To my friends, readers and subscribers. I have been a little “stuck” lately in my writing and so, in trying to get “unstuck” I have joined WordPress.com’s Writing 101. As a result, I may be posting more than usual over the next month. My apologies for clogging up the inboxes of my subscribers. I debated not posting this one, but so many of you are my friends and while I write primarily to understand, I also write to be understood. So those of you who are my friends and family: Welcome to 20 minutes (or a bit longer) of my free-wheeling inner dialogue and thanks for being my friend anyway.
So after hours of agonizing over this “free” write assignment, here I am. Writing. How “free” it is, I’m not sure. The only way I can even do this assignment is to tell myself or at least pretend that I’m not going to publish it. Because the moment I think someone is going to read it, all freedom goes out the window. Which I hate. Because, honestly, I like to think of myself as someone who is rather free-spirited and not burdened by what others think. The reality, however, is that I do care what others think.
I am not enough. I will never be enough. I am inadequate. Completely, desperately inadequate.
I sit at the counter and feel the weight of those words pressing down on me, pressing me into the counter top. I am unable to push back.
Why do these thoughts oppress me when they are true? The truth sets me free. But this…this is hopelessness and shackles and life draining from my limbs and air leaving my lungs. Somewhere deep in my thoughts, this truth harbors a lie. What is it? What am I thinking?
I search my mind. God, help me search my mind. I think about how I think about me.
I AM not enough. I am NOT enough. I am not ENOUGH. I never will be. I never was. I learned that long ago. I remember crying out to God to rescue me…to fix me. I knew there was something wrong with me. As a child, a teen…I did not wonder…I did not ask. I knew. I was deficient, defective, Less Than…
Less than what? Less than what I should have been. What I could have been. I failed. I am a failure. Should have been what? Could have been what? Enough. I should have been enough. I should have been adequate. I should have been complete. Strong.
But I know…deep within me…in the cold, dark place…I know, I couldn’t have been enough. Because I am broken and I am a sinner.
Oh, but I should have been! I should have been enough. I should have been Good. Strong. Complete. Independent.
That last word almost slips by. Out of the corner of my eye I see it…drifting off into the distance…trying to sneak away…but I caught it. My mind draws that word back and lays it out before me. Because that’s a word that doesn’t belong. Independent. That word doesn’t live in the space I share with Jesus. That word has no place here.
But I feel it: my desire to be independent; to be good; my anger at having failed. I hate that I need help…that I need to be rescued. And I begin to untangle the lies from the truth.
I am not enough.
Finish that sentence, Nichole.
I am not enough…on my own. Truth.
I never could have been enough. Truth.
I never could have been enough…because I am defective. Lie.
How is that a lie? My sin, my brokenness, my failures and misdeeds clamor and clang down the streets of my life like a Mardi Gras parade…refusing to be ignored. I should have gotten it right. But I am a failure. I am defective…a disappointment…weak…
You never could have been enough because you were never meant to be enough…on your own.
I feel the freedom. The pressure easing off my back, my chest. I breathe.
I need God, not because I am defective, but because I was never meant to live without him. I was made to need Him. We were made to need Him. And yet we come into this world thrashing and gasping for air…desperate to survive. Selfish…to keep the breath for which we struggle, to hold this life..to own it…to be something…on our own.
On my own, I am not good – not because I failed – but because I could never be good apart from God. I was not created to be on my own. On my own, I am nothing…maybe something worse than nothing.
I am not a failure. I just am. Truth.
I am needy. Truth.
I am weak. Truth.
I am broken. Truth.
And that is exactly what He wants me to be. Truth.
On my own – like independent – those are words that have no place between Jesus and me. His Spirit and mine. We are one. I will never be on my own. I cannot be on my own.
I am His. Truth.
Everything He gives me, which is all of Him, is endless. I don’t need enough – I have everything. I have more than everything.
I am complete. Truth.
I breathe in this truth. I am light and hope finds its wings. The truth sets me free.
I am free. Truth.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11