I want you to hear something today. Not just hear it with your ears, either. I want you to really hear it. In your head but even more importantly in your heart. I want you to breathe it in so you can breathe it out to others around you. Would you listen for just a sec? It’ll only take a moment. You can read further if you want but all I really need you to know is 3 words. The rest is just backing up my thesis. Ready?
You are enough.
Right now. Right where you are. In this moment in time and space. With your current level of understanding. Enough.
Stop for a second and think. You, in your yoga pants and messy bun. You, in your power suit and heels and pearls. You, in your torn jeans and flannel. You, in your kind of always stinky work out gear. You, in your second hand coat. You, with your name brand bag. You, with the piercings. You, with the crooked teeth. You, with the flawless makeup. You, with the house with the leaky roof. You, on your vacation across the world.
Do you ever feel like enough? Like you’ll ever be enough? Or have enough? Or do enough?
Listen again. Please?
You are enough.
Something has been amiss with us since the beginning of time. Something that tells us that power is important. Something that makes us need to be something we’re not. Something pushing and pulling at us to be and do and achieve and out run and be smarter than, or more beautiful than, or more right than. Than what? You fill in the blank.
What are you chasing?
Is it the beauty of youth, the need for control, the yearning to seem better than just one other person? Is it the pride that comes with having better children, better boots, better skin? Is it the power that comes with being more accomplished, having figured things out just a little deeper, knowing that your wisdom runs vast and wide. Is it that your circumstances, though not awesome, are certainly not as bad as THAT persons. Or at least you haven’t done THOSE things. Or heaven forbid, you leave the house looking like THAT.
We went on a mini road trip this past weekend and while we were driving the road took its course and lead us right beside a train. We looked out at the cars and then saw right quickly that the engine was just a little ways ahead. Excitement filled the car and we cheered and yelled out, “Let’s beat the train! Catch it! Go faster! We’re almost winning!”
For a few quick seconds we got in first place. Ahead of the train. We were all smiles and high fives. But we know it can’t last, right? We know that the train always wins. The tracks gain the right of way and miss all the stop lights and are headed on a direct path while we stop and start with the ebb and flow of traffic.
There will always be trains in life. The ones who seem to win. The ones who look better and earn more money and go on better vacations and have whiter teeth. The ones who seem to walk with their head held a bit higher. They’ll always be there, if you’re looking for them. If you’re seeking things to compare yourself too. If you’re looking for things to judge to make yourself seem a little better. Sure, you can try to beat the train and you may be ahead for a little while. You might cheer and fist pump for a few seconds feeling like you’re on top of the game, but I assure you, if your eyes are open to comparing, it will only be a matter of time before the next train comes along and breezes right past you.
So, what are we doing? Why are we looking to those around us to set the standard? What is it that is in us that makes us want to keep up, or do what they’re doing, or look like we’re 23 again?
Hear me again, would you friend? You are enough.
Truly and most emphatically, enough.
We can even spiritualize it all and want more good things, not just bending to the things of popular culture. We can want a ministry that is booming and books published and more hits on our blog posts, for the glory of God, naturally. We can get caught up in trying to serve more, and give more and be generally more. We can try and try and try until we lie in a heap exhausted from the work of it all. The striving. The desire to be and do and succeed and …. and …. and ….
We can work so hard that our identity becomes all the things. I am adoptive mom. I am missionary. I am writer. I am sunday school teacher. I am feeder of the poor. I am social justice champion. I am head of the prayer warriors. I am meal maker. I am encourager. I am bible study leader. I am world changer. I am.
Even when we’re doing good things it doesn’t make us who we ought to be. What it makes us is glory robbers. There is only one who owns the words I AM. The rest of us? We’re children of I AM. Because it’s not what we are but what He is. It’s not all the things we do, but the one thing He has already done.
You are enough.
Would you inhale that today? Would you know that it isn’t all the things you aren’t that are important. It’s not even what you are that is important. Freedom comes so deeply by knowing that our heavenly Father cannot love us any more than he possibly does right now. If He is unchangeable then His love for us doesn’t change. Which means he also can not love us any less than He does right now. His love is perfect. And He is for you, right now.
He won’t love you more when you try harder or do better. His love won’t grow when you finally heed that call to travel across the ocean. He won’t love you in a higher category when you change history or disciple all the people.
You are enough. Right now. While you’re still in last nights pajamas at almost noon, and the kids are going berserk, and you snapped at them again. When your marriage feels rocky and your faith unstable and you want to hear His still small voice but you just can’t. No amount of makeup, or clothing, or home decor, or exercise, or botox, or the perfect lawn, or the biggest jump in your career can make you feel right. It will never be enough unless you know that you are enough because He is enough.
Breathe it in. And then go breathe it into the soul of someone else. Tell them that they are enough and watch the look in their eyes when you do.