It is unbelievably easy in our world to feel like we're not enough, like we can never do enough, achieve enough, or be enough on our own. But striving to achieve more, climb up the corporate ladder, volunteer more, donate more, host more, give more, or do more isn't going to make us more satisfied in the end. These things cannot make us better people. Striving for them will leave us feeling defeated and empty. We need to dig deeper to find our satisfaction.
In the midst of a world full of voices telling you that you are not enough, I am here to remind you (and remind myself at the same time) that you are enough-- just the way you are. You don't have to pretend you have it all together, that you're the perfect employee, parent, spouse, sibling, roommate, child, student, cook, housekeeper, writer, athlete, spokesperson, or leader.
Our culture pressures us to pursue all of these things simultaneously --somehow magically finding the ability to climb the corporate ladder while being the ultra-supportive spouse, PTO mom, baking perfect treats for the kids' bake sales, keeping the house and white picket fence in pristine condition, maintaining a slim figure without being too concerned with restrictive diets or detracting from time spent with the family. But we need to realize these expectations are deeply flawed.
We were all created unique. Each of us has special talents and characteristics that make us different from those around us, and that is a beautiful thing. We have unique things to offer and contribute. Having a different point of view allows for more ideas to be generated, greater creativity to be fostered, collaboration that creates even greater products, and healthy competition that pushes individuals to new heights.
When we embrace the reality that these expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy, we become more accepting of flaws. As we celebrate our differences and acknowledge that we all have different strengths, we ultimately see that we have our own weaknesses as well, and that's okay. By sharing in our strengths and weaknesses, we can create space for authenticity when we're not afraid to admit our struggles and inadequacy. We cannot singlehandedly be everything our world needs. We have a significant part to play, but let's not stress ourselves out by trying to do our part perfectly or trying to play others' parts on top of our own.
As I myself struggle with insecurity, I'm reminded that an aspect of finding rest this year will be found in my pursuit of fully understanding and embracing my identity in Christ. Because He created me as His masterpiece, His work of art, I can know that I am beautiful and wonderful in His sight, no matter what lies our culture tries to feed be about who I should be and what I should be doing. God has a unique place for me in His plan and in the world, and remembering that every day is key to feeling purposeful, joyful, secure, and complete.
Have you thought about that? What does it mean to be God's masterpiece? It means He is proud of the work He has done in creating us. He is eager to point to us and say, "I made that!" He enjoys sitting back and admiring His wonderful handiwork.
“Perfection isn’t the point, kiddo. You’re perfect because I’m perfect, because I gave you my perfection and took every bit of your mess. Oh, one more thing… you’re loved more than you could ever imagine — exactly as you are.” - Allison Vesterfelt
Frankly, on our own, we never will feel like enough.Inevitably, when we master one thing, we find another in which we feel deficient. But, if we let them, these perceived shortcomings can actually fuel our growth instead of feeding our insecurity. When we see our weaknesses as an integral part of the journey of growing into who we're uniquely created to be, instead of the miserable result of comparing our inner struggles with others' outer successes, we will have a healthier perspective on life.
Acknowledging our need for improvement, and the fact that we can't do it on our own but need to rely upon our Creator to continue molding us into who we're meant to be, allows us to rely on His strength to see genuine transformation from the inside out. By God's strength and grace, we are being renewed every day, undergoing marvelous transformation at the hands of our Creator, becoming more like Him and more like who we want to be. And that is enough.