If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself tangled in the seemingly insurmountable web of self-doubt and criticism at one time or another. Rooted in fear, skepticism, and insecurity, such feelings make it easy to fall into the trap of the enemy, believing the lie that we are less than we are.
“I can’t do this.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not strong enough.”
I’ve said these things to myself countless times — finding myself buried in self pity, doubting my abilities and talents given to me by God.
I know that I’m not alone in this. There are many people who question where they’re at and doubt their capabilities as a human being, just as I do. Perhaps, for you, these insecurities manifest themselves in different ways, though I feel that we all look for some form of validation and acceptance in this life. It seems that life has turned into a competition of sorts — a means to size each other up, as if to grade each other on how we’re doing. Just how did we get here?
We are conditioned to be fearful, to be critical. We compare where we’re at to where others are. We start wishing for other people’s God given gifts because “we just aren’t good enough.” We think that if we were able to do one thing or be this one thing, we’ll be satisfied. We’ll be happier. When we’ve stopped believing in ourselves, in celebrating the magic in all of us, in cheering each other on, I think that’s when we begin to lose ourselves.
When we base our value on earthly things, such as how others view us or how we measure up in comparison to others, we fall into the trap of the enemy. The enemy loves to play into our fears and insecurities. We begin to believe these lies: we’re not needed, we’re not important or valuable. The enemy’s desire is to fill our minds with so much deception that it becomes so difficult to recognize how God feels about us.
“Define yourself as one radically loved by God. This is your true self, every other identity is an illusion.” Brennan Manning was onto something when he said this. I know first hand how difficult it can be to believe that what God feels about us is true, especially when we’re trapped in our emotions of dissatisfaction, in our fears and anxieties. But, we are radically loved by God. His love does not come and go, even though our lack of confidence, self-love, and self-worth might. In fact, God’s love for us outweighs and out measures even our very idea of love.
When I am neck deep in my negative thoughts, I dig into God’s Word and remind my weary heart of His great love for me. There are a multitude of verses that exemplify this, but two of my favorite verses are Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13-14:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
– Jeremiah 1:5, NLT
“For You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works;
my soul knows it very well.”
– Psalm 139:13-14, ESV
These verses remind me that not only am I loved powerfully and indescribably beyond measure, but also that there is no one person like me. If you’re struggling to believe your worth, if you’re struggling to find your value, strength, or confidence, know that you were formed by God’s hands, dreamed up in His heart, and placed in this world for a purpose.
More so, we are precious and important to Him, no matter how invaluable, flawed, or broken we think we are. We are masterpieces because the Master created us. We are valuable because of the great price Jesus paid for us. We are treasured by God.
Believe that you are able. Believe that you are strong. Believe that you can.Because while we may feel as though we can’t do something, or feel as though we aren’t strong enough or good enough, such things are made possible through God Himself.
The next time you are plagued by doubt and insecurity, remember this: God stands with us and strengthens us. And as long as God is within us, we will not fall.
words by Amanda LeMasters and photo by Emily Steffen