Enoughness – Lily Recicar
If you know me, you know I’m not really one for writing. I told my mom about this blog and she said, “Wow! You? A blog?”
Haha, yes mom, me and a blog, new friends.
Anyway, besides the fact that I’m going to need a little extra grace in the writing department, I really pray you will be able to see a little of what our amazing God has been showing me. I’ve been missing one of His most amazing gifts to his children: the gift of Enoughness.
We’ve all heard it, “Believe in yourself,” “You are strong,” or “You are enough.” You get the picture. I don’t like cliché things. Never have. I like to balance what I call “acceptable individualism,” meaning not too crazy but cool enough that I’m a little different. I would initially reject the sayings above for being too cliché and basic. These inspirational quotes never seem to pull through either. And while I doubt them, I often really live my life striving to meet these standards. In the back of my head, I’m like, “You’re right, I got it. I can do this.”
So story time:
A few months ago, I really started thinking about this idea of being enough. I was at a store and a hot pink book caught my eye. I like pink. It’s pretty. The title on the front said in big letters, “You’re not enough, and that’s okay.” I was kinda offended but I was also like, “Is it really okay?”
Our culture tells us the exact opposite. “Everything’s not okay? That’s alright, because YOU ARE ENOUGH. You don’t need friends, you’re enough. Relationship didn’t work out? Brush yourself off, you’re enough. You are strong enough. You can do it. You can reach your dreams. You are enough.”
It didn’t take me long to figure out that sometimes, I really actually could not do it. Sometimes, I am not strong enough. Sometimes, my dreams are completely unreachable. And honestly, many times, I don’t feel like enough at all.
I’m sure you can relate. Ever felt like you’re not…
The list goes on and it becomes this pressure boiling up in our souls. We try to hide our “not-enoughness.” We strive to prove to others, and honestly to ourselves, that we are enough. This pressure to prove and do it ALL by ourselves clouds up our lives and we search to find even a little satisfaction in ourselves.
I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about self-confidence or self-esteem. I’m talking about the idea of self-worth. Self-worth is what God gives us. He made us in His image (Gen 1:27). He thought of your name and said, “I want to create them. I want them to be alive.” It’s crazy to think that He knows us (Psalm 139). He thinks about us (Psalm 40:5). He gives us worth. He’s proven his love for us and gives us purpose.
So I bought that pink book, which is also kinda funny because I’m really not much of a reader. I only got a few chapters in before I just got too excited, jumped to another book on essentially the same topic, and then jumped to talking to God about all this. I looked at His word to read about His promises. In this process, I began to see this gracious gift of Enoughness that he gives us.
I think everyone feels the pressure to prove themselves and make others proud. I can see this really clearly looking back at my first year of college. I came into college undecided. Well technically, I was an undecided engineering major but man, was I UNDECIDED. I can handle myself in math, so I was like, “Well shoot, I guess this is it. But is it?”
The poor advisors were so sweet. They asked me what I enjoyed doing and how I liked to spend my time. They had me take all these tests that were supposed to show me that perfect major or shine a spotlight on the right career for me.
Want to know what one of the top jobs for me was?
A mortician…yep. Very hard pass.
I laughed so that I wouldn’t cry. I felt like screaming at the first-year advisors, “I know what I like and I know how I like to spend my time but this has to be perfect! I need to love it! It has to make everyone proud. I have to be PERFECT. I have to prove I’m ENOUGH.”
But in reality,
I am not enough.
You are not enough.
I’m still learning what this looks like. A few months ago, I was journaling, which I usually only do when I’m STRESSED, and I really tell that journal how it is. That day, I wrote something along the lines of, “Ahhhh Jesus, it’s me again. I hate that I always get so overwhelmed and I have to come let it all out. Why can’t I just do it?”
I stopped and looked at what I had written and realized:
Why do I expect to be enough?
Why do I expect to be strong enough?
Why do I expect to just go to church on Sunday and then be set for a great, productive week?
Why do I expect to just spend time with God in the morning and then be good all day?
God is our refuge and strength, Our very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). We need Him. I had become so prideful that I was frustrated to come before Him over and over, begging for strength and guidance. I really try to do it all. Do you?
Are we trying to cover up our hearts’ ache for heaven?
Are we trying to fill our insecurities with empty things?
Are we seeking love in places that will never satisfy?
We’re missing the strength and satisfaction available to us because we’re so set on proving ourselves. If we’re honest, the pressure, the anxiety to make all the “right choices”, the task of showing others that we can do it, is getting really really heavy.
Just stop for a second, and consider that you don’t have to be enough and that it’s really OKAY. We weren’t made to be enough. I don’t know about you, but that feels amazing.
Want to pray something scary?
What if we asked Him to use us in something we felt absolutely unqualified for? What if we stopped assuming God would only use us once we proved we could handle it—as long as we were good enough? What if we stopped trying to do things for God but instead asked Him to let us do things with Him? What if we asked Him to take our terrified “yeses” and be strong enough for us?
What if he wants you to lead others even though you feel unworthy?
What if he wants you to do something that requires more love than you have?
I want to learn to say, “Yes, Jesus. You’re the one who is really doing it.”
I’ve used the example of me trying to pick a major to emphasize my point. Maybe you knew what you wanted to study, but there are some areas in your life you’re trying to be enough. If you failed in those things, would you feel like a complete failure? Would it affect your worth?
It may be something little. To be honest, when I was first asked to write this blog, I literally thought, “I’m going to write the best blog. I’m going to surprise my mom. Everyone will love it.”
And then I realized, I really don’t want to do it like this. This would lead to hours spent editing and even more hours wondering if anyone found it encouraging, or if they thought it was dumb. And I would miss Jesus in it.
So actually turns out I’m quite the typer, but we need to talk about the BIGGEST reason we simply cannot be enough and how it’s absolutely beautiful that we are not.
For a while, I lived like I had to be enough for Jesus. That I had to prove I was loveable. That I was good enough to be worthy of his forgiveness.
I often run to Ephesians 2:8-9, which says,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV)
We cannot do it and thank the Lord it’s not on us. We don’t even have to prove that we’re good enough for it.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” Ephesians 2:4 (ESV)
His gift of Enoughness is free. You can let Him fill the biggest void in your hearts, to truly be accepted, to be forgiven.
We can struggle through our days listening to the pressure and begging the world to validate us saying, “Look at me! Look what I’m doing! Aren’t you proud? Am I enough? Please tell me I’m worthy.”
Or we can look to Jesus, who’s saying, “I am enough for you. Let me be your strength. When you fail, I still love you. Let me give you purpose. Let me use you to do what only I can do.”
Let’s focus on what really matters. Let’s do life with Jesus.
*“you’re not enough (and that’s okay)” by Allie Beth Stuckey