If I had a self-help book for every time I didn’t feel I was enough, I’d have a library of self-help books.
Wait, I do.
I buy the books (and occasionally even read them) to convince myself that I am enough. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of actualizing self; it’s just that sometimes my ‘self’ is a bullshit artist. I know this because she constantly tells me that I’m not now – nor will I ever be – enough.
Not pretty enough.
Not healthy enough.
Not thin enough.
Not pious and thoughtful enough.
Just not good enough. And although the arguments in favor of all of these things being true are pretty concrete, it isn’t what my Creator says about me.
When you become a Christ-follower and “walk with him,” it doesn’t mean that the people-pleasing, self-flagellating, hurting person inside of you pipes down all the days of your life. I am a new creation in Christ, but the devil is still a liar and I’m still working through some pains.
I continually have to give up my frustrations, but sometimes they roll downhill at a pretty high clip and make me feel bulldozed. God knows I am not trying to minimize his awesome power, but I’m just being honest about how I feel (which all the self-help books say is important, and also my recovery experience has taught me.) Denial ain’t just a river, but it can drown you all the same.
I am so blessed, yes. I long for the day that I can blithely respond to people who ask me “How are you?” that I am “too blessed to be stressed” or “blessed and highly favored!” But then again nevermind. Christians who spout off things like that when it is clear they are hurting have always secretly made me want to throw up. On them.
Because, you see, sometimes I still struggle with feeling enough.
My inner critic is a heartless wench, a dominatrix, really. She combines lording my inadequacies over me with equal parts humiliation.
“Roll up your sleeves, and do! You must do more to be more. …
Well, you really fell short there.
You did it again. Get it together, already!”
She cracks that whip with enough force to split me in two, and she has.
I really just want to know that I am enough already.
I don’t have to prove my worth or disprove my frailties.
That people will run their mouths about things they know nothing about, and that’s okay. I’ve run my mouth plenty. It’s what people do. (What is that old AA adage? “What you think of me is none of my business.”)
That having spent a lifetime on one pursuit and have the season end, doesn’t mean that I’m spent altogether.
That I cannot control my own flesh and it’s propensities, but I can rest in that flesh instead of fight against it. That bodies wear down against our wills. Somehow I’d like to learn how to keep my will from breaking down with it.
God knows that it’s hard to roll up your sleeve when you wear your heart on it!
And therein lies the answer, I think.
I know in the deepest pools of my spirit that what God believes about me is absolute truth, that everything else is either bullshit or outright lies. Everything else is having my spirit ‘taken behind the woodshed’ and beaten to a bloody pulp. People will try to take you back there, you know…behind the proverbial woodshed. Don’t follow them – or your inner critic – there.
God says I am already enough. He said, “It is finished.” That’s a really good thing, because I’m tired, Lord.
“It is finished already.” That’s what Abba tells my soul. “Stop making idols of people whose opinions of you don’t matter.”
(Why do I DO that? When will I learn? What’s my DEAL? See? Self-flagellation engage.)
Today, I am asking God to do what I cannot seem to do for myself (for the millionth time) – remind me that I am enough, more than a conqueror, in flighty emotions and failing flesh.
I’m praying he will convince me of it – not in some flashy way – but with an installation in my spirit too deep for my inner critic to deny. Because knowing that I am enough will never truly come from any other source – not an entire library of books, not from the opinions of others – only from God.
ONLY from God.
But his is the only opinion that matters. He has no use at all for pious. He needs present. He doesn’t care about ‘thin,’ he just wants to know I’m IN.
It is finished, it is finished, it is finished.
So, pipe down inner-critic, and naysayers, devil and other purveyors of bullshit.
I am enough already.
(And reader, so are you.)