Dear Waiting for Baby Bird,
How do you get past the feeling of being forgotten, or the thought that God is punishing you?
My husband and I have been trying for 15 years to have a baby. We have gone through two miscarriages and one failed adoption (the birth mom was in a car wreck and lost the baby). There is one particular person in my life who has told me more than once it’s because God doesn’t think I deserve a child and if my faith was stronger, THEN, God would bless me. Those are hard words to ignore, when your heart is already breaking. So, how can I get through the feelings or rejections and heartache of being “unworthy.”
Dear Feeling Desperate,
I want to tell you a story. It is about my daughter, who we adopted through foster care. During her first-grade year of school, she had track day, in which all of the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles could come and watch as each student competed in different track activities. Before she left for school that day, I wished her good luck and told her that if she received first place in any of the events, then I would reward her and a friend with a trip to a local waterpark over the summer. I made this deal with her because the year before, on track day, when it was her turn to run the 200 meters, she stopped halfway to pick a flower. As a competitive person, it was hard to watch. I still cringe. Because before she stopped to pick the flower, which was a weed, she was looking behind her, trying to see how high she could kick her butt with her feet. Despite having a hard time with her loss, it was still adorable.
Anyway, the time came for her to run in the first grade, and when the starter gun went off for the students to begin the race, she took off at lightning speed. I couldn’t believe it! She had her head down, and her arms were going in unison with her legs just like I instructed. And the best part? She was (so far) in first place. I turned into one of those crazy mom’s who began running along the fence line, jumping up and down, screaming in excitement, and encouraging her to keep going. But then, it happened. She lost her focus. She looked to the right and the left. Then she looked behind her. And as she began to look and focus on others, rather than run her own race, she started to slow down. And in the end, she lost.
It was at that moment Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said that when we begin to look to the right or left, we slow down. And we stop short. What does this have to do with your question? What does this have to do with feeling rejected and unworthy?
Don’t look to the right or left of what others are saying or how well they are doing in the race. Simply keep your head down, focusing on what God has told you. But, if you do need to look up, look straight ahead. There you will find Jesus cheering you on to the end. He is on your team. He is for you. The question now becomes, are you for yourself? Would you tell your friend that they are undeserving? Or unworthy?
Of course not.
Therefore, talk to yourself, and think about yourself, like you would speak to and think about your best friend. Remind yourself of the truths in His word just like you would encourage a struggling friend. For His words says in Luke 12:6-7 that every strand of hair God knows; He has them all counted. I don’t know any human that would take the time to know the numbers of hair on our heads, but God does.
It shows how much He pays attention to us.
It also says in Zephaniah 3:17 that He sings sweet melodies over us. And in Song of Solomon 4:7, He calls us altogether beautiful, without a single flaw.
In Isaiah 41:10, God tells us not to be fearful or dismayed because He will strengthen us and uphold us with His righteous right hand. In Joshua 1:9, God reminds us that He will go before us and be with us wherever we go. And in Psalms, it says that even if we make our bed in Hell, He will be with us.
But the most significant proof of all, in which He demonstrates His love for us, and gives us proof that He sees us, treasures us, and calls us worthy, is not found in our circumstances but found in the cross. He died while we were yet sinners, making way for us to be made whole. To be made righteous. To be worthy of being called His daughter.
The definition of unworthy is not deserving effort, attention or respect.
Sweet friend, when I look over the scriptures I shared and read other passages of the Bible, I don’t see a God who calls us “unworthy,” but just the opposite. I see a God who calls us worthy as He makes an effort to protect, love and restore no matter the cost. I see a loving Father who pays attention and gives respect.
Therefore, don’t look to the left or to the right as you run your race. Look straight ahead. Look at Jesus and His word. Romans 3:4 says, “Let God be true, and every human being a liar.” Sometimes, regardless of how we feel and think, we need to stand firm in His promises, declaring from our mouths that we are worthy and wanted. We have to decide once and for all not to dwell on the opinions of others, or let our past disappointments determine future outcomes, or believe the lie that it has to be our fault; but rather move forward into who God says we are and rest in our identity and future which we find in Christ.
I know none of this is easy to do. It takes time to get past the rejection and the pain of our disappointments, as well as the hurtful words spoken by others. However, I want to clarify because it is not just “time,” as in hours and days, but rather time spent with Jesus in His presence. It’s putting down the phone, or foregoing a favorite tv show, fasting a meal, as you instead spend that time doing what matters most, curling up in His lap and letting Him love you from His heart.
I encourage you to take your hurts, your misunderstandings, and if you have it, anger to Jesus, and He will give you wisdom, guidance, and comfort. There is no other human on the face of the earth who can soothe our sadness, dry our tears, or make us feel wanted and worthy more than Him. After all, He thought you were worthy enough to die for, and He hasn’t changed His mind about you one bit.
Before I go, could you do me a favor? Could you pull out an ink pen from your desk drawer, car console, or wherever you keep them close by. Go ahead; I’ll wait.
(No, really. Go get one)
In hard-pressed moments it’s easy and natural to feel forgotten by God. Sometimes even abandoned. But this is far from the Truth. He loves you. One of my favorite reminders that God has not, and could not, ever forget me (or you) is in Isaiah 49:16. It says that God has tattooed our names on the palm of His hand. Let me ask, if you were to tattoo someone’s name on the palm of your hand, could you ever forget them. No. And the same holds true for God.
Therefore, I encourage you to accept this promise for yourself, believing that you are never forgotten, unworthy as you take your pen and doodle your name on the palm of your hand as a tangible reminder that He has you in the palm of His.
I pray that each time you see your name today (and in the upcoming days because I want you to do this as part of your morning routine until it is soaked deep within your soul), you feel His tender mercies wrap around your hurting heart as hope even begins to rise up to believe that God WILL redeem and restore all that the enemy has stolen. John 10:10 says the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came so that we may have life and life overflowing. May you overflow.
If you need anything, do not hesitate to reach out at email@example.com.
With all my love,
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