To the searching heart:

I’m not quite sure when it happens. I’m not quite sure if there really is a specific time frame in our lives where we can expect it or wait patiently for it to rear its ugly head. I’m not quite sure what influences it the most, or if it is our mere existence that prompts it at just the right time. But nevertheless, it comes. It comes often times, quietly and unnannounced. Other times, it comes so loudly that it’s all we can seem to hear. I’d be lying if I said it never visits or checks in, seeking to convince me that my life was somehow better off with it. I’m sure you’ve made friends with it just as much as I have. Perhaps you’ve even allowed it to become your home, because you’re so tired of searching for something to fill the gaping hole it leaves.

“You’re not good enough.”

Perhaps no one has ever told you that. To be honest, I don’t believe that I have ever heard those words muttered from the lips of someone in my life. The thing with this lie is that it takes shape to anything and everything. It forms at exactly the right time and precisely to the struggles we are dealing with. It’s good. It’s very, very good. Or so it wants us to think.

The thing with this lie is that it’s showing up earlier in the lives of others than it ever did with me. I don’t think I fully experienced the extent of its viscous repercussions until I was left alone with my thoughts for hours on end. People always told me our lives change when you leave for college. That truth in my life is an incredible understatement. My college years changed me to the very core.

The world has a way with convincing us we aren’t worthy; that we aren’t good enough. The world doesn’t have to scream those words at me for me to believe them about myself. The world doesn’t have to send me a letter in the mail telling me in print that ugly lie. The world is an incredibly creative place, with a constant desire to grow and transform. With every transformation, we are being told that if we don’t transform, we somehow miss the mark. The mark set by a world full of individuals who care about nothing lasting. I catch myself believing I must meet that mark. I catch myself tempted to believe that meeting that mark will somehow solidify my calling and my eternity. I catch myself believing it so much, that I’m tired of it. Watching the people around me, young and old, fall prey to this ridiculous lie is damaging us in more ways than I think any of us are willing to admit. I need you to hear the truth, not because I know you’ll listen, but because I need to speak them to myself too. Young, old, man, woman, anyone… please listen to what I’m about to tell you.

You’re going to be forgotten. I don’t mean to be morbid, but in all seriousness, you’re going to pass through this life so quickly, and there will be nothing left. You’ll leave behind your accomplishments, but even the greatest of the greats aren’t talked about everyday. We have holidays, clothing lines, museums, and statues all around our world signifying the great lives of others before us. Does discussing them bring them back in the slightest shape or form? No. Eventually, years will slowly begin to pile up and they will soon be forgotten too. You’re going to be forgotten, and that’s going to be perfectly okay. Your best friend will stop showering you with attention, and you’re going to go through seasons of your life where people won’t even take a minute out of their day to speak uplifting words into your life. Don’t fall into the lie that the actions of others somehow dictate who you are and what your heart has to offer. God didn’t call us to live a life based on the actions and words of others. He didn’t call us to a life where we could develop an alternative route into never being forgotten. You’re going to be forgotten, and what you do with that truth will change everything in your life. You can either spend it blindly seeking approval from others with their words and actions, or you can spend it spreading the truth that’s worth spreading. This world is not our home. Live in it, but never let it become you’re final ending. More importantly, don’t let people dictate your finale. Go out with a bang by sharing something that matters.

You’re not going to enjoy everything that is handed to you. We live in a world dictated by need and want as if those are our only two options on the remote control. Someone might get sick. That someone might be you. That doesn’t make your life unworthy. Some of the greatest stories have shared some of the most inspiring people with the world, because of their illness being spoken into their testimony. Your life matters. You’re going to look at your life and wish that your parents were still together. It’s heart-breaking, I know. That doesn’t mean your life is dictated by the lie that love can’t last. You can make it last. Your family may be broken and hanging together by a thread. Someone may have left, and someone may have let you down in ways that you can barely bring yourself to talk about, let alone think about. But the thing with hanging by a thread is that your life still has potential to be used. Even though I know it’s easy to assume that a thread indicates the end, it’s actually the beginning. That’s how all great things are sown together – a single thread. Your life can be that thread. Be wise enough to realize who you give the needle to. Not everyone wants your life to be sown into a beautiful tapestry. But good people are out there who want your life displayed for all to see.

Finally, and this one goes out to my students, who will probably never read this, and will probably smirk because it’s just another one of Miss Wymore’s life lessons. First off, your life matters. I need you to believe that. You’re going to meet so many people in this life who are going to make you feel that you aren’t worth anything. Sometimes, those people will be your family. That doesn’t mean it’s true. We all know how easy it is to hurt those closest to us. We are all guilty of it. Have patience with those in your life who don’t value you the way you wish they would. Sometimes, those people will be your closest friends. Choose wisely who you allow into your heart. Not everyone wants your life to turn into something beautiful. I wish everyone’s intentions were good, especially with your life, but that will sadly never be the case. Your friends matter because those are the people you will become most like. Take a good hard look at the people closest to you. You’re becoming like them, even if you don’t like it. Guard your heart. Last, but certainly not least (don’t forget that), sometimes, that person is going to be yourself. You’re going to tell yourself that it’s too difficult; that you can’t take it anymore. You’re going to hate everything in your life, because it’s not giving you what media promises you that you will someday receive or that you somehow deserve. You’re going to feel abandoned, unloved, unworthy, and unimportant. You’re going to feel a lot of emotions, because you’re growing. You’re growing, because that’s what you’ll always be doing. Your life was not created to be stagnant.

I need you to realize something important. You’re going to hear many different voices throughout your life. You’re going to hear family members, friends, foes, strangers, and your own. And you’re going to need to realize that not every one of those voices is speaking to do your heart any good. I’m not saying go home and tell your family that their opinion doesn’t matter. I’m telling you there’s a voice that’s more important. I’m not telling you to go home and abandon all of your closest friends, because they aren’t doing for you what you wish they would. I’m telling you there’s a voice that’s more important. I’m not telling you to seek out your foes to make them feel the same way they make you feel. I’m telling you there’s a voice that’s more important. I’m not telling you to go home and develop such a self-hatred for yourself, because you can’t escape these thoughts that convince you you’re not good enough.

I’m telling you there’s a voice that matters more.

It’s not mine.
It’s not your family.
It’s not your friends.
Its not your foes.
It’s not yourself.

It’s your Savior. He’s the game changer. He’s the end-all. He’s the reason you fight this battle daily, not because He seeks to see you suffer, but because he loves you TOO much to watch you suffer. With every one of those voices you hear, regardless of where they are coming from, there will be some truth in them. But the greatest struggle you will face in life is allowing the devil to twist those words into something they’re not. Your Savior is fighting for you to help you overcome those thoughts. But first, you have to let Him in. You can’t defeat the thoughts if you don’t know what the better route is. It’s going to mean nights where you’re clenching your fists in anger and confusion. If your fists aren’t clenched, then it’s going to be your heart, and it’s THEN that you’ll have to call upon His name to help you overcome those thoughts.

You see, people don’t do a good job letting people know they matter. People don’t appreciate others and remind them why they are important. Encouragement isn’t the normality, even though it’s what we are all so desperately crying out for. You have the opportunity to allow Him to change everything. You have the opportunity to decide for yourself that you won’t be dictated by those thoughts anymore. You have the opportunity to show people they matter. You have the opportunity. You matter, regardless of where you are in life. Your life holds more value than you can ever understand. I say so. God says so.

Don’t be people.

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