A Prayer for When You Don’t Feel Good Enough
By Molly Law
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. –Psalm 139:13-14
This is something that affects me acutely, and I know that it is something that everyone feels at least once in their lifetime, if not more. As a type-A perfectionist, I can feel “not good enough” several times a day. I’ve even noticed how it affects my interactions with my family and friends. I’m constantly filling in the blanks of what I imagine their thoughts are of me. Even in conversation, I will stop myself — I will literally stop the flow of our conversation — to correct myself, justify or defend what I just said, or add a cliff note, so that they know that I have a good heart or so that they do not detect even a hint of weakness within me.
During one of these long conversations, my good friend caught onto this formed trait of mine and said, “You know, you don’t have to edit yourself for me. You can speak freely and without judgment.” When my friend said this to me, tears began to bud at the rims of my eyes. This was the first time I had heard those words out loud. I had never been given permission or given myself permission to just be me.
The freedom I felt at that moment was the greatest feeling I had ever experienced. This made me think, “Why do I do this? Why do I value myself so little when no one around me feels this way about me?” And if no one around me sees me this way, then I know that my Father in heaven doesn’t either.
I realized that this was learned and formed behavior. Growing up in a broken family, chaos followed us wherever we went. So, to cope with the rejection of my father and the inconsistency of everyday life, I thought that if I could be perfect, if I could control every situation, then nothing bad would ever happen to us again.
But the fallen world doesn’t allow this. There is so much out of our control. This fact, along with the overwhelming standards of beauty, performance, and success, produces a perfect storm of anxiety about not being good enough. I know so many people feel this way, which stems from a variety of reasons and causes, but, as Christians, we know that this is really a lie from the enemy.
Although we may know this in our heads, it is hard to drown out the loud voices and deep-seated feelings to the contrary. This is where the truth of Scripture comes into play. This is where God’s own words penetrate the darkness to tell us how loved we are, how beautiful we are, and how we are so important to the Lord Almighty that he meticulously formed us and bore the scorn of the cross for us.
Thank you for your love and pursuit of who we are. Thank you for loving us so much that you created us and saved us so that we can be with you for eternity. Thank you for finding us when the darkness overtakes us. I praise you for loving me just the way I am — without altering myself to be perfect. I pray that when the world is shouting at us to be thinner, to fit their standards of attractiveness, and to reach their levels of success that we dive into your presence and your Word so that the only thing we see and hear is your truth.
You tell us that “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3). How loved we are by you! Please let us not forget this — the enormity of possessing your love and the knowledge of our worth through your eyes.
We love and trust you with all of our hearts, our Creator and Savior.
In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/TinnakornJorruang
Molly Law is the Editor of C.com. She has a Master of Arts in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, UK, where she studied and lived for a year in Scotland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing from Gardner-Webb University. Her editorial career includes Senior Editor of a bimonthly magazine for the nonprofit ACA and Editorial Assistant at Luath Press in Edinburgh, UK. She enjoys reading 18th-century British Literature, creative writing, and traveling.
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