In the past 30 years or so, I failed to develop much in the way of self worth. I learned how to fake it, a smile and a happy heart. But secretly I believed that I only had what I had because I'd managed to trick people into thinking that I would be a good wife, good mother and good employee - and if I was good enough, I would be able to hold it together. This is the story of how it all fell apart.
In June of 2013 I walked away from my teaching job utterly broken. I felt like I had lost everything. I lost teaching at a school I loved because people who I trusted, who told me they loved my Jesus, lied and summarily brought down not only my little world, but everything I felt I knew about myself. I felt like if I wasn't a popular teacher, admired by my students, in my safe little school, then who was I? I felt worthless, a burden on everyone around me, and I was scared. It was like I could sense crisis looming, like watching a dam bulge right before it bursts, and trying to plug my fingers and toes into the leaks to hold it together.
In my haste to put off living without a job, I grabbed onto the first easy solution that came my way - and though I was blessed yet again in meeting good people, I felt like I was suffocating in my own insufficiency. When that job ended harshly and abruptly, and I was rejected for a job that I thought was perfect for me, it seemed to confirm every insecurity I had about myself. See, this is exactly what you deserve, you heard what they said - they called you ineffective, worthless, insignificant, unimportant, talentless, unlucky, and lost.
And the question that haunted me: If you aren't a teacher then who are you?
Not Good Enough.
I believed it all, and I was so angry. The anger started to spill over into my marriage, my family, and I didn't know how to stop it. I was jealous when people told me that they'd been blessed, and I demanded to know why God loved them more than me. I cried, and raged, and felt sorry for myself - and when I realized that wasn't working, I decided to see if there was any stock in this relationship with God. I had to come from a place where I actually prayed, God - you get me the interview and I will do the rest, to a place of complete reliance on him. I thought that if I didn't bother God too much, we could stay a respectful distance away from each other, and I wouldn't have to be hurt if he didn't hold up his end of our relationship.
The problem was, I had to make a heart change, and from here I can say - not only has it been slow, it's ongoing.
As a person, I DID have worth.
Confronting pain in the past moves you forward in the future.
I could rest in the love of God, because I was valuable to him.
I hadn't irrevocably screwed up my kids or husband - there was still time.
I don't have it all figured out, I still experience anxiety and the temptation to go back to where I was, to revisit who I was, but God changed things for me. I could rest in him, I could Trust in the Lord with all of (my) heart, and lean not on (my) own understanding, in all (my) ways acknowledge him, and he would direct (my) paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 I think that the little victories come day by day, as I realize that this walk is about Christ, and not about me. I can revel in his love for me, and share his love with others.
God heard me. He gave us our beautiful daughter S, and just when I wasn't expecting it - he answered my prayers. God provided me with the right job at the right time. He fulfilled the desire of my heart to work at Kings, and I know that I can rely on him in all things. He does have a good plan.
So, as someone wise once said, sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together, under the care of a God who loves so much.