One truth that God’s been working to communicate to me lately is that I have nothing to prove.
I first had this epiphany a little over a month ago, and it was one of the main reasons I wanted to shift the focus of my blog. Because this one truth has been so freeing and healing to me, and I know there are people, women especially, who need to hear it.
It’s taken me so long to finally share it because it just struck me on such a deep and personal level, and I needed to make sure I really get it. I’m still working on internalizing it. It’s become a daily thing that I remind myself: “Relax, Jeanie. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody.”
Growing up, I had a lot of negative words spoken over me, by teachers, bullies, even my own father. I had undiagnosed ADD, inattentive type, which means that I’m forgetful and prone to zoning out and getting stuck inside my own head. I guess to elementary and junior high teachers in the 1980s who had never even heard of ADHD, or at least the non-hyper kind, or of it occurring in girls, I just seemed lazy and not very bright.
My test scores disproved the “not bright” hypothesis, though, so then they doubled down on the laziness theory. I was labeled an underachiever. I got accused of lying a lot, and making excuses for not doing my work, when the truth was that I really did forget to take my books home, or forgot to bring my homework to school, or remembered my books but forgot the assignment. And like I said, I was bullied a lot. It’s not like I had friends who I could call up and ask what our homework was supposed to be.
The words my dad had for me were along the same lines, though harsher. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say that I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to prove that I’m not the things people said I was. Even my previous blog was mainly there to show everyone how industrious and hard-working I am, how very much of an achiever I try to be.
My whole life I’ve been striving to silence the voices of people who haven’t even been part of my life for a very long time.
Until God showed me that I can stop striving. I don’t have to prove myself–to former teachers, former classmates, the ghost of my dad, my peers, my family or anyone else.
I don’t have to let their words have a hold over me anymore.
I don’t have to justify my successes, or make excuses for my failures.
I don’t have to demonstrate that I deserve good things.
I don’t have to earn my right to exist.
Best of all, I don’t ever have to strive to prove my worth to God, because that’s just not possible. Because my worth comes from Him.
“The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV [emphasis mine]
We have a Heavenly Father who loves each of us just as we are, and His grace meets me where we are. In Christ, we can stop striving, and relax.
I hope this realization gives you the peace it gave me.