“You don’t have to be good enough, because God is good enough.”
In my Intro to Biblical Counseling class, we’ve been writing in journals all semester, and over the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing our journal entries in class and counseling each other. Last week, I decided to share. It was both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking to talk about some of my personal struggles and especially some of my self-talk and core beliefs. I’m so glad I did it, though. I was really encouraged by what my classmates and professor said in response to my journal. I wish I would have written more of it down. The quote at the beginning of this post is one thing I did write down, and something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
You don’t have to be good enough, because God is good enough.
I struggle so much with feeling like I have to measure up, and feeling like I rarely do. I try so hard. Always feeling like I have to prove myself…feeling like I have to continually prove myself over and over again, because if I stop, if I mess up, then maybe people will see what I’m “really like.” I have to work so hard to prove that I’m even acceptable. I work from the assumption that I am bad, I am lazy, I am selfish, I am irresponsible, I am childish, I am weak, I am…all of these negative things that have been said or implied…and that if I am not constantly working to prove that I am not those things, that is how everyone will see me. I know, logically, that this isn’t true, but it doesn’t stop me from living like it is.
I’m reminded of one of the characteristics of Adult Children – we are either super responsible or super irresponsible. I tend to fluctuate between the two, although it seems to me that lately, I “talk” the “super responsible” role while living the super irresponsible one.
I’m not measuring up; in fact, I feel like I am failing spectacularly. Not that it’s really all that spectacular, because this seems to have become a pattern in my life over the past couple of years.
I am so burned out on school right now. Trying to keep up with classes and chapel while also trying to do therapy, take care of myself, and have a social life…and it seems like in the end, none of it is really getting done. I’m failing at all of it.
I’m embarrassed at how much chapel I’ve missed this semester. Classes too. And how far behind I’ve fallen. Even things that I’ve improved on a little…communicating with my professors, actually getting to the writing part of my Comp II paper…I’m still failing at. I’ve isolated myself so much. Closed myself off from people. I am so lonely, and I don’t know how to change it. I don’t take very good care of myself. I’ve been pretty tempted to start cutting again, because even if it’s not the healthiest way to deal, it helps, dangit! I’m not going to do it, for various reasons – including the fact that I’ve gone about 3 1/2 years without it – but I really want to sometimes. I’ve been going to church on occasion, which is better than last year, but it’s so far from where I used to be. I feel like I barely have a relationship with God – I am so thankful for the knowledge that He will never let me go, because if it were up to me, I would be totally lost.
And now we get back to where I started this post: God is good enough. I don’t have to be good enough, because God is good enough. And He loves me. Unconditionally. And He’ll never give up on me. His grace will never run out. He is big enough to cover any mistakes I make, any sins I commit, any failures, anything I do wrong.
That’s so hard for me to comprehend. But it’s true.
And maybe…I am exactly where I need to be right now. Failures and all. Maybe God is trying to teach me a lesson about His grace and His love. Maybe He is trying to show me that He will never give up on me, no matter what. Maybe He is trying to teach me that even when I feel like I am a failure and all I can do is mess up and no matter how hard I try, it doesn’t get better…He is still there loving me. Carrying me through it. Maybe He’s trying to show me the futility of this whole “trying harder” thing. Because trying harder isn’t the answer — He is. (I totally teared up while writing this paragraph, by the way.) I think…He’s been trying to tell me these things for a long time. But He knows I’m stubborn. He knows that it takes me a while to learn. And thankfully, He is patient enough to take the time to teach me, even if it takes years (which it often seems to).
God is good.