“I’m so ordinary, I can’t stand it,” I wrote in my journal. With utter contempt, I weighed, measured, and found myself wanting. Insert a deep soul sigh.
I had to be extraordinary. No area of my life escaped my compulsion to excel - parenting, ministry, work, marriage, home, health, weight, and more. It was exhausting trying to keep up with myself and was draining my family and friends. Whenever I came close to my ambiguous goal, I unconsciously raised the bar. Mercy!
No matter what I did, it was never good enough. Never. I was unaware that the real problem resided deeper - an unmet longing to feel loved, valued, and significant.
Then my life fell apart - I mean a real come-apart! My marriage crumbled, my children left home, I faced health issues and financial losses out the wah-zoo. My once model family and life evaporated, leaving me feeling embarrassed and humiliated. I crumbled into a miserable and broken heap at the foot of the cross. “Help me Jesus!” I cried, “I’ve made such a mess of things!”
And He answered -but not how I thought. He scooped me up and lavishly loved me. He didn’t cast stones, didn’t chastise me, or turn His back away in disgust. He loved me; deeply, tenderly, and mercifully. He tended my soul wounds.
His gentle love enabled me to take an honest look at myself. I really wasn’t good enough. Never would be. But it was okay. It was gloriously okay because Jesus stood in my place. He was “good enough” for me! God was not concerned with my performance; He didn’t need me to impress Him. He adored me “as is.” What a relief! I could be broken. I could be ordinary. Oh, happy day!
I found the sweet, intoxicating, and unconditional love of the Savior and it changed everything. My whole life is lived through a different grid now. I live out of love instead of for love. I’m free to accept my shortcomings and free to accept others’ shortcomings, too. My family is relieved – they are finally off the hook to make me look good. Let happy dancing ensue.
I return to God, again and again with the same heart questions, “Am I lovable?” The answer is always a resounding, “Yes, my darling, I cherish you.” He never gets tired of reassuring me. He actually created this vacuum in my heart; it was never intended to be filled by anything or anyone other than Him.
Now, from the safety of God’s love, I can see my strengths and weaknesses more objectively. It’s okay that I don’t have someone else’s body, lifestyle, personality, or gifts. From the shelter of His love I know that I hold a valuable place in the body of Christ, even if it is never recognized by others. My very being makes God happy. Who knew?
Oh, that every woman would encounter the Savior’s sweet and exhilarating love. It awaits us all. And it’s all because of Jesus.