THERE WAS ONLY ONE other girl in the house with me while I was on sabbatical. We sat together in silence eating our meals together every day. I kept praying God would make it less awkward. But to be truthful, it was a little weird for me. I wouldn’t have minded it if there were several others, but one-on-one was hard. I felt this uncontrollable need to help her. My heart hurt for her. It felt as though she was struggling with something. I could feel it and see it on her face. But then I remembered. My purpose this week was to rest and fill up with Jesus. IN SILENCE!
So…I resisted the urge to intrude on her rest. I just kept praying for her. Dear Lord, thank you for your presence in the quiet. I feel You and know You are walking this path with me. I love you. Amen. By the end of the evening, however, I was feeling a bit down. I decided I would drive into town in the morning for a diversion.
When I went to bed, I prayed about why I felt this way. I believed part of it was the girl that was there in silence with me. She looked so sad. It felt like she was struggling with something. Every fiber of my being wanted to reach out to her. It was compounded by the awkwardness of the silence during our meals together.
The following morning as I lay there praying and trying to feel God, I felt Him say to me, “You are NOT here for her this week. You belong to Me”. A peace washed over me. I continued to pray for her. Then I heard the words, “God does not need my help! All He asks is for me to be connected to Him. To focus and listen to Him. Leave all my junk and follow Him. To Love Him. He does not need me or my help”. Wow! Now that was a slap in the face. But I knew it was true, and I felt at peace with it.
I went downstairs, sat in my chair by the fireplace and opened my devotions for the day. The very first sentence said this, “Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of keeping your focus on me.”
What an encouragement it was for me to not give up on Him. I am in love with a Papa who “gets” me and loves me! He is not mad at me for not doing it “right”. He understands that it is hard. He doesn’t want me to give up, and He loves every minute I try to connect with Him in my life. Connect with Him in everything in my life.
Sometimes I wonder how He can love me. I feel so inadequate and small in His presence. I find distractions so I don’t have to face who I am. And yet, on this day, it felt just right to have Him beside me. To rest my head on His shoulder. To put my hand in His and feel loved and safe in His arms. It felt right that He loves me. That I bring my heart and life to Him to help me resolve my fears and pain. He understands me because He came here and lived all the same emotions I am feeling inside of me. He lost and He cried. He laughed and He ate. He sat and He listened to His Father. He had fun with His friends. Just like me!
My prayer was, “So Lord, I thank you for making me, me! I am made in Your image and You love me. There is no other me anywhere. I pray that you will guide me to be what You intended for me. And as I journey to whatever that is, I pray I find contentment with who You created. Help me to feel Your unconditional love and know in my heart You truly are a better Papa! Amen”.
My purpose in sharing this story is to encourage anyone who has experienced some of the same feelings that I have: feelings of inadequacy, being unlovable, not measuring up. My prayer is that you learn, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have a Papa who loves and cares for you so much right where you are at. He knows exactly what you are facing. He knows you inside and out. After all, He created you, you!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13, NIV)
Join the conversation. What has God taught you about yourself? Have you ever had feelings of inadequacy? Not measuring up? We’d love to know your thoughts.
About Pastor Lynn Breeden
Lynn Breeden is a Pastor for Lambs Chapel UMC in LaPorte, Indiana. Lynn is a simple girl, almost always barefoot, who loves Women’s Ministries. She speaks of hope in the midst of her own struggles. She works at connecting women to God and is passionate about Speaking at Women’s Retreats including her own Chocolate Getaway the third weekend of every October.
Lynn has a passion for children of any age. She loves to read, cook, bake and entertain.
Lynn is married to Lindy, is the mother of five boys, and the grandmother of 8 grandchildren with another little boy on the way in June. One of Lynn’s sons, Joel, is in Heaven. Lynn has been grieving his death since October of 1987. She is the founder of Mourning to Dancing Ministry. A ministry designed to help mothers and families that are grieving the loss of a child.
To find out more about the Mourning to Dancing Ministry or to invite Pastor Lynn to speak at a women’s retreat, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-306-7752.
Breeden, Pastor Lynn. "You Made Me, Me!". Lamb's Chapel Faith Stories, Volume 1. (Lamb's Chapel United Methodist Church, LaPorte,2013.) Photo courtesy of Shutterstock and Denys-Kurbatov.