I hate that feeling. Dispensable. Unneeded. Unnecessary. I have carried this feeling with me since my early childhood. I know where it comes from. Sheryl Crow had it right when she wrote and sang the song, “The First Cut is the Deepest.”
I was just a little girl. I idolized my Dad. But he was a very sad man. Very troubled. Tormented by so many demons of his own. He was an alcoholic and a womanizer. As a little girl his affairs never affected me. Not until the one with Eleanor. Eleanor had two little girls of her own. They were cute little girls. From then on my Dad spent all of his time with Eleanor and those two little girls. Even the holidays. I was just a little girl and I couldn’t possibly understand the pain my Mom had endured all those years. But this I could understand. I was dispensable. My Dad had traded me in for those 2 little girls.
That was the first cut. And that was the deepest wound. Because it remained with me my entire life. Throughout relationships. Friendships. Jobs. Anytime anything changed, I felt dispensable again. Unneeded. Unnecessary. Time and time again.
In the 60’s, there was a special teacher. Then she moved away. I expected her to love me enough that she wouldn’t leave.
In the 70’s there was a special friend. Then she fell in love with a man and moved away. I was devastated. I thought she should love me more than him.
In the 90’s there was a special counselor. She too, moved away. I couldn’t believe that she could do that to me. I was again dispensable.
And even when my own children made life choices that I didn’t like, I expected them to value my opinion over everything. When they didn’t, again…. I felt dispensable. Useless. Of no value.
And most recently. There was a church I was involved with, a place where I felt ‘purpose’. But then things transpired that I chose to stand up against. Suddenly I became an ‘outsider’. Suddenly I didn’t belong anymore.
There it is again. Feeling dispensable. Over and over again, it keeps popping up. Year in and year out, through these situations and many others. I realize that I’m sounding very narcisstic in this post. But what is, is. It’s what I believed.
As I was praying this morning, I was telling Jesus that this place where I’m at right now is hard. I want so badly to feel like I ‘doing’ something…. some kind of ministry. Something. I’m feeling useless. I feel dispensable. I hate feeling like this. Then as I was reading my Bible, I started thinking of John the Baptist and the Apostle John. I was wondering what John the Baptist was thinking when he was in that dungeon. He had spoken out (against the immorality of King Herod) and ended up there. Did he feel dispensable in that dungeon? After all, what was he doing for kingdom work THERE? Or what about the Apostle John? At the end of his life, after walking with Jesus Himself, and then decades of ministry, here he was exiled on the island of Patmos. Before he received the ‘Revelation’, was he feeling dispensable? Useless? All of his friends were dead…. gone out in glory, so to speak. Martyred for the Lord. But here he was, sitting on this island, doing nothing.
Then, my precious friend, Jesus Christ, spoke to me.
He said to me “I will never leave you or forsake you, Sue. I will not abandon you. I will not leave you as an orphan in the storm. I will come to you…… even when I am physically gone from this world, I will still be present with you.” (John 14:18-19)
He went on….. “You are NOT dispensable, Sue. You are salt and light to the world.” (Matthew 5:13)
It’s true! As a Christian, with Jesus’ Holy Spirit living in me and through me, I AM salt and light to this dark world. EVERY CHRISTIAN IS. We are valuable. Useful. Christ is using us for His kingdom work! I might not have some glamourous ministerial job, but I go to work everyday at a place where I interact daily with people who don’t know Jesus, who are living in darkness. How else will they see the light of Jesus, ‘taste’ His salty presence, if not through us Christians? What a spectacular ministry we Christians have!!!
These are the things Jesus told me this morning. Then I realized it is the devil who is the one telling me I’m dispensable. The one who is a liar. The one who is a deceiver.
Who am I going to believe? The liar? Or the One who always tells me the truth, who IS TRUTH?
I believe Jesus.