Today I am going to allow you into a very private space with very fragile thoughts. Today I am sharing my heart with you. Please be gentle.
Growing up, I had my wrestles with low self-esteem. It seemed like in every way imaginable, I was different. As I grew from adolescence into my teen age years and then into adulthood, I learned how to accept and even embrace the makings of me sometimes simply because I just had to. I figured there were some things I just couldn’t change despite how badly I wanted to. No matter how much I obsessed about being the perfect size with a small waist, perky breasts, and rounded hips I was still a size 14/16 with big legs and a chunky face. No matter how badly I wanted hair flowing down my back or an award-winning Colgate smile, I wasn’t that girl. But lest you think I only wanted physical beauty, you must know that I struggled internally too. I hated that I was so rough around the edges, outspoken, independent, and sometimes loud. I had been told the type woman that a good man would choose, and it seemed as if I didn’t fit the build.
In an effort to overcompensate for all the things that I figured weren’t “good enough,” I overplayed what I knew was great. Because I am a lover to my core, I began to strive to be an excellent friend. When needed, I’d drop EVERYTHING and show up. I would give too much of myself – my time, my money, my attention, and the list goes on. Beyond that, I mastered the art of becoming the girl that I figured my guy would want. If he wanted a quiet woman, I’d uncomfortably shut my mouth. If he wanted wife, I’d be that without the covenant. I cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and played house because he seemed to want the makings of a wife. If he wanted a buddy/home girl, I would watch sports, play video games, and stretch myself beyond my prissy nature. My favorite: when he wanted an intelligent woman; I was already smart. I would effortlessly allow my intellect shine just bright enough to fulfill his desire but not too bright to make him feel that I was smarter than him. I’ve been the submissive girl, I’ve used the weight of my last name in my favor, and I’ve even used sex as a tool to make me stand out. I was sure to put my best attributes, even the superficial ones, on display. My resumé of who I was and what I could do was always readily available to increase my chances of being the perfect girl.
All of that said, an insecurity that I still struggle with is the pain of rejection from not being chosen.
Over the past decade, I dated a few guys who would quickly play the comparison/contrast game. They would tell me how different or how much better I was than their ex or in some cases the other women they were actively entertaining. Because I so desperately wanted to be claimed, I would allow my heart to be toyed with by a man who wasn’t even in the free and clear to have access to by heart. One of the last guys complimented how independent I was because unlike his ex, I didn’t need him. He’d tell me how much smarter I was than her and even how much more spiritually mature I was. The guy after him would tell me just how much of a weight his girlfriend was. I didn’t carry that weight…I was fun. When he was with me he could be himself without feeling like he had to be a problem solver or superhero. In these examples and others that aren’t worth mentioning, I always found myself in a proverbial line-up with other women praying that what I brought to the table was good enough to be chosen to be his friend, his girl, and ultimately his wife. Remember the dreaded days in gym class where team captains built his/her dream team from the group of classmates? For me it seemed like I was always one of the last ones standing – not athletic enough to be in the first, second, or third draft. Seemingly, I would end up getting picked by default because the better of the remaining options where already claimed. That same feeling of humiliation is what I would feel over and over again as I bent over backwards to be the woman that I thought my guy wanted only to be rejected for the very one who supposedly couldn’t compare to me. I still wasn’t good enough.
To protect my heart, I won’t trace the line to the root of this insecurity. I am aware of it. What I have given you is enough to help you understand where I am coming from.
Within the last year, I have REALLY struggled with this insecurity as I have exhausted the best of me. I have placed myself in situations to accept far less than I deserve, I have settled for the temporary high of lust because love didn’t seem available, I have cried over things and people who would NEVER belong to me, and I have began to question if the best of me even matters at all. I may not have been the thinnest, prettiest, smartest, or richest but I was a good woman….I am a good woman. According to the comparisons, in almost every case, I WAS THE BEST CHOICE! But what happens when you’re one of the best options but no one’s choice?
It really hurts when you aren’t chosen.
I began to believe that if these guys didn’t want me after showing them the best of me, surely God must feel the same since he knows all of me. It may sound dumb but my feelings are my feelings. More than what I clean up and present to you all and even the dark parts of me that very few may have seen, God knows EVERYTHING. He knows my thoughts, mistakes, and failures. There is no way that I can polish myself to be “good enough” for him. Why would he ever choose me when there are probably people much better than me available?
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”
John 15:16 [New Living Translation]
Last year in a series of prayers that questioned God as to why I was still single, not chosen, he responded telling me that my priorities were off. I desperately sought a romantic companionship but my relationship with him was not steadily progressing. I seemingly didn’t want him as bad as I wanted a husband. Simply put, he told me to be with him and anything else I needed would come to me. (Matthew 6:33) Since that time, I have made it my business to focus on what he has for me to do. I’ve written blogs, written songs, helped others, prayed, fasted, served, and followed his lead. I fully embraced my purpose for this season. Furthermore, it seems the more I consumed myself with my purpose the less I obsessed over being single. Even my conversations began to change. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some nights are just as lonely as before and I have to fight to the urge to run to temporary situationships to squelch the real desire for a capable companionship. I’d be lying if I said I don’t still have moments where I question if God really wants me or if I’m just jumping through hoops for him too in the hopes that he’ll bless me. Am I just repeating my pattern of behavior: giving the best of me in hopes to be chosen by the one that I want.
Last Friday night I was in church praying to hear a word from God but almost too broken down to receive it. I spent the greater portion of last week struggling with this insecurity more than I had in a little while, and I spent the day willing my tears to not cascade out of my eyes. Because of atmospheres I had to be in and people I had to be around, I was painfully aware that I was good but not good enough…not chosen. Then in a spirit-filled moment around the altar, I heard these words whispered in my ear, “You are anointed for this. You are God’s preferred choice.” What you must know is the insecurity of rejection in one area of my life has since spilled over into other areas. Not only have I believed that with the best of what I could offer I wasn’t good enough to be a wife, I also felt I wasn’t good enough to be a singer, writer, mentor, entrepreneur…all of the things that God is pushing me to do THIS YEAR. As far as I was concerned, there were (are) far more people more qualified to do what he needs done. God could just simply choose someone else. Then he sends this word to me, “You are anointed for this. You are God’s preferred choice.”
According to the scripture above, God already had his sights on me long before I considered him. As a matter of fact, he saw me, picked me out, and appointed me. What’s crazy to believe is he DID choose me even with all he knew that I would or wouldn’t be or do. Even crazier is as my life has unfolded, he hasn’t changed his mind.
So what does this have to do with the my insecurity and pain of rejection from not being chosen?
Like I said, I assumed that God felt the same way about me that all those guys did. Beyond that, the approval that I really longed for was that of my heavenly father. You ever heard the phrase, “Looking for love in all the wrong places?” That in essence is what I have been doing all of my life. I have longed to be chosen but I needed to embrace that I already am. And check this, God chose me for something greater than being a wife, mom, singer, business woman, etc. He chose me so that I can produce fruit (think the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as well as showing his works in the earth), AND because of that fruit ask for whatever I want [as it aligns with God’s will] and have it in the name of Jesus.
So here I am full circle with what God told me last year. If I seek him, want him, grow with him, he will give me what I need. Last week he gave peace to my insecurity. I’m not unwanted. I’m not a compilation of flaws. I am not worthless. I am good enough. I am chosen.
I’m sorry if it’s a bit broken and jumbled.
I hope this helps.