Have you ever thought about your life and wondered what happened?
How did I even get here?
I always knew I would be a somebody. Like the next great journalist, rock star or great writer. But here I am. I am just me.
And what’s wrong with just me? Probably nothing except I did not plan to be just me. I planned to do big things with my big brain and my big ideas. Women talk about the glass ceiling, this idea that they can see the top-level of decision makers but can never attain it. This is not a feminist idea, this happens to men as well as women. You see I was born into a very poor, very tired family. My parents had their dream of farming pulled out from under their feet. They worked extremely hard, taught their kids about love and God, and made us feel loved. But they never recovered. Eventually they moved to BC where Dad became a logger, then a city worker and Mom became a waitress.
I don’t remember feeling like I missed out on a lot of growing up even though there were times that there was not enough food for my parents and their children. They just did not eat any meat, or they skipped some food to ensure we all had enough to eat. This type of sacrificial living is one thing my growing years instilled into my heart. But there was also the notion that I was not as important as others. This became a strongly held belief which led to all kinds of other beliefs and helped the fear of failure to become so strong in me that it was safer to not try than to try and not succeed.
Other nasty barriers formed during those years such as unworthiness, shame, guilt, and fear. Being noticed was horrific because if I was noticed in any way, I could be hauled up to the proverbial front of the class or office or team and used as an example of everything bad. The overall consequences were that I worked hard, demanded little, and let my dreams and goals die. Like my parents I worked hard and kept to myself. It was safer to just be insignificant.
And yet…there was a part of me that desired to be significant. It was weak, like a tiny spark amid wet firewood. It was hidden way down and did not go out. It actually refused to be extinguished. Even when bad things happened like a betrayal that cost me a career, chronic and severe health problems, and death of so many dreams, this spark was still there.
It became stronger over time, even strong enough to fight against the more powerful enemies within my mind. It was strong enough to keep at me and tell me that I mattered. I could do something that will make a difference. I could be significant.
I began to have victories over my fears and unworthiness. I began to feel that I had a voice that deserved to be heard just as much as the next person’s voice. My Dad’s teachings that God loved us all equally resonated within me. I rebelled against my inner demons of unworthiness, shame, guilt, and fear. Some of my strategies were not good or effective but others worked. I started competing for better jobs, went to university, was accepted into an honors program, and became CEO of a health organization, a published author, leader and preacher. I found my voice.
That internal conflict between my old self and my new self still happens from time to time. But those old negative and harmful beliefs about myself are no longer my masters. And now I am in the place where I am supposed to be.
The biggest difference for me was Christ. My identity as a child of God and the freedom with which this comes is truly life changing. If my story is in any way like your story there is hope. Don’t give time to negative self talk and harmful beliefs about yourself. Repent of the ways in which you have tried to meet your needs through sin and self-pity. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Rejoice in his freedom and get yourself into a relationship with the one who truly sees you as you are. Someone he loves enough to give up his life for. Someone who matters.
Let Jesus rejoice over you!
Andy Becker is lead of Lighthouse Ministries which brings God’s love and presence to the North Central area of Regina, Canada. He is also a writer, public speaker, former counselor, and former Executive Director of a Hospice.