Killing Monsters: Good Enough
I have a friend who is a guest writer on my site today with her #killingmonsters blog. She is an Anonymous contribution for specific reasons. This is her story.
Pick me! Pick me! That is the monster chant in my head. Day and night, day in and day out.
I am a child waiting to be praised – to be good enough. I am a teen waiting to be selected – to be good enough. I am a young adult waiting to be hired – to be good enough. I am a wife waiting to be loved – to be good enough. I am a stay-at-home mom waiting to be validated – to be good enough. This monster journey has manifested itself throughout my life in many ways but the desire is always the same – to be good enough, to be picked, to be special.
On the outside, I had all the trappings of success and a happy life. A great childhood, followed by a great education and subsequent job, later yet a nice house, a nice car, great kids, a hard-working husband, lots of friends. So, why was I so empty? Why was this not enough? Why did I still feel – well, you guessed it, not good enough. I kept thinking if only I was thinner, stronger, prettier, nicer, I would be happy. My focus became the destination; I would be happy when I achieved those things or even one of those things. The problem was I was never quite good enough to get to that destination and it left me feeling empty, sad, alone. I looked in the mirror and hated who I saw. Why would anyone want to pick me when I didn’t want to pick myself? My monster chanted away and I heard that monster in every perceived rejection, hurt, reading of the scale, disappointment, failure. Nobody would guess this pain though because I hide my monster very well. From the outside I looked like I had it all – served up in a pretty package. My insides not matching the wrappings I put on my outside. That flower in my hair was not a sign of self-confidence, it was a sign of “focus on this” so you don’t see my thin hair, the weight I want to lose, the things I want to change, the things I don’t want you to see – the less than perfect side of me, the monster inside of me. If I could pretend to be perfect, maybe I would feel better. But it doesn’t work. The inside still did not match the outside. I had always been a believer, but I confused the idea of being worthy of HIS love with being worthy of other people’s love. I kept striving to get to that destination.
One day, I received an invitation to Bible Study. I hardly knew this person but I felt pride in the fact that she had “picked me” to send an invitation to! Somehow I related the invitation to some sort of acceptance and achievement so, of course, I had to go. I went and eventually found myself confused by my new friends talking about hearing God talk to them. I asked them “how do you know when God is talking to you? I have never heard Him.” I was confused. But, like other goals I sought to attain, I kept working at it. I wanted that relationship everyone talked about. Then one day, a couple years in, HE spoke to me. Actually, let me clarify, I FINALLY heard HIM! I had the moment where I knew God was talking to me. It was at that moment that I realized, in order to hear God, you have to be trying or willing to listen. For the first time in my life I was not trying to be in control. I was not trying to be good enough for others, I was simply desiring a relationship with my FATHER.
As God spoke to me, I worked harder on hearing HIM. I found myself periodically hearing HIM louder than the monster, but not frequently enough. However, I found my relationships with others were changing along with my pursuit of God. Over time, I found that my desire to have the perfect package on the outside was just an empty shell. My husband and I did not share our faith, so how could we share anything deeper than the tangible surface. I had to be willing to let go of the package in order to experience the journey and not seek the destination. As I walked through my divorce, I felt God beside me, reassuring me, showing me a new path, providing the hope I needed to move forward even though it was risky and required faith. To walk by faith was not something I was used to…..I was scared. However, I knew God was beside me when my ex told me along the way that he had watched my faith grow especially through our separation and that a year prior he might have mocked it, now he hoped that one day he could find the peace that I had found.
Fast forward. That should be enough, right? I mean, I found my relationship with God, I chose to risk the “package” for an unknown future and I am doing just fine. I should be okay, the monster is dead, right? Well, the answer is no, its not.
My monster surfaces when people let me down. I question whether I expect too much of others, why are they not “there for me”? I feel like the child waiting to be picked and nobody chooses me. I step on the scale and the number does not make me feel “enough”, in fact, it makes me feel “too much!”. Ugh. I look in the mirror and see my aging body and think, “oh no, how can I present THIS to the world so they don’t see my inadequacy?” I wait for someone to make me feel loved, to be someone’s enough because then I will be enough. I am still looking outside of me for love.
Then I remember, it is not the destination I truly desire, it needs to be the journey. I am enough for God and it is not when I achieve my monster’s perfection that I will be happy, rather I can be happy right now in God’s perfect love. I am worthy of my Father’s love. I am enough. I am picked by God to be His child. I am HIS and He loves me. He picks me.
I am a work in progress. But every time I can acknowledge God’s voice and seek to hear HIM, my monster is silenced. I desire to silence that monster forever. I want to look in the mirror and see what God sees. I want to stop expecting and waiting for others to validate and love me because I have perfect love from Jesus. He is my warrior, slaying the monster over and over again. Until finally, as we are on the journey together, I will be sure of my destination and know it is bought and paid for by the blood of Christ and therefore, I am worthy.