Of Grace & Growth #1: Enough
Author: Sydney Dorr
I sat down on September 21st, 2017 to write out a plan to eat better and exercise. It drove me into an existential tailspin before I even put pen to paper, so instead I started demanding answers of Jesus and writing what he said. This is my journal’s record of our conversation.
What do you want for me? What do you have for me?
“I have peace. And joy – so. much. joy.”
I don’t see it. I see stress, I see Keeping It Together. I see Failing. I see Not Enough. Not Enough. Not Enough. Not Enough. NOT ENOUGH.
I remember furiously writing “Not Enough” to the rhythm of the pounding voice in my head, like an angry anthem of my identity. As a SAHM of two young boys, with chaos always brewing and interminable responsibilities, there are endless opportunities to fall short. The voice whispering “Not Enough” was unrelenting in my motherhood. I couldn’t banish it by trying to craft the perfect schedule; it mocked me when I let Netflix babysit my kids. I felt like I lived in a constant state of failure and Not Enough began to feel like my name.
“I Am Enough.”
How? How are you enough? What does that look like? How does it help me get the laundry done and care for and educate my kids and love my husband and love you and minimize TV time and serve the world and be in good shape and not yell and have my own identity and clean the %#*$ bathrooms!!! I don’t know what it means. I can’t see it. Will you show me?
Jesus spoke the truth, but he knew it was a truth I was already using to mask a deeper lie. Once my trite, Christian-girl answer was out of the way, suppressed self-doubt and frustration came flooding out. Now we could get down to business.
“It’s a lie, you know, that you are Not Enough. It’s true that you need me, that you – on your own – don’t have enough, but it’s not your identity. Who you are is enough for me.”
Damn. That sounds nice but I don’t think I…believe you?
He laughed at the voice and told it to go to Hell. He spoke true identity over me. I wanted to believe him, but it sounded too impossibly gracious. Didn’t he listen to my list of inadequacy? Didn’t he hear me cuss out the bathrooms?
“You are enough because I am the one DOING the thing – I just want you to come along. I want you because I think you are funny and smart and just the right mom for Gideon and Caleb. And just the right wife for Josiah. I want you because you are beautiful and adventurous and tender-hearted. Because you love me and I enjoy your company. When you are with me, you are Enough because you are right where I want you to be.”
Brushing past my objections, he swept me off my feet with an astonishing revelation: what I thought was my job is actually HIS JOB and he invited me along for the ride because he thinks I’m seriously fantastic. He created my family to accomplish his purposes. It’s his job to see that through and he asks me to partner with him and follow his lead. He didn’t ask me because of my impressive abilities (ha!) but because he’s crazy about me and likes working with his kids.
When I walk through the beauty and the mess with him, I find freedom in the midst of frustration. I can reach out and take anything I need from him in any moment.
The voice still whispers to me, it whispers to women everywhere. But, when we turn our faces to Jesus, he reminds us that what he has begun he will finish. He says when he looks at us, he doesn’t see Not Enough, but his Heart’s Delight. We are Enough for him. He extends his hand and invites us to walk with him into the new day.