. We get so stuck, so tangled up in the lies of worthlessness. We’ve heard the messages for so long, lies so big they have begun to look real. To think that we actually matter can seem almost impossible.
But what if all you need is the tiniest of faith? The smallest amount of faith, offered to the Lord, asking Him to show you your value…your worth.
4. Spend time HERE.
God’s Word…how it gives Life to my soul…
God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. I John 1:5
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Matthew 6:26
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.…How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalm 139:14-18
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Decide to take that first step towards believing what is True. That you are absolutely loved, because Jesus Christ gave His very life for you. Open your heart to believe that He would have never allowed the pain and suffering He went through, or allowed Himself to be put up on a cross and die, for something that had no value…for someone who was worthless.
You are precious. Fight for that knowledge, for that Truth. Ask God to begin to expose the lies that have you tangled up, and see how God begins to loosen those knots of worthlessness.
See you back here Thursday.
Join Us In Community.
We will be on our Untangled Women Facebook Page today, our virtual coffee shop, asking questions throughout the day, encouraging you to trust God in this journey to get untangled from fear. Join us, we would love to hear from you.