Several years ago I got a tattoo on my back. It’s small, right in the center, and most people never see it. It’s the word “Love” and represents the millions of suicide survivors, who, like me, have had our lives turned upside down by the vicious and heartbreaking act. It’s a reminder to myself that even though my life was marked by the abandonment of suicide, I am lovable.
Last year the word “enough” started playing a big role in my life. As I wrapped up a step study I found myself wrestling with the idea of enough. I had spent my entire adult life feeling too big feelings related to my self worth. I was not enough for some and I was too much for others.
What if’s will plague a life if you allow them to. What if I had been enough to keep my parents together? What if their love for me was so great that they decided to work things out? What if I had been enough for my mom and her grief over my dad’s affair and leaving hadn’t overcome her? What if I had taken better care of myself sooner? Would I have still had so many miscarriages? What if I had loved my future babies enough? What if my personality hadn’t been too much? Would that friend still have left?
You see? What if’s can make you crazy. It’s why I’m learning to lay them down and walk away. They are a poison that I drank over and over, expecting to one day have the answer reveal itself. What if’s don’t work that way. They rarely bring you a peaceful truth.
So this year, as I’ve started the laborious work of laying down my self doubt I have realized that questioning how my worth relates to others is as tedious and useless. I have realized that I don’t just question my worth to others, I have been questioning my worth to God.
If friends can walk away then how do I trust Jesus, who says he is my friend?
If my parents could leave me, how do I trust God, who says he is my father?
The only answer I have come up with is faith. I wish I had something better to offer you, should you possible be wrestling with some of these same questions. I don’t have a bullet point list. I only have faith.
I have faith because when my dad left and my mom died, I didn’t die.
I have faith because when I moved a thousand miles from home and lost friendships over it, I didn’t die.
I have faith because when my husband and I lost 5 babies before holding our two miracles, I didn’t die.
I have faith because every time life has thrown a hard situation at me or my family, I didn’t die.
I felt like I would. I had grief that went deep into my bones. But every morning God filled my lungs with breath and I didn’t die.
So if God could love me enough to wake me up every morning to face a new day then maybe he thinks I have worth. And maybe, I’ve spent a lot of years trying to impress the wrong people. Maybe I’ve wasted an enormous amount of energy trying to be the end all, be all to people who will never see my worth. It’s possible, that if all this is true, I’ve been viewing my own life through the wrong lens.
When God looks at me, he doesn’t see a glass half full or half empty. He doesn’t use a measuring stick to see how I measure up. He doesn’t weigh me against others to decide how much love and care I receive today.
When God looks at me he sees the cross. He sees Jesus dying for me. He sees me washed and clean and lovable.
When God looks at me he sees enough.
So yesterday I decided to give myself a physical reminder of this revelation.
When I doubt myself and I’m tempted to fill up with the things of this world, the pleasures that never fill us, I’ll have this on my wrist to remind me that I am enough.
When I start thinking that any lens other than the cross are the ones I need to see myself through, I’ll have this reminder that because of Jesus I am enough.
When I feel like I’m not measuring up to people or that I’m too much, I’ll look down and remember that I’m just enough.