I have a love/hate relationship with that word; the whole concept of adequacy and fullness.
Because deep inside of me, there’s this longing to be truly enough…and an aching dread that I never will be.
I know that sounds extremely un-Christian and negative, so please do hear me out. This is something I think really needs to be addressed.
In a world that seems to require perfection, how can we, as imperfect humans, truly live freely?
This is a question I’ve been considering for the past few weeks. The balance between giving effort and maintaining balance, working hard and embracing grace, especially when it comes to issues involving my faith. And most of you know that I want my faith to affect every part of my life, so herein lies the dilemma.
Realistically, what do I do when I haven’t done enough? When I don’t feel like my effort’s sufficient? When life’s just really really hard and things don’t go the way I wanted them to, at all?
Because sometimes, that’s what life seems to be made of. Constant striving, unattainable perfection. The demands are so high…and we only have so much energy, time, and drive to do it all.
And I just can’t.
Because there has to be more to life than just this cycle of endless work, endless stress, endless exhaustion.
There’s Jesus. His love and grace. And we really can’t neglect to talk about these beautiful things. The things that our very lives should be centered around. Because in the midst of our crazy lives, there’s hope; even when it’s so hard to feel.
My mind says “Work;” Jesus says “Come and rest.”
My heart says “Just do a little more and they’ll love you;” Jesus says “I already do love you.”
My soul cries “Please, just rescue me from this messed-up system – the one of trying and failing, of working and not measuring up, of going and doing and still falling short;” Jesus says, “I have rescued you.”
And I…still don’t know what it all looks like. I don’t.
I still try, I still fail. I still run myself ragged, worn out and exhausted at the end of each day, and yet slowly, slowly, the Holy Spirit’s working on my heart, day after day reassuring me that grace. is. truly. enough.
It’s okay to fall. It’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to realize that oh gracious, life’s hard. And I. can’t. do. this. on. my. own. And yet – yet – there is Someone greater, Someone longing to pick me up, to look me in my frail eyes and tell me He has made me enough, to wrap His loving arms around me and tell me it’s okay to rest in Him, because He has taken care of it all.
And here in this moment, in this long-awaited fraction of time, I feel the tears fall heaviest now. Because when He finds me, He tells me all that I’ve strived for ultimately doesn’t matter — and when He says this to me, there is no condemnation.
I feel no shame, no resentment. I simply feel my burdens fall, because He fills this heart-longing of mine with a fullness I haven’t felt before.
When He tells me to stop striving, it isn’t because He isn’t pleased, but because what He has done is already enough and He wants to spare me the grief of chasing after a prize I’ll never win on my own; it has already been won, and it has been gifted to me.
So yes, my heart’s bruised and battered, my mind is twisted and helpless sometimes, and I don’t always know what I am to be doing – but when I so clearly see that I am loved, that He calls me ENOUGH, that He loves me in spite of my weaknesses – I find the satiation for the cravings of my heart. For love. For acceptance. For hope. For grace. For being enough.
At the end of the day, when the clock’s blinking the small numbers and letting me believe there weren’t enough hours to do it all, when I crawl into bed drained and wearied, never feeling adequate, I have to stop. And remind myself of what I know.
I know I am not defined by my works; I am defined by grace in the sacrifice of my Jesus.
I know I am not loved for my achievements; I am loved by my Creator no matter what I do.
It’s hard to grasp sometimes, knowing these truths through it all but struggling to fully internalize all of them.
But one thing does not change, regardless of how I feel: and that is grace. The grace that covers me whether I feel it or not.
God gives me grace, and I too must grant it to myself in my everyday shortcomings, weaknesses, imperfection.
He has called me enough – and I need to believe that. Even when it hurts – no, especially when it hurts. Because I am free.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”