When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough

Defined 2

“Are you wearing Riders®?”

Shame echoed across her words, plunging a dagger of embarrassment into my middle school heart.

For six hours I had pulled at the tail of my shirt attempting to hide the label of my jeans. But now, as we walked up the stairs my efforts failed. The very thing I didn’t want anyone to know had been discovered.

I was wearing Riders®.

Desperate to remain accepted, I reduced the reality of my jeans to a joke. She laughed. We reached the top of the stairs, and we both turned, going our separate ways.

Minutes later the dismissal bell rang. I gathered my belongings, headed outside and made my way onto Bus 20. Greeting the driver, I found the first available seat and sat down, but not before her words leeched to my heart.

Riding home I rehashed the experience in my mind. “Why did I forget about my shirt?”  I vowed to never wear those jeans again.  Once home, I stuffed them deep into the dirty clothes and questioned if I’d ever fit in.

I wish I could go back to that day. I’d look at my middle school self with all sincerity and say, “you are not defined by how others see you; you are defined by Jesus.” I would assure myself that my worth is found in Christ alone and not the clothes I wear.

1 Peter 2:9 tell us, “… you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Our culture defines success by the things we have or the work we do, but the truth is God never intended for His children to be defined this way. Rather, He created us to be defined by His Son, Jesus.

Feeling left out or not good enough can affect anyone at any age. The temptation to compare ourselves to others is great, but God’s Word will always be greater. Therefore, we must attach our identity to who God says we are. And, He says… we are chosen; we are a royal priesthood; we are His special possession! And that, my friends, makes you and I extraordinary!


Are you struggling with self-worth? Let these truths sink deep into your heart today.

  • “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10
  • “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
  • “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15
  • See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1

36 thoughts on “When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough

  1. Leigh Ellen, There are so many times I wish I could go back and talk to my insecure self. My teens, my young mommy years, my years of raising teens . . . whew! Resting in Jesus and trusting His love. Knowing He’s got this. Chasing doubt and insecurity to the curb. Great post! I loved sharing it!

  2. I love this: “you are not defined by how others see you; you are defined by Jesus.” I know this but I think I constantly need to be reminded of this truth.

  3. I’ve been meditating on Ephesians 2:10 – such a wonderful view of us through God’s eyes. When He looks on us, He sees a masterpiece. Great encouragement here, friend. xo

  4. Gayl says:

    Leigh Ellen, this is a truth we need to hear over and over again. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap, but God has already defined who we are in Him. We need nothing else. Thanks for your encouraging words! Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #SittingAmongFriends.

  5. Hi Leigh Ellen,
    Oh how I remember the effects on the heart that middle school and thoughtless comments can bring! It would have been wonderful to have shared our mature wisdom with our younger selves, wouldn’t it? 🙂 It’s only later that we realize God has already declared our worth and worthless words can’t possibly change that!

  6. The temptations are great and it is so hard sometimes to remember that Jesus alone defines us. Thanks for sharing your struggles. Visiting today from Coffee For Your Heart.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful words my friend! I love the truths you gave and I love 1 Peter 2:9. Sometimes the voices of the world seem way louder than the voice of God, telling us who we are. Loved reading this today! 💗

  8. Solid truth here, Leigh Ellen. It’s amazing how cruel kids can be and how those little wounds we sustain as a child can affect us years later! Praising God for these verses you’ve included at the end of your post.

  9. Oh…this is so me! I recently wrote on this and fitting in, not fitting in! God made us His peculiar treasure and I love that…NOW! I never imagined I would understand this beautiful term that now described me. Thanks for calling these lessons back to mind for I easily slip right back into not feeling good about myself.

    • Oh, Sarah, how I get what you are saying. My little one isn’t quite that old yet, and still I think about his future and want to protect him in every way possible. Thank you for stopping by! Have a blessed week.

  10. Leigh Ellen, I loved this–“Our culture defines success by the things we have or the work we do, but the truth is God never intended for His children to be defined this way. Rather, He created us to be defined by His Son, Jesus.” Thank you for sharing!

    Visiting from Women With Intention :-).

  11. Our culture does define us by the way we look. It’s hard to see ourselves differently so we must replay God’s truths about us again and again – a masterpiece, wonderfully made and His child.

  12. Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments says:

    Leigh Ellen,
    The middle school girl in me so related with that middle school girl in you! Oh how I, too, wish I could reach out and hug her and explain her beautiful worth in Christ! Loved this post and am sharing it everywhere!
    Thank you for linking up with us at #MomentsofHope! You are a blessing!

  13. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made” – if we only we would take the time to focus on how Jesus sees us instead of what the world thinks about us… Thank you for sharing your experience with us Leigh Ellen. I pray that our children will learn that lesson sooner than we did (smile).

  14. Oh, girl! This resonates with me. I spent most of my jr. high and high school years feeling very out of place. I carry that with me, even as I head toward forty-years-old in the next year. Thank you for sharing these nuggets of truth with us!

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