“This or something better.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this statement referenced when I was longing for something that may not have been in my best interest, and I don’t think I cared whether God thought what I yearned for was best for me. All I know is that I wanted it, and I wanted it right now.
Whether it was a customer, friend, business partner or boyfriend, I have spent my whole life having temper tantrums when it came to not getting what I wanted.
If it was this or something better, you can bet it was THIS that I wanted. No negotiating. No reasoning things out. It didn’t matter if the “this” made sense or not. I wanted THIS!!!! Period.
I never understood why I was so driven to choosing the things that didn’t serve me well. Maybe it was simply the fact that I had to choose for myself. I was determined to prove that I had the power to make my own choices. I was claiming my independence but at what cost?
Seriously, I look back at my behavior and wonder what was I thinking when it came to arguing with God. Was I so incredibly demanding that I was fooled into believing I could really get Him to change his mind and reconsider my request? Was I so desperate for success and love that I continually settled for far less than second best? Couldn’t I see that if I waited and trusted for just a little while longer that I might have received something far better than what I had hoped for?
I guess I just didn’t think I was worthy of the best. After all, who did I think I was?
All I was sure of was that the agony I carried in the pit of my belly was too much to hold on to and rather than sit with my pain and learn the lesson it was trying to teach me, I simply forged ahead to get something, anything to fill the emptiness. I was willing to settle for what was harmful rather than trust that God had a better plan.
Could that have been the shame I carried with me from childhood? The feeling of not being good enough, smart enough or pretty enough to allow the dreams I hid away in my soul to become my reality? Where did the feeling of not deserving come from? Was it the message my parents transferred to me because of their own bitterness of not getting what they had hoped for? Did they get the same message from their parents while growing up?
I wonder…..if we are all made in the image and likeness of God and we are all His wonderful and beautiful children, how did we ever arrive at a place where all we felt we deserved were the crumbs that fell from the banquet table?
Today I am coming to an understanding that it doesn’t matter anymore where those feelings of unworthiness came from. Whether they took me hostage when I was a child or began to eat me alive when I was a young adult, today is all that matters. As I come to terms with my past beliefs and behaviors, in this moment I have a choice of whether I will believe the lies I was told or choose another belief system.
I no longer have to wrap the feelings of “shame” around me like a familiar and old warm blanket that felt like security from my past. I can open myself up to the possibility that the shame I’ve carried never belonged to me in the first place. I can shed that blanket of ugly comfort and surround myself with the kindness and comfort of God’s love. I can begin today to believe that I am deserving of all things great and glorious, and I can stand firm in my convictions that the dreams planted in my heart were placed there by a God who thinks I am “ALL THAT.”
So this or something better? I am all in for everything that’s good, marvelous, wonderful and awesome because I deserve it.
How about you?