What It Truly Means To Be Enough
A loud, boisterous laugh broke from a woman sitting in the back room after the speaker stated: “and I also homeschool my kids.” The laughter went on for a few seconds and died down quickly. The laughter was curious to a few but rang true for many. The lovely, pristine woman standing up front had finished a 5-minute speech about all the things she had going on in her life: Owned a small business, public speaker, worked on their family farm, the list went on and on, and finally ended with her homeschooling her children. The laughter hit a cord in my heart that day and left a hollow echo. This beautiful, perfect looking woman stood before a group of women and told them she was the example of what a reclaimed life “looked” like. The woman sitting in the audience may have laughed out of disbelief but perhaps even out of shame. Sometimes there is no other appropriate response when we are faced with not being “enough” next to someone who apparently is.
The ironic thing about the statement “You are enough” that floats around on t-shirts and coffee mugs is that it is stating that we are NOT enough. We know can’t do it all, even though we try and even though the world expects us to, we simply cannot. The sad thing, however, is that in our trying to “do all things and be all things” we ended up losing so much of the beauty in our imperfections. Our limitations can only do one thing, highlight our strengths. Our flaws should make us laugh and force us to not take ourselves too seriously all the while celebrating our strengths and gifts. Our limits are built in; we know it, and there is nothing we can do about it. So how we say that we are not enough and yet say that we are?
First, enough-ness comes from outside ourselves. If we who are so limited, say that we are not, it must originate from another source. I believe that source to be God, especially in the God-man, Jesus Christ. You are enough in Christ.
Second, enough-ness comes from accepting our limitations and giving ourselves grace. When we can take a realistic look at our lives and say, “I know that I can’t do it all; that I have limitations and make mistakes; BUT I also know that I am worthy of love because I am a child of God and He has made me enough.” We are enough when that message is deeply rooted in our soul. However, the message of “not-enough” comes from a world view that you should be a certain way. These are lies and should be laughable! When you are a child of God, you have nothing to prove.
Third, enough-ness comes from being connected to like-minded people. God specifically created community to compliment and complete each other. Where some are weak, others may be strong. Where we find ourselves falling short, others are there to pick us up and help us keep going. Our lives are not lived in a vacuum and bubbles can only exist for so long before the veneer of perfection starts to crack. We find that we are enough when we can lock arms with supportive, loving, and imperfect people.
Approved in Christ
I spoke with the laughing woman after the event and asked what made her laugh. She stated that it all seemed too much and felt like BS. I agreed in my head and nodded quietly, letting her talk. I walked away feeling both affirmed in my suspicions and saddened for the speaker of the event. I wondered if anyone has told her “You don’t have to do it all. You can let the world see your limitations (because we all know they exist) and admit that you are trying just as hard as the rest of us. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You are approved in Christ. End of story.” Perhaps if the speaker believed that message, laughter would have been tears that day, and we all could have walked away feeling enough.