Do you ever get in the way of yourself?
If you are anything like me, you make mistakes. You stuff up. You sit there thinking: “You idiot! You know better! Why?” And then a voice whispers urgently over your one shoulder: “It’s because you are not enough. You are just not good enough. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. Not kind enough. Not disciplined enough. Not experienced enough. Not popular enough. You don’t have what it takes.”
And so your shoulders stoop. Your energy changes. You light dims. And you decide to live small. After all the voice must be right. The voice is confirming what you suspected all along.
I want you to know that you are human and that means that you are going to make mistakes. Accept it. Dust yourself off, own your mistakes, apologize sincerely and move on.
Stuffing up doesn’t mean that you are a stuff up.
You make mistakes but you are not a mistake. Do not allow the enemy to convince you of that lie.
Ephesians 6:10 – 17 is an incredible verse because it gives us insight to the fact that there is a battle out there for your mind. Good vs evil. The battle is real because everything starts in your mind. If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you are right. The devil will do anything to keep you living small, to doubt yourself, to doubt your ability. And oh, he is incredibly smart and patient. He has your whole life to win you over. Whatever your weakness, your Achilles heel, your insecurities, he prowls around waiting for the right moments to pounce into those dark spaces.
That is why the bible reinforces that it is utterly critical to feed your mind with goodness and truth. Feed it with God’s word. Know who and whose you are. Do not focus not on your mistakes, but on redemption which was given freely to you when Jesus died on the cross for you. It is not through our good deeds, but by grace alone, that we are saved.
I must be honest, there are times that I have no idea at all why God would choose to love me. Why would He want a soldier like me in His army? Surely I let the team down. He really is better off without me. But what amazes me about God, is that it is exactly when my world is dark that he extends out His arms and pulls me into them, chuckling while he says gently, “My child, you are mine and you are more than enough.” He says it with such authority that the discussion is over. God has spoken the last word. His grace is enough. And I am left in tears.
If God can love me at my darkest, I promise you He adores you just as much too. There is no darkness that he cannot shine His light into. No sin that He can’t erase.
In a recent low point in my life, God kept whispering to me: “Julia, you are more than enough. You are my child. My masterpiece and I don’t make mistakes.”
But I wasn’t listening. I decided to believe the lies that day.
That evening it was time to read to my kids and I randomly pulled out a kids book by Max Lucado from the book shelf called: “You Are Special.”
“Hmmmmmm,” I thought, “not really the title I feel like reading the kids tonight, but hey, let’s give it a bash. I sure as hell am not special, but my kids need to know that they most certainly are.”
Well by the end of the story I was doing everything in my power to hold back the tears as the message spoke louder into my bad place, than it did to my awesome, wholesome kids. Allow me to try and summarise the story so it can speak into your heart if you need to hear the words:
You Are Special – By Max Lucado:
Every day small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or grey dots on one another.
The pretty ones – those with smooth wood and fine paint – always get the stars. The talented ones do too.
Others though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get given ugly grey dots.
Like Punchinello does.
In fact, Punchinello gets so many grey dots that he starts believing he is worthless.
One day he meets a Wemmick called Lucia who is unlike anyone he has ever met. She has neither stars or grey dots on her. She is just wooden. In deed, she had been given both stars and grey dots by other Wemmicks who evaluated her worth, but the stickers never stayed on.
Punchinello wanted to be just like her so he asked how she did it.
“Oh, it’s easy,” Lucia replied, “Every day I go see Eli. Why don’t you go find out for yourself. Go up the Hill. He’s there.”
You see, Eli was the woodworker who carved and made all the wooden people. His workshop sat on a hill overlooking the village.
Punchinello is unsure that Eli would want to see a worthless Wemmick like him, but he goes along anyway.
Of course, as you can imagine, Eli welcomes Punchinello with open arms. Punchinello is confused that Eli even knows his name to which Eli laughs and reminds him that of course he does: he made Punchinello. He tells Punchinello that that he had been waiting in hope every day for a visit.
Then the carver picks up Punchinello and studies his grey dots. “Looks like you’ve been given some bad marks,” he exclaims.
Punchinello explains that he didn’t mean to get them. That he tried really hard.
“Oh, you don’t have to defend yourself to me, child.” Says Eli, “I don’t care what other Wemmicks think. And you shouldn’t either. Who are they to give you stars or dots? They’re Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn’t matter, Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”
Punchinello wants to know why stickers don’t stay on Lucia.
Eli explains: “Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them. The more you trust my love, the less you care about the stickers.”
The story goes on and Punchinello decides to trust Eli’s words and to visit him every day, and as he does, the grey dots start to fall off.
Before You Go, Please Remember:
My friend, if you needed to read this message today, I hope you have been reminded that you are loved. You are special and you are more than enough.
Even if you are covered in grey dots, you are still a Wemmick that Eli wants to meet. Do not believe the lies. Turn your face to the light so that you cast your shadows behind you.
Now take a step forward, stand tall, shoulders out and believe it.
You are special. Grey dots, warts and all.