I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing this blog post for awhile. Really, since I started this whole blogging gig, this one thought has been at the forefront of my mind and heart. What if we aren’t enough… what if I will never be enough… what if people find this out.
Vulnerability in all its glory, really comes down to this concept of sharing the cracks in our lives. The places where we visibly feel and see that we are not whole. That us, our kids, our parents and the ones before them had and currently have brokenness because, ahhhhh the reality of it all, we are products of a broken world.
Looking back, I think it has taken me this long to write this post because although most of the thoughts have been in my head, the mental and heart capacity to write them down hasn’t been there. Today, while talking to one of my best friends about being late to drop off the kids at school every morning since my husband left on his work trip, I told her, I’m going to write a book called, “Your enough is not enough, the antonym to all self help books.” We laughed about it but later in the day I realized it was time to get these thoughts on paper.
I really, truly believe that even the most self-assured, confident person in the world feels this lack at the end of the day, even if on the outside, to the rest of the world this doesn’t seem to be the case. I spent the first half of my life pursuing competitive soccer and in this way, I learned that if I worked hard enough both at sports and academically I could prove my ability and worth. I have a do-er personality so this served me well and I made it far with this work ethic and mantra. The problem laid at the end of the field when I stopped playing soccer and academics were no longer a metric for my worth and value. I came to the realization that no matter how hard I worked and no matter what level of soccer or school I achieved, it would never be able to define me or fill me with that ever elusive feeling of wholeness.
I find irony in the intersections in life where you feel like you’ve arrived somewhere personally, where you’ve conquered that insecurity, overcome that obstacle or sin only to realize it is popping back up and it’s larger and harder to overcome than ever. When soccer and academics no longer defined me, two new alluring things in my life began too, marriage and motherhood. The problem is, that both of these realms have a beautiful way of slamming these realities right in your face, like a mirror to your life you never saw coming. Once again, I found myself faced with the same ache, what if I am not enough, what if I don’t have the answers for parenting a strong-willed child, what if my personality is lacking, what if I am not beautiful enough, what if my faith lacks motivation, the list could go on. Some days the ache in my heart of not being enough is masked better that others by connectedness in friendship or rocking it on the mom front or killing it as a wife but the reality is, those feeling of not being enough are always there, whether masked or not. The truth is, we are never going to be enough. No matter how many books we read, workouts we do, healthy meals we cook, accolades at work we acheive, degrees we accumulate, no matter how many friendships we cultivate, we are always going to have this feeling deep in our gut.
I am by no means saying that I’ve come to this place of fully accepting this reality. If anything, I still feel its shadow on most days in the things I do but I am learning and trying to lean into the fact that this is ok and even in a way God-honoring. What if in the vulnerable lack is where God shows up? What if this chasm between who we long to be and who we are, is where the root of humility begins. The place where only God can be glorified for the good that comes from our lives. The place where we depend on Him for our self-worth because we know the honest, reality of our heart. The only place where reconciliation can take place and pride is let down.
The relationships in my life that are life-giving and encouraging to my soul are the ones where we can openly talk about and celebrate this lack. Over the years I have realized that I love to joke about my shortcomings on a daily basis, which in motherhood can be pretty embarrassing and funny. I think the reason I love this humor the best is that there is freedom in recognizing and naming the areas where I fall short because I know that it is ok. I know that I am trying my best with what God has given me and that His grace is truly the only thing to celebrate. The opposite is also true, the relationships I have been apart of where I felt pressure to have it all together and have all the answers, have brought death in my soul and heartache in my life. I can name a few times in my life when people have told me I seem to have it all together. These words, while probably meant with good intention, are the worse I could ever hear. If I am not living my life so that the cracks of brokenness are evident then I truly feel that I am not doing a good job of portraying who Christ is in my life.
I often wonder what the world would look like if we stopped trying to prove ourselves and our worth at every opportunity but instead boldly shared in our brokenness. My goal and intention for sharing my heart and journey with this is to break through any isolation that someone may have in feeling like they are alone in this.
My prayer for our kids is that they would know that their worth and love is unchanged by performance and ability. That they would understand brokenness and not be alarmed or frustrated when they feel the lack of wholeness, this side of eternity. I’m so excited for the day when perfection can be attained in Christ and the sobering realities of the brokenness in our world are finally no longer present.
There are so many more thoughts that I could share on this topic but I am running on two hours of sleep because of a rough night for our 1 year old last night so I will end here. I’d love to know how you make space in your life for vulnerability and how God has grown you in this area?
Thanks again for sharing in this journey with me. I’m so grateful to walk it with each of you.