As humans, we long for our lives to be deep, meaningful, and impactful. God designed it to be this way, as we read in the very first chapter of Genesis. God gave Adam dominion over the creatures on the earth, and said to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 ESV). This is a large task, filled with generational significance and responsibility.
This assignment and responsibility given from God provided Adam with a sense of meaning, work to do, and a purpose. We all long for this. Yet of course, with the inevitable introduction of sin in Genesis chapter 3, life’s significance was tainted.
We see this play out in many ways in our world, including in this deep core wound of “my life is insignificant.” Maybe you have felt this painful message take over in your relationships, in your work, in your past or future, or in your mundane daily tasks. Possibly, this was a message that your caregivers instilled into you – that your life just isn’t as significant as it could be. Maybe you feel that there is unmet potential in your life, and this shapes your thinking, emotions, and desires. Or maybe you feel the pain of wondering if you’re disappointing others and yourself with a life that is not quite significant enough.
Core wounds can sink very deep into our hearts, and therefore be difficult to root out. This specific narrative has the potential to cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. This narrative can bleed into practical areas of life such as decision making, planning for the future, and in building relationships with others.
Ecclesiastes 1:8 (ESV) gives language to this futility and pain that many of us face, saying
“All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.”
Where there is pain in all of this, there is also hope; while we read about sin in the Bible, we also read about redemption. With all core wounds, including this one, there is certainly hope for change and healing. Healing can happen first through naming that this is something you struggle with; seeing the ways that this narrative impacts your life can foster self awareness and this alone can bring change. Talking about your pain and self-beliefs with a trusted friend or counselor can help to unravel the thoughts, and begin to understand the life experiences that brought you to take on this specific thought as truth.
The beautiful piece about hope is that joy can be present even in the face of pain. Even with sin being so evident in the biblical narrative and in our lives, we see that God provides great meaning to his people even still. No life is insignificant, because God ordained that life to exist.
God’s greatness is shown in that he sees and values even the smallest pieces of life. His word is the final word, and He says that small, seemingly insignificant people and tasks matter more greatly than we can imagine.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, for you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:6-7 ESV
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Matthew 6:26 NIV
May these words comfort your soul, helping you to remember the truth that God has made your life significant in its unique way. Consider praying and asking God to transform your mind to believe this truth; he hears you in even the most hidden places of your heart.
-Megan Erdmann – https://surehopecounseling.com/megan-erdmann/