I have been thinking a lot lately about what is true and what is a lie. What I choose to believe affects every decision I make, whether consciously or otherwise. A woman who is in her mid-forties (how can that possibly be???), I have bought into a lot of lies. You don’t just quit a job as a paralegal one day and become a stripper the next believing only the truth.
I AM NOT ENOUGH. I have believed this to be true for a very long time. There was a time, when I was very little, that I knew without question that I was loved. I had a pale yellow t-shirt with a shiny iron-on picture of a stuffed animal, and on it said “God’s Little Charmer.” I believed this to be true.
At some point, I learned to perform to gain affection. I loved to make people laugh. Being lovable made me feel…well, it made me feel loved. My actions and the response of others became the measure by which I assessed my value and worth. Inevitably, and understandably, I often fell short. I believed I was as good as my most recent “performance” and anything I had done before was forgotten. I was as worthy as someone thought I was.
My dad, when I was fifteen, left. He began what seemed a steady stream of people to be in my life and then leave. Over and over again it was pounded into my head, my heart, and my soul that I wasn’t enough to make people want to stay.
I made so many decisions based on this lie. I chose sex over love. I used drugs to feel happy. I sacrificed my dignity in relationships that were abusive because I desperately wanted to feel like I mattered. I lost everything. And the truth is, I ended up proving the lie to be true. It was as if I was saying, “You see, Stefanie? You never were enough. And you aren’t. Not only could you not make people stay, but you lost everything you once had.”
How did the lie become my truth? Because the truth is, I AM ENOUGH. It wasn’t until I turned my life back to Jesus that I began to see things through a new lens. And to be completely honest, I am still learning. I have moments and days and sometimes weeks where I still question my worth. But the word of God tells me this…
“You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” Mark 1:11 MSG
In this passage, Jesus is the Son who was chosen and marked by God’s love, the pride of His life. And you know what? This is true of me, too. And you! We are sons and daughters of the God of creation. We are His love. We are His pride and His joy. So when the world tells me otherwise, I will remember this…I am loved by God. And THAT is enough to make ME enough.