Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough?  Not just that you feel as if you fall short in some area, make a mistake or forget something important, but rather the feeling that you are, in your total and complete being, missing something essential that functional people do have?

I’ve had that feeling.

I was raised in the church, I was baptized at 10, I know that Jesus loves me and that God is my eternal Father through most of my life.  Even knowing all of this, I’ve still had questions about why I’m here, why do things seem so much easier for other people, why does it seem like all of my endeavors fail.  Sometimes I’m able to overcome these thoughts completely, sometimes I’m able to push them to the back burner while I focus on the task at hand, but it always seems like they will find their ways back into my thoughts and slap me in the face.

I’m not talking about guilt, guilt tells me that I’ve done something wrong.

I’m talking about shame, shame tells me that there’s something wrong with me.

I’ve recently started reading a book called Released from Shame by Sandra D. Wilson, Ph.D. and I think that this is a really important concept for us to talk about as Christians, so I’m going to be using it to guide my blog thoughts for a little while.

Dr. Wilson uses the analogy that we feel as if we’re a caterpillar in a world full of butterflies, that we just can’t seem to reach the potential that we know we have.  We see other people who seem to have already gone through their trials and come out beautifully and wonderfully.  We feel as if we’re trapped in our metamorphosis and can’t get through to the other side.

In reality, we are meant to be in metamorphosis.  We are caterpillars, and the world is full of caterpillars.  In Romans 12:2, Paul says

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We are all in the process of transforming, of metamorphosing into our more perfect forms.  We have to recognize that God is with us in our trials and that he won’t give us more than we can handle.  We have to realize that other people have their struggles too, they just aren’t always obvious to the eye.  We have to realize that the metamorphosis into the likeness of Christ is a time intensive labor and that we have a Father who is willing to wait for us.

Dear God,

I pray for myself and for everyone who reads this: Help us to be patient with ourselves and to commit to our transformation.  Help us to not put ourselves down for not being like this person or that person, but help us accept ourselves (as you have) and push ourselves to be better (as you want for us to do).  Thank you for loving us enough to send Jesus.  In His name, Amen.


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