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A Call to Worthiness

| written by Ayla

The dryer pulsates the 7×7 sq foot floor I am laying prostrate on, wailing to Jesus in the aftermath of one of “those” Mama moments that leave you feeling wholly inadequate.  “Take this cup” exhales intermittently through sobs and sighs collected over the past eight months of journeying through unchartered territory.  And in that literal vacuum of my laundry closet and the spiritual one in my heart, God whispers these revelatory words:

When you feel unworthy, you act unworthy.

The familiarity of that word pierces my soul.  It has cycled in and out of my day-to-day experiences like a slideshow of the same picture.  The deja vu of it all beckons me to resignation yet the revelation engages my curiosity to let His words settle on my raw heart. And there it becomes clear as day; the lesson on worthiness that I have been trying to comprehend the last thirty years of life.

My behavior is soldered to my feelings about myself.

The root of every self-negative feeling I possess is a powerfully nagging sense that I am not worthy.  I know its origin of childhood sexual abuse all too well and God has fought a monumental battle in order for me to overcome my horrific past but there are still lessons to be learned in the school of image bearing and one of the most fortifying ones for me has been that God deems me worthy.

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Worthy to be mercifully saved. Worthy to be audaciously loved. Worthy to be graciously forgiven. Worthy to be wonderfully created.

He authored these truths in the beginning of time so they are no breaking news to Him by any means, however, they appear to make it to the headlines of my life frequently; often through the strongly opinionated projections of others that manifest in the form of rejection and disapproval.  Recently, I have been inundated with self-assured opinions regarding my current season: I am too joyful.  I am too sad.  I need to do this.  I don’t need to do that.  And the list continues.  While God always provides adequate grace to respond {or not respond} over a period of time others’ opinions can have the tendency to develop into an enormous amount of self-doubt.

And when you feel self-doubt, you act out of self-doubt, because as you think in your heart, so you are {Proverbs 23:7}.

Last week I had been ungracious and unforgiving.  Offense was a daily guest in my heart and I was not in the slightest mood to do much good for anyone.  My patience was beyond limited and I felt angry at anyone and everyone who so much as looked at me let alone those who had wounded me with their judgment and implications that I was unworthy.  My typical {God-created} joyful, gracious, loving character was nowhere to be found and I felt devoid of exhibiting any Christ-like gestures towards anybody I knew.  It all came crashing down on Facebook when a comment I made on a post of someone I look up to was the only one that went unacknowledged.  The humiliation, confusion and rejection from my childhood came flooding back in an instant and immediately attempted to steal my livelihood in Christ leading to an argument with my five-year old and ending in my lament mentioned above.

Friends, are you dealing with attitudes and behaviors that are so contrary to who you are that you wonder if you’re in need of an exorcism of some kind?  You may be angry and withdrawn.  You may be depressed and weepy.  You may be cranky and impatient.  And none of it makes any sense.  God has been using the word RESTORE to help me experience the fullness of my worthiness in Him and I encourage you to take some time on your own One Word journey to reflect on how you’ve been feeling about yourself.  If there are feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt lurking in the background of your soul you may need to discard the people-tainted mirror you have been seeing yourself through because it is only when your feelings about yourself reflect how God feels about you that your behavior can overflow out of His grace and love 

Because how you feel about yourself is ultimately the place from where you’ll act.

So how about you? Have you wrestled with self-worth in the tension of how God sees you vs. how others see you? How can your one word help affirm who you are in God?

[ photo credit ]

Born into Islam, Ayla was broken in a myriad of ways when she encountered Jesus at the empty well of her life 9 years ago. In that moment, Jesus began weaving a beautifully intricate tapestry out of her brokenness & continues to do so, one fragile thread at a time. She is a grateful Mommy to two at times testy (!) but mostly joyful preschoolers, a preschool teacher, & a graduate student. In her free moments she enjoys soul writing, dancing for the Lord & serving as a leader in Celebrate Recovery, a ministry through which Jesus has been healing her from childhood sexual abuse & is using her to help others heal from similar trauma. You can connect with Ayla on Twitter  or Facebook.

comments

Tammy: Ayla, how beautifully written. It is rare to meet a mother who cannot relate (especially with preschool children) to that moment (or many moments) of inadequacy, where we simply find we are not enough for these children. We want to give in, give up, and He meets us there so graciously! Thank you for taking time to write how much He loves us and that we cannot discount that, nor should we wallow. :) I feel that you piggybacked the "breaking for healing" post so well and am so glad to have read your post. Sincerely, Tammy (mom of a 3, 5, and 7 year old who are all about to get older this year) Reply

    Ayla: Tammy, thank you for your gracious encouragement! Yes I think the greatest inadequacy I have ever felt is in the arena of mothering. I'm so thankful that God partners with us on the mission! I have realized though that my response to the challenges that come with having preschoolers is often determined by how I feel about myself. If I feel inadequate, I behave inadequately. If I feel the worthiness He died for me to feel & I believe that God specifically chose me to be their mother because He deemed me worthy of that calling, then His strength shines so beautifully through the challenges that make me weak. An ongoing lesson for me as I mentioned above. Thanks again for the encouragement. God bless you! Reply

Deborah Marines: Thank you Ayla Starr, I needed to hear that and go back to believing who Christ says I am because when I do, yes He brilliantly shines through me so much that others know it is Him! Praise God!!! Love you Ayla! Reply

    Ayla Starr: Thanks Debbie! It is an ongoing journey of truly knowing & believing who God says we are, isn't it? Glad to be walking it alongside you, friend. God bless you! Reply

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