Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Break the Tape: Not Good Enough

Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place. 
Meet Katharine.  I have had the honor of getting to know Katharine for quite some time during Soli Deo Gloria.  I always imagined that if I showed up at her door in the cold Canada winter, she would immediately usher me in and I would be surrounded by the warmth of her spirit (and I'm sure she would have really cute cookies, too.  She's an expert at some good lookin' food.  I've seen pictures.)  Here's her story.


It's in the telling... In the sharing of our stories, we hand each other tools that help us move towards hope and healing. It's in the telling...We give and receive grace, and it's beautiful. So, can I tell you a story?
It's about a girl. As far back as she can remember, she loved and followed the God of the universe. And she believed a lie. A never-ending tape that played a constant refrain.

Not a good enough daughter, sister, friend, teacher, wife, or Mom. Not smart, or funny or pretty enough. She not only believed the lie, she began to live out of it. Every circumstance, joy, failure, every event was filtered through the lie. The background music to her life. So she began a quest to be good enough. She tried hard. She had that list -- you know the one? It changes from season to season but it has all the things she tried to check off in order to be good enough.
If only I:
Do more, make everything perfect
Get good grades, try harder
Pray, read, study, more
Wear the right clothes, lose 20 more pounds
Make everyone happy, have it all together
Have perfect children, juggle everything well 
Pretend I have it all together...etc. etc.

She lived in a world of constant comparison, always coming up short. The tapes grew louder. They said that "good enough" is never possible for overweight, abused, poor-in-academics, girls. Too many mistakes, too disappointing.
The quest to be good enough has consequences. Trying to look good enough, opened the door to an eating disorder. One morning, she woke up and realized she had tried so hard to be what she thought everyone else would consider "good enough" she had no idea who she was. She began to walk with fear, anxiety, pretense, loneliness, guilt and shame. Filtering things through the lie, allowed self-pity to land on her shoulder and whisper in her ear.
Deep down at the root of not good enough is the longing to be truly, deeply, completely loved. It's the love that comes from the God of the universe, and while she never would have consciously verbalized it, she didn't think she was good enough for that either. 
So she carried on, pushing down all the fear, sadness, and anxiety, and working on the list.  She didn't realize it, but God was busy being who he is: faithful. She met and married an amazing man who loved her and began telling her the truth, even though she didn't believe it.
Life doesn't care if you think you are good enough. It careens through our seasons at break-neck speed and delights at handing us the unexpected. On a cold January day, there was an unexpected death in the family and all the things she had so carefully hidden and pushed down, came flying out. She was, to put it mildly, a mess.
And then God.
The God who had been faithful in all of her seasons, was faithful again. She listened to someone tell their story, about how God could do more than just clean up the mess, He wanted to set her free. He wanted to deliver her from all the things that had come live with her because of the lie. He could break the tape, and give her new music. It was the chorus of truth.
He told her:
She was good enough
She was beautiful

The God of the universe took her hand and together they began exploring the deep places in her spirit that needed healing. They began by walking through forgiveness. He said she could throw away the list! She was more than good enough, because she was His. He created her, and He was thrilled with his creation. It wasn't about anyone else, it was about Him, and His love for her.  
He loved her truly, deeply, completely. 
Just. As. She. Was.
Not because of anything she had done.
Not because of anything she hadn't done
She was His.
Sweet notes of belonging and truth began to play in the background.
Nothing she could do would make Him love her more. 
Nothing she had done, or anything that had been done to her, could make Him love her less.
She was more than good enough, she was His daughter.
Now, she lives with the refrain of truth, and the more she learns to walk living loved, the less she hears of the broken, "not good enough" tape. Sometimes, though, it tries to slither in again. When it does, she fights back with the truth: She was worth dying for.  When the "mess" of life threatens the truth, He reminds her that he's really OK with her mess, he knows all about it, and they'll work on it together. She never walks alone.  She is good enough. She is loved.

It's in the telling my friends. This is my story, but I know some of your hearts whisper with an ache of understanding. He wants to break the tape. He longs to set us free. This is what He speaks over us: 

"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.  I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you:  all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me!  That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. "So don't be afraid: I'm with you. (Isaiah 43,MSG)

Want to read more of Katharine?  Of course!  You can not only read her blog, but she's also released an ebook!!

Linking with Emily for Imperfect ProseJennifer for God Bumps, and Shanda for On My Heart.

16 comments :

  1. And then God. I love that. So glad He has helped you fight back with the truth. It is a fight, but being free is so worth fighting. Great post, thanks for sharing!
    Jen- seriously, this is a really great series.

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  2. wonderful story of redemption...He is so faithful...and knowing how loved we truly are brings such freedom...a new song to be sung over us. thanks for sharing your story...I know many will be encouraged here. blessings~

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  3. Katherine, this is absolutely beautiful and full of truth! Thank you, Jen, for this series.

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  4. I agree with you ladies; I am so thankful for this series, and it's an honour to be posting for it. Thanks Jen for your kind heart, and beautiful words.

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  5. I needed this. THANK YOU so much for sharing!

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  6. And then God- oh, when you got to that part, I felt my heart bursting with joy. Best sentence ever! I love this post, Katharine! What a beautiful story of trading lies for truth.
    And Jen- I don't know you (yet!), but what a great series. Thank you!

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    1. So glad you stopped in Becky, Check out ~Soli Deo Gloria Sisters~ hosted here on Tuesdays!

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  7. More tape-breaking. And yay for Jesus, and the work He's doing in this place! Nicely done, Katharine. God bless you.

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  8. You got me with "and then God" powerful three words. wow, As the comments say above and what we are all witnessing is a great need for many of us to be healed of the "not good enough' syndrome. We are His Beloved. Thanks you for your words today, Katherine.

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  9. Thank you, Katharine, for being brave and sharing your story. I think you hit it on the nail with these words: "Deep down at the root of not good enough is the longing to be truly, deeply, completely loved." Blessings :)

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  10. Isn't it crazy that each of us has a some kind of tape that we need to break. We have a lie we need to smash? Good job girls, both of you.

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  11. Katharine, I can so relate to your heart here -- and the beauty of the Father coming, gently, passionately, strongly, to remind us who we are and that letting Him come in to replace lies with His truth brings hope and Life and healing. Thank you so much.

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  12. this subject keeps being brought to my heart. of being worthy. of being called. of being loved. so, so glad to sit in these words.

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  13. We are His desire, His design, His delight, we just take time to realise that we are so loved. Thank you for your wonderful words and reassurance of His love - Warts and All. Bless you.

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