“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” Brennan Manning

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just crumbs

Before I type even one word, I feel like I need a big disclaimer on the whole thing saying, "Sorry, I'm not a good writer. Please pretend I'm in third grade." And this has been my mindset for everything - NEVER GOOD ENOUGH. And it paralyzes me, inhibiting me from just being ME and believing that I AM ENOUGH. I have lived under the weight of shame for so long, and it's kept me a slave. Afraid to speak, to move, to just be - ME - unedited, as I am.

While I may only have a few messy crumbs to share, I can only give what I have - and I'm willing to do that. The first thought that came to mind when I actually entertained the possibility of ME - writing something - to share on 'bread' was "Do not eat the bread of idleness." Because I have based my life on 'do more, try harder', be a winner, always give 110%, be sold-out. And so when I would learn a 'better, healthier, more economical, fail-proof' way, I'd go head-long to implement it. I felt like I 'should' do whatever it takes to be the best mom, wife, friend, person I could be - all in the guise of 'being whole-hearted for God.' But really I was just trying to prove to myself that I was worth it - that my life was valuable. And all I really wanted was to be loved - so I tried so hard to earn approval from people and God.

My checklist just kept growing as I found the so-called best way to live:
Make bread from fresh-ground wheat berries to obtain all the health benefits - check.
Cloth diapers to save money and avoid all those chemicals on my precious baby's bottoms - check.
Have lots of babies so to not refuse any of God's gifts and trust Him completely - check.
Have a garden and grow my own food - check.
Home-school and train up my kids just right - check.
Eat healthy and avoid all processed foods with additives and chemicals - check.
Make everything by scratch - check.
Workout and have a good body for my man - check.
Read the Bible and pray everyday - check.
Serve people - check.

While for a time I was able to somehow 'do' my list, it became more and more impossible with four small children, a husband drowning in work, and a support system lost. I hit the wall - and I hit it hard. I was left with nothing but the bread of exhaustion. And I sunk deeper and deeper into depression. I was a failure. I was out of control. I was unworthy of love. Life was too hard - I just didn't have what it takes to make it.

Getting up in the morning became hard, and the thought of another day dreadful. I could barely do the minimum. Though I maintained a somewhat normal appearance, I knew I was dying and my hope had failed. I wanted to disappear - wishing my life away. Why did God make me anyways? Why did He give me impossible commands? Why did He allow me to get hurt and leave me? Where was He? I was mad at Him and blamed myself too.

But somewhere in that pit, He reached down and touched me. He didn't scold me for failing, in fact He didn't even see me as a failure. He called me beloved, daughter, fully loved JUST AS I AM. I didn't have to prove my worth - He proved it already by sending His Son to die for ME. He wants me even when my life is a crumbled mess. I don't have to earn it, I am loved as I am, not as I 'should' be - and I belong. As I learn to walk in Him, He gently leads me - not to 'do more, try harder', but to rest in what He already did. And I let Him make me who He created me to be.


  1. Thanks for sharing this (very well written!) piece. It seems that you and I have a lot in common. Perhaps bouts of debilitating perfectionism run in the family! My wall looked a lot different, but our journeys are parallel. You are a very wise and strong woman, and I'm proud to be your cousin!

    1. Wow, Trisha, that is so encouraging. I would LOVE to hear your journey. I am so thankful we're cousins too. So many awesome memories with you and we're connected for life!

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  3. Funny how that drive not to "eat the bread of idleness" almost consumed you completely, isn't it? All the "do more, try harders" that just keep piling up ... until you realize you will NEVER be enough and there's something wrong with the WHOLE SYSTEM. I hear ya, oh my, do I ever.

    I love how you took this one to the Gospel, friend. How you let your crumbs of life and peace be enough without letting the lack - the what "should be" - consume you. Beautiful words of hope here for the striver in all of us. Thanks for linking, Paula.

  4. Thank you for this piece. I reckon it's counted as a gift for many.