Confession 316: When You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough

Lately, I have been in the midst of a semi-midlife crisis.  I turned 37 in September and for some reason, the knowledge that I am about halfway (the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise) through my time on this earth has really pushed me into a mental and emotional tailspin.  I find myself asking questions like:

What am I doing with my life?

Why am I not farther along a career path?

How did I go from being the head of a department to a teacher’s associate?

What happened to my potential?

Should I just give up on my dreams?

Am I a failure?  This, actually, becomes more of a statement in my mind rather than a question.

Professionally, I feel like a failure.  And the subsequent feelings of frustration and disappointment and anxiety that come with that often leave me wanting to do nothing more than curl up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and watch cheesy Hallmark Channel holiday movies all day.  I want to go into a cocoon and sleep through this phase of my life, emerging some Spring day beautifully successful and at peace doing exactly what I love and actually making a living with it without all of the frustration and angst and uncertainty of getting there.

Feelings of failure, of disappointment, of unworthiness often lead us into emotional paralysis.  We get stuck.  The Enemy worms his way into our heads and pretty soon, the voice of discouragement is all we hear.  But there’s a greater voice calling out to us.  And if we (if I) can push through all the muck in my head that keeps me feeling depressed and anxious then I can hear it.  And God my Creator– the one who said I am wonderfully made–who tells me He has counted each hair on my head–who has called me His  own while still in my mother’s womb–who will walk with me into the darkest places this life can hold–who loves me enough to give a part of Himself to me–He pulls me close and whispers to my soul,…

“You are my dearly loved child.  Listen to MY voice.  I created you with a purpose, and no purpose of MINE is a failure.  The only job you have is to be the person I created you to be–to follow ME wherever the MY path may lead.”

This song, from singer/songwriter Laura Story, speaks to the heart of what I believe.  When I get out of my own head, when I push away those voices which proclaim failure, unworthiness, not enough and focus instead on the voice of the One who has lavished His great love on me, then I am able to “Be Me”.  When I look at myself through the One who created me, I am better able to move past my feelings of disappointment and to pour myself into those tasks God has given me to do.  I find new purpose, new meaning, new hope and new thanksgiving.  In those moments when I allow God to be at the center of my being, I am able to say: “Surely, I DO SEE the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  Jeremiah 31:2

Praying that you will see the God’s love and goodness in your life today.

Blessings and Peace,


4 thoughts on “Confession 316: When You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough

  1. Amy L. Sullivan (@AmyLSullivan1) says:

    Well, I could have written the first part of this post minus the age 37 part (insert going to be 39 soon)!

    I guess what I have really been working on lately are the things I SHOULD see as succesess or steps towards my dreams that I dismiss. It’s crazy that I will say “If only ________ will happen and then I will feel successful”. Then it happens and I still feel as if I need the next thing. It’s strange.

    But yes. We are thinking the same for sure. Too bad you don’t live a smidge closer and we could hash it out over dinner!

    • Sara says:

      Hey Amy! I so agree!! Dinner would be fabulous. I spend too much time and energy judging my success in human terms. But sometimes, I wonder if God doesn’t see our biggest successes as our mistakes and failures. Since, our failures are where we learn and when we are most likely to lean into Him. Its kind of like parenting–those moments when we hope our kids make a mistake so there can be a learning opportunity. I just sometimes would like to spend less time in the wilderness and more time on the mountaintop!! 🙂

  2. The Domestic Fringe says:

    I’m going to be 39 soon too. I’ve been feeling and thinking about many MANY of the same things. How am I almost 40 already? I haven’t done enough…that thought just keeps playing over and over in my brain. And then I think back over the last fifteen years and try to figure out when I could have done more, squeezed in something else. I have this crazy “need” to feel like I’ve done something well, like I’m good at something, anything.

    Anyway, must be the time of life. I need to lean in closer to the Lord. Find His most important for me and focus on that. Sometimes I feel like a dog chasing a squirrel all over and never quite catching it. That’s a dumb analogy, but what can I say. It’s still morning. 😉

    • Sara says:

      Hey Tricia,

      I think that is a PERFECT analogy! We joke a lot about chasing squirrels around here!! I have that same crazy need to feel like I’ve accomplished something. And the really stupid thing is that I help kids learn to read! How can that not be an accomplishment? Probably because I feel like I’m a failure at that, too. 🙂 Oh…well… maybe we’ll get there by the time we’re 80!! It’s just good to know I’m not alone. 🙂

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