I haven't blogged here lately. If you've read any of my other writing or even just FB posts, you know I'm going through a season of major transformation. I didn't choose a word for 2016 like I have in years past, but if I did, it would be this:
All my life, I've struggled with feeling like I was never enough - good enough, smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, faithful enough. Into adulthood, every other sermon or viral post or book about marriage or parenting felt like a reminder that I wasn't wife enough or mom enough. If anything bad happened, even when it wasn't my fault, I blamed my own scarcity. Of course ______ horrible thing happened, and it's obvious why: I'm not enough.
Then as I began therapy last fall, I started to wade through some hard emotions and felt flooded by it all. I wanted to hide away from the world. I wasn't sure if my friends were friend enough to handle what I was dealing with. (Plus after having lost two of my closest friends in the past two years - one who couldn't handle the new realities after our last adoption and one who lost her life too early to depression, both losses whispering the lie that I wasn't enough as a friend - I felt legitimized in doubting the strength of any other relationship.)
And? If I'm honest, I found myself doubting that God was God enough for it all.
I know that's a pretty risky statement from a ministry leader and Christian writer and speaker, but I'm not going to pretend. I know my God can handle my being real (and, of course, he already knows precisely how I've been feeling), and I hope you can too. (If your first reaction is to try arguing with me because you're uncomfortable with my doubting, please sit with that feeling instead of leaving a comment. I think there's more value in dwelling in discomfort with someone else than in trying to fix them.) I'm beginning to believe that we need more vulnerability and less confidence in self from faith leaders, so I'm willing to risk putting my weakness out there instead of trying to project a perfect speaker/writer/minister image.
My gut instinct was (is) to try to be enough on my own to handle everything, all while feeling like I can never measure up to being enough. Yep, that's exactly as emotionally exhausting as it sounds.
I'm learning, though, to believe...
My friends are enough for me to share my true self and still receive love in return. (And? Community matters enough to keep seeking it, even when mistrust and self-reliance feel more comfortable to me.)
God is more than enough, for anything and everything I need. The full sufficiency of the gospel and his love for me is enough that all of my labors to earn what he has already freely given are completely unnecessary.
I think this act of learning to reject the mentality of scarcity - scarcity of self, scarcity of genuine community, scarcity in my estimation of who God is - will be a life-long lesson, so I wanted an ever-present reminder. If I'm underestimating the healing that is to come, then maybe someday when/if this is no longer a struggle, this symbol might one day instead be a stone of remembrance. I considered having the word enough inscribed on one of my new bracelets, which bear the Chinese symbol for love, a Luganda phrase which means I love you very much, and a few symbols with deep meaning for me. But a bracelet I could take on and off didn't seem like the right fit. No, I wanted to brand this reminder on my skin.
I am enough.
You are enough.
God is more than enough.