Yesterday one of the managers came into my cubicle to talk about a document I’m editing. I’ve been working on it for the past several months and we’ve been through a few reviews already. She answered some of my outstanding questions and I updated her on my progress. Before she left, she said what I did absolutely amazed her — I was so good at it and doing such a great job on the document.
I dashed around the office finishing some stuff from our discussion before heading down to catch my bus. I found my fiancé at my apartment with supper waiting for me. After we’d said hello and asked about each other’s days, he inquired about the spreadsheet we’d created for our wedding guest list. I’d rearranged it to create a mail merge and print the envelopes, so his list of names was out of order.
I went into my room to change, feeling like I’d messed things up and couldn’t do anything right. I should have printed the envelopes differently. I should have left his list in the order he’d arranged it. I’d been trying to be organized and productive, and I’d bungled it all.
I stared out the window at the passing traffic, trying to overcome my feelings of inadequacy, until he called me for dinner. My previous happy mood was gone. I tried to hide my feelings as we had supper and then set out on some errands. He wanted to know what was wrong, but I couldn’t tell him. Somehow saying how I felt would make it worse. I wanted to hide it, forget it, pretend I wasn’t feeling that way. I tried to talk myself out of it, tell myself it was nonsense to feel that way, but I wasn’t very convincing. A dark cloud remained around me, pressing upon me the feeling of my worthlessness.
A few hours later I felt better. We’d wandered through Ikea together, looking for bookshelves for my apartment, and having fun comparing tastes in furniture. He laughed at my comment about the lamps that looked like Martian-heads. We debated what we needed now and what would be fun to get in a few years when we have a bigger house and more money. We finally escaped with the bookshelves and one bargain find and went home. He assembled his bargain and then we curled up on the futon.
Our conversation eventually came around to my mood earlier in the day, and I broke down and cried on his shoulder. He slowly coaxed me into telling him how I had felt. I knew I had no reason to feel that way, but the feeling was strong enough I bawled into his shirt. My manager had just been telling me I was a great editor. My fiancé is always telling me I’m amazing and wonderful and beautiful. And I have memories of a night in Alice Springs, sitting alone in my room with my Bible, as God told me in every verse I read that He delighted in me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
~ Psalm 18:18-19
So I talked and cried and got it out, and laughed when my fiance started cracking jokes. I woke up this morning feeling better, but with the memories of yesterday still there. I know how dark that feeling is, how deep it goes in me, that it will come back. But I also know I have a family, friends, and fiancé who love me. I know I am the daughter of the King. I am His creation, and He delights in me.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor His delight in the legs of a man;
the LORD delights in those who fear Him,
who put their hope in His unfailing love.
~ Psalms 147:10-11
That night taught me two things. First, I need to stay grounded in God’s Word and His love for me. My worth is not based on either my good work as an editor or my overachieving efforts to organize everything. My worth is based on how God sees me, and that never changes. Second, I need to communicate my feelings honestly with my fiance. I need to accept his questions and feedback without taking them as personal criticism. Talking with him about what I’m thinking and feeling can help me process — and turn back to God, Who loves us both.