I am going to be brutally honest with my blog today (to myself and to you). It’s not easy flaying open a hidden part of me, but I feel very led. Maybe what I say will help someone else. The truth isn’t always easy on the truth teller.
I am not enough. This is my lie. As an author, I’ve studied different ways to develop my fictional characters. One of the somewhat common techniques is to discover your character’s lie and elaborate on problems that has caused in their life as an adult today (in the fictional today world). I didn’t know about this psychological theory before I was a writer. And since it has been brought to my attention, I’ve wondered what my own real-life lie is.
It wasn’t until my recent mission trip that it dawned on me how I’d strived my whole life to prove myself worthy. Worthy of people’s love. Worthy of praise. Worthy of respect. Worthy of everything good. And I’m not enough. I can’t possibly live up to others’ expectations, nor can I live up to my own because I’ve set them so insanely high. While in the Philippines, able to focus on my personal spiritual walk while I served others, God revealed some truths to me.
I am not enough. Not alone, I’m not. But because God made me, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” and gave me the characteristics I (specifically, I) need, I am enough. Alone, not enough. With Him, enough.
There’s a huge difference there. I am God’s child, created to a purpose, created with purpose, created for a purpose. I am beautiful. Competent, capable, compassionate. And I am enough. Through Him, I am enough. In His eyes, I am enough.
God has needed to remind me of this a lot throughout my life, but I don’t think I was fully ready to listen, and to accept this, until I went on my mission trip. I had no way of knowing how the trip would change me. But, man, am I thankful for it.
Last night, as I drove to church, Lauren Daigle’s new song, “You Say,” came on the radio. I have no doubt it was God’s timing for that song to play exactly when it did. Since our son’s autism diagnosis in late May, I have struggled. I have five children with different needs, three of which need (most days) more intensive parenting techniques than the other two. How can I possibly be everything they need, in every moment, in five different ways? I have a husband who is struggling with work and school and farm responsibilities. How can I possibly be everything he needs, in every moment, in all the ways he needs me. I have a budding writing career that is a beautiful, wonderful dream come true, but it requires a piece of my mind that can’t function when stressed, daily marketing, constant thinking of ways to continue and climb. How can I possibly be everything it needs, in every moment, in all the ways I’m expected to be? I have a little bitty church family that is struggling to keep its head above water as the devil fights us with sickness, losing half a dozen members or family members of members over the last two years to death. How can I possibly be everything they need, in every moment, in all the ways they need me?
I am not enough.
As I listened to Lauren’s glorious voice expressing the fact that she, a mega superstar whom I just love so much, struggles with this feeling of not being enough, I was broken. Tears curled out of the corners of my eyes and dripped down my cheeks. I raised my free hand to the ceiling and listened to the words, wishing I could close my eyes and worship fully. But I just couldn’t wait to get to church. As hard as going is sometimes, I wanted to be there. (Our son doesn’t handle church very well these days and my husband was working). God reminded me of something incredibly important: In His eyes, I am enough. I am doing what He wants me to do right now. And though it may not seem like much to those outside looking in, I am exactly where He needs me. No Nobel Peace Prizes, no Presidential campaigns, no more mission trips (for now), no eyes-of-the-public-on-me, major successes. But I am enough. I am teaching our children about Him, and looking forward to doing a new Bible study this homeschool year. I am writing about Him in my novels and praying they point someone to a better or new relationship with Him. I am praying for my husband’s peace of mind, God’s direction in his life, and for his dreams to come true. I am not giving up on our little but amazing church.
I can’t be everything for everyone else. I simply can’t. There’s no human way to do it. But God can be everything for everyone, in every moment, in every way they need him. I don’t have to do it all to be a success in His eyes.
I am enough. I may need to repeat it a thousand times a day, but God knows my heart. And I am enough.