Lately, I find myself wanting to test and break every rule I’ve ever come to follow and believe. Because, well, why should I do something just because someone told me to? I know this seems pretty foolish, and it probably is. Whether it’s out of anger, or curiosity, or rebellion, it’s been refining me to the point of breaking me. For the better.
Over the past year, God has been taking the things that I’ve known all my life and impressing them onto my soul. The things I’ve learned from growing up in the church (Sunday school, awanas, youth group, bible studies, etc.) were all cognitively understood, but they had not made their way into my being. Into my heart. Into my actions.
Up until recently, I thought I knew that God loved me unconditionally. But through a lot of reflection, I’m realizing that I have been consistently trying and doing to gain God’s love. I thought, if I only knew more about the Old Testament. If only I knew more about what is doctrine vs. dogma. If only I knew more how Israel relates to the Church today. If only I could spend more time reading my bible. If only I spent more time in prayer. If only I were in more small groups. If only I were smarter, a faster reader, had a better memory.
Then, what? I thought if I could just do, know, and be all of those things, then I would be growing. Then I would be healthy. Then I would be a good Christian. Then God would love me and approve of me. Then others would accept me. Then I wouldn’t look stupid. Then others would think I’ve got it all together. Then….
What I didn’t know in my soul is that God has already chosen me. God has already redeemed me. God has already been loving me. I’ve been working so hard to put limitations, rules, and guards around my life for how I should be living, when truly, God, from before the beginning, has been holding me in his loving hands and telling me “I love you, Megan Rose.”
No qualifications needed. Tears spring to my eyes when I reflect on all the times I haven’t lived in this truth. And I have to laugh at myself for over-complicating God’s love for me. God is love. In fact, Jesus, being fully God, took on our humanity and died. For me. For you. In order that we might be brought into the living reality of God the Father, Son, and Spirit. We are literally heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. We are His adopted children, with full rights in his family. We live and walk and breathe and act in this truth whether we realize it or not!
This crumbles everything I’ve ever thought about who God is. It crumbles everything I know about being Christ-like. This year, God is rebuilding a theology of hope, redemption, and reconciliation in my soul. He’s reminding me of the simple. God is love. In Christ, I have hope. I am His. I am redeemed.
As I’ve sought counseling during this time, a theme of “I am not [insert anything here] enough” has been pouring out of me. For example, I am not enough for my job, I am not enough for my marriage, I am not enough for my friends, I am not enough for my family, I am not enough for my classes, I am not enough…
My counselor has been pushing me to answer the question, “What is the opposite of ‘I am not enough’?” If you weren’t “not enough” what would you be? And I’ve been SO confused at how to begin answering this question because it feels so backwards. It feels opposite of our culture. It makes me reel because no one thinks like that. We’ve been subconsciously convinced that we can be enough for everyone and everything. And there’s this untold lie that we have to be hard on ourselves. It’s what we do. And it’s what I’ve been doing.
For three weeks, I weighed this question in my mind and soul. Do I need to be enough for anyone? Isn’t Christ enough? What makes me feel like I’m not enough? If I were enough, what would happen? What does “enough” even mean, really? Am I trying to fill God’s shoes? If I’m not enough, what is? If I’m not trying to be enough, what would happen? What am I really looking for, striving for, expecting?
My answer came at a pretty unexpected time. At the end of a church service a few weeks ago, they played a video that said:
“Bring your tired
Bring your shame
Bring your guilt
Bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name
You will always be much more to me
Everyday I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright
Cause I hear a voice and he calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
In the world”
And in that moment, I pictured God looking at me, and telling me, “This is what I say about you. You don’t need to be enough. You can’t be enough.” The world, broken and full of sin, pulls us into the lie to we need to be more than we are. We are broken, bruised, and searching for answers. Blatantly or subtly, we try to make others fulfill our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. And I’ve believed that I could fulfill all of those needs in other people. But the truth is, I can’t. I just can’t. I don’t need to be enough, because God is the answer to our brokenness! That chasm of emptiness I see in our world that I feel like needs to be filled is right where Christ steps in. He is our hope, not me. He is my hope, and nothing less. Christ is enough. Not me.