When do we become "enough"?
Pretty enough, thin enough, good enough, etc? I have struggled with this in some capacity my whole life. Sometimes this struggle has hit me pretty severely. At one point, the anxiety related to this crippled me so badly that I sought counseling at the urging of my wonderful husband because it was affecting our brand new marriage. I couldn’t go out in public with my handsome husband because I was constantly comparing myself to those women around us who had the gall to eyeball him in front of me. And of course, I wasn’t enough.
All growing up, I always heard that whatever I had earned, made, won, (insert word of your choice here) wasn’t enough. I could do better! I was an honors student all the way through school, top ¼ of my class all the way through college. But you know what? It wasn’t enough. My “A” could have been an “A+”. Simply being good at whatever my chosen sport was wasn’t enough. If I played, I had to play to win. Games weren’t just for fun; they were tough competition (see play to win comment). I remember being told that no matter how good I was at something, there was always someone around the bend waiting to take me down, who was better thanme. And then, when I finally left home and married and got out to where I could find myself as an adult, I married a controlling man who told me I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t thin enough, pretty enough, blonde enough (I could quote quite a few hurtful and abusive things that had been said to me over the thirteen years of that marriage) and as a result, the permanence of my insecurity was born.
As a Christian woman, I know that our value is not found through the eyes of others, but through the eyes of God. He created us, we are enough for Him. My Christian mind knows this; my worldly mind doesn’t. Our pastor delivered a great sermon this past Sunday on this very topic, using the Song of Solomon as his background. While we’ve been taught that particular book teaches us how a marriage should be, the pastor came at it from a different direction – as the bride of Christ, this is how He loves us and thinks of us. Our wrinkles and our rolls don’t matter to Him. He loves us no matter.
But how do we equate that to living in the day-to-day world? How do those Christian women around me get such a better handle on this than I can ever seem to? Why can’t I get past this particular struggle? Why, at the age of nearly 40, can’t I find comfort and security in my own skin? At times, it’s an issue that affects my marriage and, even though I strive for it not to, my girls. I DO NOT want my young women to grow up with this kind of mental anguish.
I have a wonderful man who loves me for who I am, not what I “could” be. I have three beautiful, young, Christian women. I have a great life. I have a great God that oversees it all. So tell me, when will I feel like I’m enough?