“I understand if you don’t want to be with me anymore.” I said with tears on my cheeks and fear in my heart. I sat in front of Katie ashamed and broken for something I had done and I waited for her to affirm my deeply held belief that I was disposable. This had happened on a few occasions throughout our dating and each time she graciously told me that she didn’t want to be with anyone else, but this time would be different.
“STOP IT! STOP SAYING THAT! I HATE WHEN YOU SAY THAT!” she cried. I was shocked! She was angry at me and hurt and I was clueless. In my mind I was offering her an easy out without having to break it to me but she didn’t want out. She had seen in me something that no one else had and she had no intentions of leaving. She wasn’t going to just let me get away with beating myself up and running away like I had done so many times in the past. I was in absolute disbelief, not just at her loud exclamation, but at the heart behind it. She loved me and I couldn’t screw that up no matter how hard I tried, and believe me, I tried.
I think there is a record playing over and over again in all of our heads. It is constantly scratching out some terrible lie that in time we adopt as our mantra. You are ugly, you are unlovable, you are useless, you are stupid, you are a failure, etc. Sound familiar at all? My record had been on repeat for years chanting that I was disposable. As a child my family circumstances were such that everyone was pre-occupied by their own junk which kind of left me to figure life out on my own. Due to my mom’s sickness she was very needy and I spent a lot of my youth meeting those needs, but we didn’t really have a lot to do with one another outside of that.
Unfortunately the same was true of my Father who did the best he could to provide for us by working an ungodly amount of hours but wasn’t really around a lot. I would do what I could to help the family by mowing, doing dishes, taking care of mom while he was away, but otherwise I was just on my own. I slowly began to believe that if I wasn’t meeting someone’s needs than I didn’t really have a place with them. I believed that if I a person didn’t need me then they would discard me. In the psychology sector they call this a core belief. It is a powerful and rancid thing inside of us all and if we don’t learn to overcome it, it will consume us.
You cannot imagine how powerfully this belief affected my relationship with God. I came to believe that God wanted my life to be devoted to him and that if is wasn’t I would be cast out into the lake of fire! I began working as hard as I could to please Him. I was going to make God so proud! I knew how sinful I was and so I was going to work ten times harder to ensure He was pleased with me. I lived a life of tipping the scales and when I stood before him I had to make sure the good outweighed the bad. Better yet, I was going to be one of his servants in the church. I was going to devote my life to ministry in hopes that he would always need me! I needed God to need me!
We will get to how this was solved over the next couple of posts but for now I want us to wrestle with our own distorted beliefs. When you go to do something new, what do you hear? That you’ll fail? When you meet people for the first time what self-deprecating thought begins resounding in your head? When you have to decide whether or not to be honest, what fear keeps you from doing what you know to be right?
We hear the record playing over and over but the problem is that we can’t shut the damned thing off until we find it. So we must do the difficult work of digging through the rooms of soul until we uncover the source. It will be hard but I assure you it will be worth it. I hope you find the courage.