The word "enough" was basically what drove a lot of my actions for much of high school. Not because I was enough, but because I wasn't. Or so I thought.
I was bullied in grade school and I felt like I had a rough time fitting in freshman year. So, when I moved to a new school and a new town sophomore year, bam, perfect chance to reinvent myself, am I right?!
I had this longing to be liked. That's not a bad thing, wanting to be liked! However, it can become dangerous when it's what controls us.
I hate the word "enough".
If I could go back in time and say anything to my pre-high school self, this is what I would say: You are already enough.
I spent SO. MUCH. TIME. trying to be enough for myself, for everyone around me, and for God.
I thought that if I could get guys to like me, then I would be enough. I thought that if I could get invited to every party and get accepted into every friend group, then I would be enough. I thought that if I could get good grades and be recognized for my achievements, then I would be enough. I thought that if I was enough for the people around me, then I would be enough for myself.
And who cares what it took to be enough for my peers? At least that's what I thought. As long as I was happy, as long as I was being filled...and then after that I'll clean myself up and make myself enough for God. But the thing is, I wasn't happy or being filled.
What I was was depressed. I was gossiping, because that's what's cool, right? To talk about this person with that person and then that person with this person. I had to be so many things to so many different people, because not everyone likes the same thing. I wore so many masks. I wasn't looking at people as made in the Image and Likeness of God, I was looking at them and asking the question: "How can I use you to fill me? How can you fix me?"
I became depressed because I was so focused on myself.
I knew that I was a mess because I felt like a mess. So, naturally, I kept doing the same things. On the outside, I looked like the perfect little Catholic girl. But on the inside? I didn't want God to see me. I felt like I wasn't enough for anyone in my life, let alone myself, so how could I possibly be enough for the Creator of the universe?
My prayers went something like this: "God, hey, please fix this, this, and this, but then look away because I don't want you to see any of this. 'Kay bye." I felt like once I got my act together, then God could be a part of my life. But until then, I was only good with Him seeing my church self and that was about it.
Towards the end of the year, I became so angry. All of my life, I had heard about God's love and how He is supposed to always be there and I cried out to Him. Maybe you've said something similar:
GOD WHERE ARE YOU? WHY CAN'T I FEEL YOU? DO YOU EVEN LISTEN? DO YOU EVEN CARE?
Everything inside of me felt so broken. I had what I had wanted-- guys liking me, lots of friends, great grades-- and I was even emptier than when I started.
Then, one day, I heard this song..."How He Loves", the Jesus Culture version. In the song, Kim Walker-Smith talks about having a love encounter with God...she says that when we have this love encounter with Him, it changes us, and we are never the same.
I realized that I wasn't feeling God because I had filled my heart with lies. I wasn't seeing Him work in my life because I had pushed Him out of my heart and my life, and in exchange, I claimed so much hurt that came from lies, use, gossip, insincerity...
I remember, in that moment, saying: "Jesus, I am so weak, and I need you." And immediately, I felt His presence.
I didn't become perfect the next day and I'm not perfect now. But Jesus Christ is so faithful! By His grace, each day, I grow closer and closer to Him.
Y'all, we are not enough on our own. When we fill ourselves with things other than Christ...we will never be enough. When we judge ourselves against standards posed by pictures on Instagram and Cosmo articles, we will never be enough.
Jesus Christ died to make us enough. He died so that you would be enough. Why should we fill ourselves with hurt and lies when we can cling to One who made the stars? He longs to heal your heart.
He is desperately, madly in love with you.
I have made many mistakes. I have mistreated myself and others. God knows that-- He sees it all, He knows it all. Despite this...He still loves me.
Friends, nothing you do can increase or decrease your infinite value in Jesus. You are priceless, you are worthy of love. Don't wait to fix yourself, to fix your mess before letting Jesus in. Spoiler alert, you can't fix it. Christ already fixed things when He died on that cross. You don't have to hide from Him...bring Him your brokenness.
When you feel ashamed, bring it to the cross. When you hate yourself, bring it to the cross. When you want to give up, bring it to the cross. Shatter these things against the cross, because the cross makes us enough. How absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful.
Praying for you always.
"And I don't have the time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that He loves us..."