I recently visited with a friend I had not seen in 39 years.
As we excitedly made plans to visit, I began to wrestle with old insecurities. Since adolescence, I have struggled with the not enoughs: not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough and a dozen other not ___ enoughs.
While the Lord has been slowly and steadily peeling back the layers of my tainted perceptions, revealing Truth and breaking strongholds, it is an area where I still struggle and where I’m susceptible to relapse.
And relapse I did. In the days leading up to our visit, the fear of not-enough seeped in and consumed me.
I met Pam in 1981 on the first night of emergency medical technical (EMT) school. To say I was intimidated by her would be an understatement. She was beautiful. She exuded confidence. She was fashionable. She had “it.” And she had “it” all together. In contrast, I was a flailing 20-year old struggling to achieve “enough.”
When Pam asked me to be her study partner, I was thrilled! As we spent time together, we became fast friends. I clung to her words and watched her carefully. To a sheltered kid who grew up on military bases, I was in awe of every aspect of her life. She had met her Major League Baseball player husband when she was a flight attendant; she left her career to raise her two beautiful daughters. Since she chosen me as her partner, I thought maybe...just maybe… she considered me enough.
As the miles passed and I got closer to the beach house, excitement trumped my fear. Pam met me in the driveway and we hugged big, long and hard. Tears pooled in my eyes. My apprehension of being not-enough evaporated; I felt her love all over again.
Conversation flowed easily. Several hours had passed when I felt prompted to share my heart.
“Pam, I don’t think you have any idea just how much of an impact you made in my life. I was in awe of you. I wanted to be like you. I couldn’t believe you chose me to be your partner! You made me feel so very special. You loved me and encouraged me. I am so very grateful for your influence. I have always treasured your friendship.”
Her mouth gaped. “Sharon, you are special! From the moment I saw you, I was drawn to you. You were so friendly, cute, and had it all together. I was honored you were willing to study with me.”
My mouth gaped. My thoughts spun. I couldn’t process her words.
Hours later our visit concluded; we hugged again and pledged to get together soon. On the drive home, I attempted to make sense of my overwhelming thoughts. I gave up and, instead, chose to bask in the afterglow of a delightful day. My heart was full and refreshed.
The next morning, as I journaled the details of my day with Pam, my thoughts ventured to my struggle with the not enoughs. Pam’s beautiful face came to mind.
I sensed the Lord speak to my heart. “Sharon, what does the face of not enough look like?”
I stopped writing and pondered the question.
Not enough doesn’t have a face; it’s a measurement of perfection. A fluid measurement that has always been just beyond my reach and ability to attain.
I struggle because I measure myself using a flawed standard. I have been listening to the whispers of a weighted lie from the pit of hell.
God is the One True Standard. He created me to be perfectly me. He chose me and called me by name. As His redeemed daughter, I am worthy.
I am enough.
But now, this is what the Lord says, He who is your Creator, Jacob, And He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
-Isaiah 43: 1-2