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I ❤ coffee. 

I am Shauna Shanks. I love green smoothies. I'm an author, mom & wife chasing smallness.

Your Inferiority-Complex Is Hurting All Of Us

Your Inferiority-Complex Is Hurting All Of Us

When we purchased the property we are currently building on, it was a dream come true. It is part of a larger farm owned by my husband's grandparents. His grandfather bought it after serving in World War II. He served on a submarine after Pearl Harbor and returned home a decorated war hero. That's another story. One I should write. 

Grandpa married a California girl and brought her home to his Ohio farm. There they raised kids, tended cattle, built a barn and a beautiful life. The picture of a young grandma on the back of his Harley as they rode across country is still on display in the mainroom of the farmhouse. 

I always felt detached from these stories. It has only been the last few years that I felt I had any right to identify with them. See, this is the family on my husband's paternal side. So I didn't grow up hearing them. When I met my husband, he only half-identified with them himself. 

When my husband's parents separated when he was little, he went to live with his mother. He only got part-time visits with his father, who shared the history of the farmhouse. So when all the grandkids visited the farmhouse growing up, my husband always felt like the odd-man out. Yes, it was his history too, but he somehow felt displaced in his own family. Divorce, custody battles and court hearings played a part in forming a young kid's identity. Where did he fit? 

This invisible feeling still seemed tangible when we got married. We were a part of the family, yet a lesser part. A half-part. A step-part. An in-law part. This feeling of detachment festered until we felt like outsiders in our own family.

Have you ever been there? Felt like the outsider?

Maybe the most hurtful place in the world to experience this is in the church. But many of us have been there.

At church last Sunday my eyes fell on someone who sat across the sanctuary from me. The Lord said to me, "See him? I love him. He has overcome so much and I am immensely proud of him. He is my son." In that moment I felt overwhelmed with admiration for this person as I believe God was letting me share a fraction of his love and admiration for this man. As I enjoyed this moment with the Lord, he continued, 

"He's my son, but he feels like a step-child. He doesn't understand that he is just as much my son as any of these warriors he perceives sitting in the room around him. He perceives himself to be less. He is called to be a dangerous force to my kingdom. But he is only accessing a small part of what I have for him, because he doesn't feel worthy enough to use it."

I realized that's the problem with feeling like an outsider. You will act like one. The feeling of inferiority makes one timid and reserved, when you should be brave and strong. You will never accomplish your true potential for the kingdom until you realize that as a child of God you have full access to all of God's promises to his children.

I realized in that moment there are no step-children in God's kingdom. There are sons and there are sons. 

We put people on pedestals and create things like backstage passes and special-access badges. But God grants all-access to all of his sons, to those who believe in Jesus.  

"5 He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will....11 In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will...." Ephesians 1 AMP.

When Micah first asked to buy a part of the farmland a few years ago, I honestly did not think it would ever be sold to us. I genuinely believed we had no right to it, that it was reserved for the "real" family members. I felt like this invisible barrier that we'd always felt would finally be vocalized, and I felt bad that my husband would have to face that rejection. 

An outsider feels a deep desire to be a part of the family, but feels rejection. He may long to experience safety and joy, but looks around and thinks everyone else at the table is more welcome than you. 

Beware of feelings. 

We did buy that farmland. And the family we always felt detached from are now just a brisk walk away straight up the moor. We almost missed purchasing our dream land because we were too afraid to ask for it. Because of an invisible feeling of inferiority. 

Guys, I think we are doing this in the church.

What ground are we not taking because we are stuck on this feeling that we don't really belong? The enemy will have you living as an outsider forever. He needs us to feel inferior and detached. Don't let these feelings fester.  Don't believe what you feel. Believe what God says about you. We need you to do you. When you are missing, it's a problem. 

We wasted so many years believing a lie.

Because I had lived it, I understood what God was saying about the man at church whose perception of himself was an outsider, like he only had access to a "less-than" portion of God's grace and power. If this man could see from my view as God shared with me his heart for him, he would understand.

He would ask for more. He would speak with authority. He would act boldly knowing the deep wells of love and grace his father has for him. He would be a force to be reckoned with.

So I told him....

"You are not a step child." 

And you know what?

Neither are you.

~Shauna

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