Trusting God, rediscovering my worth

Millie Ronkainen

Millie Ronkainen

I have this lie that I tell myself often. This lie sounds something like, “You are not good enough to love someone or be loved by someone.” This lie prevents me from getting close to people and forming relationships with them.

This feeling of being unworthy of love stems from a series of three relationships that did not end well; two friendships and a romantic relationship. In each relationship, I was told I was too demanding, my standards were too high and my personality was too strong.

In reality, I do have high expectations and standards and a strong personality.

In reality, none of those are intrinsically bad, not in the least because God created me with those traits.

I have accomplished many of my goals and formed many healthy relationships through my standards, self-expectations and personality, not to mention the personal boundaries they have influenced. These aspects of myself have changed a little as I have grown, but overall they are a part of me and have served me well.

The trouble in these relationships did not come from who I am. Rather, the trouble resulted from the other person’s reception of the boundaries I set. I am still trying to understand these situations for what they were: a lack of respect for those boundaries. They do not reflect my ability to love or be loved by someone. My love is not tainted or flawed.

But this feeling of not being worthy of love has extended beyond my human relationships into my relationship with God. I feel like He  cannot love me because of my brokenness, my imperfection, my sharp temper and other shortcomings. I often feel empty, hollow, unworthy and wonder how He could see anything good in me.

I look at myself and see failure.

This poor self-image comes from a misconception about how I was created. Saint Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, asks, “Do you not know you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

We were all created uniquely, but with the full love and blessing of God. He did not make us to see ourselves as failures. He loves us through our shortcomings and makes us whole in our struggles. We are His temple , and He , who is all good and loving, lives within us.

My beautiful mother pointed me to Wisdom 11:24 one day last semester, a verse I often return to in my emptiness: “For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for you would not fashion what you hate.”

This reminds me that even though I may not see myself as beautiful or lovable, God cradles me in the palm of His hand and gazes on me with love. Psalm 139:14 has become my prayer: “I praise you, because I am wonderfully made.”

I am made to love, deeply and truly. Once I trust God enough to accept that I am perfectly loved by Him because He  intentionally created me, I will be able to love others without fear.