The Giant Box
Pure excitement ran through me! Free clothes! I quickly ripped opened a giant box of clothes my cousin Averi ‘passed-me-down’. Averi was older than me, more stylish than me, and was way more popular than me. This box of new clothes was my answer to becoming popular at school, just like Averi.
The next school day, I wore my favorite t-shirt to school…obviously. (If I’m being completely honest, I had the whole month of outfits picked out). I was ready to make a big appearance. I had so much hope in the box of clothes; I knew everyone at school would start to notice me more.
The shirt I wore that day was a washed out, army green, V-neck that had gold sparkles in the shape of a heart right in the center. I looked so cool (trust me, back then, it was a cool shirt). With my shoulders back, smile bright, and head held high, I felt like I could conquer the world. I sat down at my desk expecting everyone to be whispering about me, “she looks different”, “I never noticed how cute Megan was”, “we should ask her to sit with us at lunch”. But…nothing.
Class eventually started, lunch rolled around, recess quickly flew by; everything was the same. The realization set in; no one noticed my shirt…no one noticed ME. My heart felt heavy, my stomach felt empty, and my confidence quickly flew away. I eventually went to the school office and called my mom, claiming I was sick. I went home early that day feeling lonely, pathetic… worthless.
The Giant Lie
I was a 4th grader when I went home from school that day. But those feelings are still current in my 23-year-old self. I still become excited and hopeful when I get new clothes. I still long for other people to notice me, accept me, admire me. I sometimes feel lonely when I don’t have attention from a loved one or even on social media. When the pressures of life surrounds me, and my feelings overtake me, it’s easy to fade away into a negative attitude and want to “go home sick”. 4th grader or young adult, those feelings are real.
On that day in 4th grade, the lie of feeling unworthy was planted into me, and I listened, so it grew (John 10:10). Unfortunately, that lie grew into uglier lies, and I quickly began feeling unworthy, not special, not noticed, etc. I try to solve the emptiness in my heart through temporary satisfactions. Satisfying things like buying new clothes, getting attention from boys, posting on social media, watching porn, going to parties. All those activities make me feel alive… but only temporarily. And then afterwards, I feel even more empty and ashamed.
That’s what Satan does; he lies! He starts the lie of telling you that no one noticed your shirt, so you aren’t special. Then promises that getting satisfaction from buying another new shirt will fill the void, but then it doesn’t. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). But…God was there with me the whole time, but I didn’t know it. I wish I knew the truth; only God can fill the void of feeling unworthy, through Jesus Christ.
No matter what age, those desires may occur (Psalms talks a lot about the desires of our heart), but how you fill those desires is what either hurts or helps you (Galatians 6:7-10). God is with you, just search for satisfaction from Him.
A New Shirt
Over time I started getting tired of chasing after unsatisfying desires, and had an honest conversation with God.
“Hey God, I feel lonely right now.
I am tired of running after boys.
I feel used, ashamed, confused.
Kind of mad at you. Actually very mad at you.
But, I’ve read that you think I’m worthy, I’ve read that you love me,
but I don’t know what that feels like… Can you show me?”
And He did (Matthew 7:11). My heart did not change from one good choice or one moment, but over time our hearts do change!
Now, I remind myself that I am worthy because of His love. I began recognizing the lies in my heart and started craving the love that comes from my relationship with the Lord. Which, some days are harder than others to confidently remind myself. But, our Holy Spirit is our helper (John 14:26). God’s love has become what I desire so much more than the false love that came from anything else (Ezekiel 36:26). Obviously, I am not perfect, but my heart now recognizes where its pointing; towards worldly things or towards God’s will for my life. I can now navigate and experience God’s will for my life.
If I could relive that sad day in 4th grade, I’d rock that shirt! I would wear the shirt, enjoy the shirt, and be genuinely excited and want to thank God for the shirt. It probably could have been an exciting and happy day, but instead I listened to the lie! I was robbed of God’s desire for me. When our identity is rooted in Jesus, we get to experience the overflowing joy that comes from simply just knowing that He loves us.
Scripture tells us that our Father loves us and wants to provide us with unconditional love. He is always with us (1 John 4:16). Jesus is our answer to overflowing satisfaction and worth (John 4:13). I know it may be hard to understand sometimes, but through patience, I urge you to be completely honest with God and yourself. There is no shame in looking forward to the never ending affirmation and acceptance you can experience through Jesus (Romans 5:5).
No matter how far you go, no matter how far you’ve gone, no matter how many times you “mess up”, no matter where you are, who you’re with, or how you feel; God is who created you, and just wants to show you how worthy you are in His eyes, because of His Son, Jesus Christ.