Do you feel less than? Like, no matter how hard you try, you're failing? If so, you're not alone. It was a common theme shared during the breakout sessions of our last Wholly Loved conference. Today our breakout leader, Dawn Ford, shares how we can find freedom from this crippling false label many of us wear.
Freedom in Christ by Dawn Ford
My heart was breaking for the ladies I spoke with the other day about their purpose in Christ. Our speaker had presented a moving story about her struggle to figure out her purpose through difficult circumstances in her life. When I sat to discuss the subject, the conference attendees were ready to talk. The common theme? They thought they were failures as mothers, as wives, as women.
These beautiful, smart, amazing women thought they were less than. Less than the glossy stories telling them they can do it all and be all and still have every hair in place at the end of the day. Less than other women around them appeared to have it more together than them. Less than the mother whose children are more obedient than theirs.
These were faithful, prayerful women, and they felt like utter failures. I grieved their pain. I believe God did, also.
Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I recalled my struggles with my oldest son, a strong-willed child, years ago. As a new mother with an opinionated teenager, it was a difficult transition. I drove a beat-up car when younger women owned new vehicles. How could they do it when I was just scraping by. When everyone talked about summer vacation plans, I felt lucky to pay for a pool pass for the boys. I remember thinking, ‘What am I doing wrong that everyone else seems to be doing right?’
I felt the same shame, regret, and unworthiness as our conference attendees expressed. What was I doing wrong?
I was focusing on all the wrong things.
With my strong-willed son, I battled him head on with what I wanted. It’s not wrong to make our children do chores, respect rules, and cooperate. But, I was grumbling at him, sometimes before I even asked him to do something, because I knew he was going to be difficult. I later learned some tricks on how to approach him more positively, to give choices that made him feel in charge of making right decisions, instead of having to bow to my will because I was the mom.
When I coveted the new car, the fancy house, the shiny new promotion others got, I needed to be thankful instead of being spiteful.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
The trick was changing my vision of what I needed. God had already provided me with a house, a car, clothes, food, and a family to enjoy life with. Recognizing this, I became more thankful for what I already had, and that took the sting away from what I felt I lacked.
I quit judging myself by others.
How defeating it is to hold ourselves up to standards that are not God’s. Matthew 24 talks about serving two masters, God or money. You can’t serve the love of having (the newest car, the biggest TV, the most expensive house in the neighborhood) and still serve God. Money is a fleeting and vicious master. Always changing, never satisfied. You can’t serve both.
When the women in my breakout group began to realize they were fully loved and knew where their real purpose lay—with glorifying God in all they do, they found true freedom in Christ. It was a moving experience. One they won’t forget. I know I won’t.
If you are like most of us who need to have the God’s truth spoken in your life, please join us at a future Wholly Loved conference.
This coming Saturday, we'll be at St. Paul's United Methodist in Papillion, and on the 25th we'll be at Living Water Church in Plattsmouth. Find out more HERE, or email us at contactus(at)whollyloved(dot)com to book us for your next women's event.