Daring to believe you deserve great things is a challenge. Obstacles come your way that can tear at your determination. Sometimes all it takes is that one extra person, that one poisonous look, that last denigrating comment to trap you back into your own negativity in the land of “I don’t deserve.” Ever been there? We tell ourselves we’re no good; we’re too fat to be loved, too weak to defend ourselves, unworthy of experiencing joy and peace and love. Even when we do experience good things, we’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop and the roof to cave back in on us.
I’ve been to the land of “I don’t deserve.” There are times I get free tickets that transport me there immediately even though I’ve tried to cancel it as a destination spot several times. But I’ve also been to the land of “Enough.” It’s my favorite spot to live in actually. The beaches are warm and welcoming. The sun feels like it’s always shining even on a cloudy day. The king of that land knows me by name and likes to walk alongside me, reminding me how much he loves me and wants to bless me. Just feeling him there beside me is a blessing! The king never lies to me and tells me I won’t struggle. Instead, he reminds me he’s already placed inside me all I need to get through whatever challenges and obstacles lie in my path. I feel centered; I feel at peace. I matter here.
When the land of “I don’t deserve” beckons me, or worse I get transported there again against my will, I’ve learned the first most important thing I can do is actually deceivingly simple – acknowledge it. However I got there, whatever the reason, in that moment I’m feeling unworthy. Trying to pretend I’m not is wasted effort. If I stop and acknowledge my feelings, taking the time, however brief, to figure out what I’m feeling and why, I can start booking my flight back to the land of “Enough.”
How? I begin to replace the lies with truth. When I don’t feel like I deserve good things, I close my eyes and listen as the king whispers to me, “I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future,” (Jer. 29:11). He follows up with, “You are precious and honored in my sight…I love you,” and “I take great delight in you. I will quiet you with my love, I will rejoice over you with singing.” (Is. 43:4, Ze. 3:17). I remember I am not unworthy; I am valued, cherished. My king loves me and tells me I deserve good things. Emboldened, I begin the return flight home.
For further thought: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” What are some ways your thinking needs to be transformed? Feel free to post your thoughts.