I have never had a particularly good opinion of myself. Growing up in a difficult family situation, being endlessly tormented by bullying peers (as a youngster) and an early divorce left me broken and unsure of myself.
My faith in God, the grace of the sacraments through the Church and a loving husband healed my heart. As I grew, I shared what I learned through my writing. Eventually, I had a book published and struggled again with the question of appropriate humility (when your name is on a book and you become a speaker on the Catholic circuit). It was difficult, but I finally found myself at peace with the conflicting ideas of humility and helping others through my story.
Lately, I find myself wrestling with these feelings again for the opposite reason. My work is not going anywhere. I haven't been asked to speak in awhile and I'm not making much progress with publishing my completed work. On top of that, I had surgery and have very limited mobility including limited writing ability. I feel stuck, useless and unimportant.
It is not a good feeling. I am trying to understand God's plan for this state in my life. Struggling with the lack of direction I feel and the feeling of helplessness it creates in me. I'm also jealous of God's apparently obvious plans for friends who are getting book contracts, having grandchildren or other exciting new chapters of their ever evolving lives. I'm just revolving, going through the same door in circles and not gaining any new ground.
It occurs to me, however, that wanting to impact the world and have control of my own destiny is the root of pride and the beginning of dysfunction. After all, isn't it that same thinking that makes a person deny their life (or in my case, state in life) as the correct one? As if our plans could possibly be better than the plans God the creator of that life has for us? In confession, my priest advised that I need not pray more, but I should pray more simply. So, I'm learning to understand that it is okay if I don't matter to the world in any big way right now. God is using me the way He planned. I matter to Him in the way He needs me to matter. "Jesus, I trust in You. Thy will be done."