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The 2nd letter is one that my sister emailed me this past week. There was no date on it but I’m guessing from the content it’s from around 1998. I also think it was written in January because he mentions his birthday.
Reflection and Devotional:
Are You Enough?
The lunch room in middle and high school was a scary place for me. I remember walking into the cafeteria after my best friend moved away in 6th grade. A skinny boney thing with glasses and my long brown hair half up half down, the half up part pulled back super tight on my head. I can remember not knowing where to sit and if anyone would like me. In high school my body got less bony, I got contacts, I left my hair down and I had a girlish figure the boys seemed to like. People told me I was pretty and they gave me a lot of compliments. I remember some people telling me the guys would check me out and ‘rate’ the girls when I would walk into the lunch room. I remember eating lunch in the bathroom at times when I couldn’t face the pressure. It didn’t matter if I seemed invisible everyone or everyone seemed to notice me, a question lingered in the back of my mind probably every time I entered a school cafeteria. Was I enough? Was I pretty enough? Cool enough? Funny enough? Smart enough?
The wondering if I was enough didn’t start and stop in the cafeteria. I felt the need to prove my worth in almost every area of my life. To prove to my teachers that I was smart enough. To prove to the boys I was pretty enough. To prove to my parents I was a good enough girl. And unfortunately the proving if I am enough didn’t stop in high school either. It continued through college, my masters program, into my marriage and even until now.
There have been several places in my life where I almost always felt enough. One of them being with my Pappy. This letter reinforced to me the reason why. He let me know that I was a gift, for just being me. That me being me was enough. That I was kind and smart and funny and that he wanted my sister and I to know how deeply he cherished us. He wanted us to know that we have a very special place in this world and in his life. We in and of ourselves are a gift.
If only that truth could get stuck so far deep in my soul and never leave, oh how refreshing that would be. When I gave my life to Jesus I worked really hard to earn His love, until I realized there was nothing that could ever be done to gain it. It was already there. This wasn’t an excuse to live any way I wanted to in disobedience to Him, it was a fact that freed me to be me. Jesus spoke over me the way He saw me so very valuable that He would die for my sins (the way I missed the mark). Another way to say it… in my not being enough: He took care of that and made me enough. Not because of me, but because of Him. He has made us in His image, and sacrificed everything for us!
When I walk into a room now I have a different thought process than when I was in middle and high school. I think: how can I show others they are enough. How can I see them, hear them, treat them that would know they’re valuable. The change in perspective is freeing. I did this everyday as I walked into my classroom when I was a teacher. I wanted students to know they were invited, welcomed, valuable. That I cherish each of them. I try to continue this when I meet people at events and other places in my life. There’s a prayer that I pray with Caleb before meeting with people “God, let us be a blessing to them, let it not be about us but about loving them.” When I get too self focused I can begin to feel not enough again, but when I look to God and to the interests of others it helps free my from this trap.
I want to tell you today that because of what God has done for you, and how He has made you that you are enough. Not because of anything you’ve done or haven’t done, but because He loves you, died for you, and is saving you. He wants to call you His child. Being in your presence is a gift to Him. Watching you be you and bring good to the world brings Him joy and delight.