I have wrestled with my worth and value for as long as I can remember. I have measured my own abilities and God given gifts by comparing myself to those who seem to excel more than I could ever dream. I have doubted the ability I have to convey a message, to preach a truth, or to proclaim the gospel with the thought, “someone else is doing it better than I ever could.”
What lies the enemy plants in us that we doubt God’s ability to move through us.
For the past eight months I have been working on my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy through an online, intense program. I have spent hours upon hours reading through textbooks, writing papers, and honestly, feeling isolated as I wonder whether or not I am fulfilling my calling. In these moments, it is hard to feel valuable, that God is working through my role as a student. I realize more and more as I learn through integrative counseling, it is not about us and fixing our own problems, it is about proclaiming our need and dependence on the one who can heal us, Jesus.
I recently (as in today) finished reading an amazing and gripping book that I deeply identified with, not only as someone who has struggled with the need for approval, but as a fellow sinner living in this broken world. In Jennie Allen’s newest book, Nothing to Prove, she eloquently describes the struggle that we all face, the belief that we have to prove ourselves. Whether that is proving ourselves to our family, to friends, or to strangers on the internet, we are ultimately seeking approval from things and people that will never satisfy us. Jennie stated, “To get to the place where God can be enough, we have to first admit that we aren’t.” How radical a thought this is in a world that claims that we command our own destiny and determine our own paths.
When we declare that we are not enough, we are opening up ourselves to be dependent on God. We are made to be dependent on Him, we are made to worship Him, to seek Him, and to live for Him and with Him. When we are able to recognize that He is enough…
“We can experience true fulfillment. We can live connected with Him and others. We can rest. We can risk for His glory. We can trade fear for hope. We can embrace grace. We can live out our true calling.” -Jennie Allen
While I may always struggle with my own self-doubt, I refuse to embrace the thought that God is not intentional. He has placed each of us here on this earth for a purpose and equipped us to serve Him in a way that no one else can. So, never doubt your ability to minister to others through your occupation, your season as a student, your role as a mother, father, or sibling, or even through your daily interactions. There is no need to prove ourselves, we will never be enough because God always will be.
“He is waiting. He is waiting and He wants to go crazy through you. You don’t feel like you measure up? Then you are exactly who God is looking for. You are the one. You are the one He is after. He wants you and me: the losers, the broken, the sinful, the ones who know and accept how great is our need of Him. That is how He works. Every single person in the Bible, besides Jesus, was broken, afraid, insecure, fearful, busy, did not have enough time, did not have enough money, did not have enough of anything- but God moved through them to change history.” –Jennie Allen, Nothing to Prove