I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime after the ‘you’re-so-cute-and-can-do-no-wrong’ baby stage of life, the message I began to get from too many people in my sphere of influence and the world in general changed drastically to, “You… are… not… enough!”
You’re not progressing fast enough; not doing enough, not cool enough, not attractive enough. You haven’t accomplished enough. You’re not ambitious enough, don’t have enough, and don’t give enough. YOU are not enough!
You’d never be able to tell from the outside, but by the time this loud, outgoing, extrovert was a teenager I was already serving a life sentence in the ‘Prison of Performance’. I felt I always failed to measure up, could never live up to the expectations of others, and certainly not the unrealistic expectations I placed on myself.
Sadly, though I felt I was in solitary confinement, I’ve come to realize that there are so many, from all walks of life who shared my incarceration. And some of the worse wardens, the ones who mercilessly wield the measuring sticks are prisoners themselves, just as insecure as I was, and hearing the same tapes echoing in their own heads over and over, YOU are not enough!
In John 4, the apostle writes about a not-so-coincidental meeting Jesus had with a woman who could have written the book on not being enough. In a time and culture where ‘success’ for a woman was marriage and as many children (preferably sons) as possible, she was a spectacular failure. Five men had married, rejected, and divorced her…FIVE, and the man she was with now didn’t even bother to do her the courtesy of marrying her.
Life in her ‘Prison of Perpetual Shame and Humiliation’ had her showing up at the town well to get water at a time that almost guaranteed she would not encounter anyone from the city. How could she have known that an appointment had been made for her to come face to face with God Himself in human flesh and hear His truth, YOU…ARE…ENOUGH!
Enough for me to love you without apology, despite your flaws and failures, and to orchestrate an encounter that will change your life for eternity.
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’” John 4:39
The prison doors swung wide open and this woman was free! Oh, how well I know that sweet feeling of freedom! It was ‘a tough row to hoe’ as we would say in Jamaica, but the truth of the Word set me free too, for,
“…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed…” John 8:32 & 36
Maybe I haven’t done all I could do, I certainly haven’t done all I will do, but who I am right now, in this moment, I…AM…ENOUGH! …just living the thing.