Wednesday, March 5, 2014
You Are Not Enough
I desperately want to buy the lie. I want to buy it, with its subtle, minimalist packaging. I want to open it and take a modest bite and chew and feel it dissolve. I want to swallow it and let that fire burn in my belly, reassure me, comfort me, fill me. You are enough, Aleah. In all your highs and all your lows, you are sufficient. You are enough. Just as you are.
I want to buy the lie because it means I get to claim the victories. All the awesome stuff that swirls through my life, products of my hands, I did that, y'all. Boom! Look at me. I grew two humans, human beings, people! I delivered them into this world with my body. That's right! Don't let me stop there. I'm raising those human beings, teaching them Bible verses and classical music. Classical music!!! I have a college degree from a competitive institution and I'm wicked smart. Quiz me. (Don't quiz me...) I read books and clean my home and love my husband and I am a freaking rock star! Victories. They're all mine.
I like this lie, this "you are enough" lie. It means I win. I get it all, gathering up my treasures like found river rocks. I look over my treasure when I notice something out of place. A piece of trash? How did that get in here? Once I notice one, suddenly I start seeing them everywhere. What the heck? The more I uncover, the more I realize... Buying the lie means getting the victories. But it also means getting the failures too. And the failures aren't just *there*, all neutral-like. They... they have consequences. Hurt feelings and unfinished commitments and burned hearts and rushed lives and worried days. I get to keep all my treasures, but I have to claim the trash too.
And when I think about that? When I think about me as the... well, enough? My heart starts to race. I feel a little nauseous. I'm not cut out for this. I feel like I'm selling a house I built with my own hands. I could maybe make it look okay, even good, and you would be like, "Wow, Aleah! You did such a great job!" And then you move in and none of the plumbing works and the ceiling is a giant sieve when it rains and the siding starts to peel away from the outside. It's a lie. And it's so shiny and looks great, but when you put weight on it? When you try to live in it? It all falls apart.
Because I know the hurtful things I've said and thought. I know how my mind can spin for hours on the worry-go-round. I know how I can shut my heart down and go cold. I know how I can turn off my love and be fiercely mean. And maybe you would say, "The good outweighs the bad!" And it's true; I'm not mean and cold all the time, even a majority of the time, even a quarter of the time. So it all looks good because mostly, it is. But like the failing plumbing and the leaky ceiling and the peeling siding, it only takes a few broken places to bring the whole house down. And if the lie is that I'm enough all by myself, boy, this house is going... down...
I'm not enough. But I'm not meant to be. I'm not enough of a wife or a mom or a daughter or a sister or a friend or a Christian. I am not enough of any of these things. I will never complete my husband or dazzle my children or wow my friends or save the lost in the inner city. I can't do any of that because I'm not enough and I never will be. PRAISE GOD. Seriously, can I get an Amen?! I am not enough and that's okay because Jesus is. And my husband? He gets me as his wife, but in every way that I let him down, he gets Jesus. And my children? They get me as their mom and you bet your bottom dollar I do my best for them, but in every way I fail them, in everything I can't, Jesus can. My friends, my family, every person I walk by or drive by or encounter in any way, they don't find enough in me and in every way that I am empty or broken or wrong, Jesus is full and whole and right.
How can I be so sure of this? How can I be so sure that we're all gone so wrong and Jesus is all come so right? It's the whole story of the Scriptures. God sent this giant law, this big, bold, carved-in-stone law and every single person in the history of ever has tripped, stumbled, fallen right over that big stone. We are, all of us, wrong, found wanting. Wanna know the secret? That was the point. The point of the law wasn't, "Jump this high!"; it was "You are not enough". You, in and of yourself, will always come up short. And that's why Jesus. You come up short and it makes you throw yourself to the ground and pound your fists and get pissed off. I can't do this! You're right. You got it. Now... stop your tantrum and look up. Look up. You know now that you can't do, now let me show you who can, who has. God. God has always and will always be enough. And when we buy the lie that we are enough, we miss God. We get all filled in ourselves and we miss how God is ready to fill us beyond our wildest imaginations. And I don't mean that in the "you will be so much greater than you ever imagined" sense, but in the "you seriously can't even imagine what God will do with you" sense.
Those days when I sink into my bed, weary at the very core of my bones and ready to just scrap the whole production, I thank God that I am not Him. I thank God that I don't have to do all this in my own strength. I thank God that He makes so clear to me my insufficiency. And not so I can lie around and beat myself up. But so I can turn my eyes to the Truth and draw from the unending well. It is enough for me.
Related: The Standard