I grew up thinking I wasn’t enough. Holding the consolation prize of my circumstances, wearing the banner around my waist declaring in big, bold letters, “IF ONLY.”
If only you were raised by two parents who loved each other instead of one who needs to be parented just as much as you do. Then maybe you would be, well, better.
If only you didn’t live on the back side of poverty, you wouldn’t have to feel guilty about all the things you can’t remember learning in school. Then maybe you wouldn’t feel so small in dinner table discussions with your children.
If only you had someone to help you through school, you would’ve felt less like an elderly teenager. Less awkward about being playful as an adult.
But Jesus doesn’t utter the words, “If only.” He says, “You’re enough.”
He says you’re enough at the invitation to lead women when you thought you were hiding behind your husband. When you think his eloquence and delivery are all that is needed Jesus gently says, “Yes, but now you have words to deliver too.”
He says you’re enough when he gives you two children, their seeds the very handprint of God. When you question like Moses, “What, me a mother,” God insists that He trusts you. “Yes, I’ve given you what you need for this job.”
He says you’re enough through your best friend, in the middle of the day random conversation. When she says she wants to pour cold water over your head to help you see yourself the way others do. “Can you think of a man you trust or respect more than your husband, and he actually chose you,” she says simply and with wisdom. Her words like an old room with a new view.
Her words wake me up. I sit confounded on the unmade bed. Pull off the worn and frayed, holey sash and discard my smudged consolation prize. I thought I’d stepped up, accepted my planned destination of honorable mention while Jesus was standing there holding first prize. Patiently waiting until this moment when joy and revelation collide.
Somehow I knew it and believed it for you. And then forgot it’s meant for me too: Christ is all that matters and he lives in all of us. (Colossians 3:11)
Once we struggled to find our significance and our happiness and our security in what we were in relation to other people—we’re Jews, we’re Greeks, we’re circumcised, we’re free, we’re American, we’re rich, we’re smart, we’re strong, we’re pretty, we’re witty, we’re cool. But then we sloughed off that old self. We put on the new self. And the core essence of the new self is that CHRIST IS ALL. “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives” (Galatians 2:20). ~John Piper
I stepped on the plane and swallowed myself, bringing home souvenirs of Christ. Opened my suitcase and passed out significance, satisfaction, and fulfillment to my family while sitting on the couch. They were certain I’d carried those treasures all along. I found them hidden in the the pockets of my presumption.
We’re all cracked and broken in need of being made new. In community, we rub off rough edges; the lies we wear like a banner. And we love each other into seeing truth.
You and I, we’re never the consolation prize tethered or stuck by our “If onlys”. And dreams, they unfold slowly, like petals of revelation grasped on this precipice.
In community, we rise and take our place, shed the weight of skewed imagination. And remember He says, “You’re enough.”