That day was much like every other day, it begun as it usually did, with a sleepy early morning kiss from my husband before he left for work and me getting ready for the day ahead. I now look back, at that girl and see that she was blissfully naïve to fact that her life was about to be forever changed. She was existing in a bubble and it was about to burst.
I thought I had a wonderful husband, a fairy-tale marriage. We were hoping that we would soon be blessed with the child we had been praying for and had lots of plans for the year ahead. However, I didn’t realise that in the evening, I was to find out that there was another woman in my husband’s life and I was to be left in a desperate heap on the floor begging him to stay as he walked out of my life and ended our marriage. He had never given me a single indication of any discontent or deceit, instead, up until that moment, I had been showered with love and affection.
My husband’s very sudden abandonment and betrayal sent me into a relentless whirl-wind of shock, despair, grief, and fear. It swirled about me like a hurricane, as he told me in no uncertain terms, that he wanted a divorce. I knew he was leaving me for her. Despite my begging, despite my praying to God in my every waking moment, my marriage ended.
I wasn’t able to go out for months without experiencing panic attacks and for so long all I could speak about was that night. I was trying to make my mind process what had happened to my marriage. I felt like a failure, I felt as though there was something so dreadfully wrong with me to deserve such cruel treatment.
In my mind, the question constantly played out, “why her?” I told myself she must be so very beautiful, so smart, so funny, so incredible. Bit by bit, It made me feel less beautiful, less smart, less funny, less incredible. She was enough and I wasn’t.
My confidence plummeted to an all-time low, in fact, I would say it disappeared entirely. I would lay in bed repeating the words my husband screamed at me, “I don’t want you!”
Before this, I can honestly say that my confidence had never been great anyway. At school, as a kid, I always felt different to the other girls because I was a little overweight and was often picked on for not being thin or pretty enough. My husband’s abandonment seemed to unleash all of those old insecurities in me that I didn’t even know were laying there beneath the surface. They bubbled up with a vengeance, erupting like a dormant volcano, spilling it’s painful content all over me.
In life, we collect these labels that hang around our necks and we can carry them with us through life. I thought that the old labels from my youth had disappeared but they hadn’t and now I was adding new labels. They screamed at me, “You are not attractive enough! Not thin enough! Not young enough! Not exciting enough!”
As I pleaded with my husband to love me again, to want me again, I also became that little kid at school again, begging to be accepted. Begging to be enough.
It’s a word I have come to realise is so deeply loaded. It can hold great power. The meaning of enough: “occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs or expectations.”
Why does the world so often make us feel that we are not enough?
What is also ironic, is that this same word and our approach to it can determine the way we treat others. For some, it’s never enough. This is what led my husband to carry out the actions he did. In our modern world so much is easily traded in. Our cars are never fast enough, our homes are never big enough, technology is never new enough, holidays aren’t exotic enough or maybe the wife isn’t young enough. We trade and we trade, until ironically, we are left with nothingness. The quest for enough can actually be a road that leads to emptiness.
What I have come to understand is that God’s version of enough, is very different to that of the world.
In God’s eyes, we are irreplaceable. When He made us, even the hairs on our head were numbered. That is the mind-blowing level of value that is placed over our being. His love is a sacrificial one, He couldn’t pay a price high enough to let us know how enough we are to Him. The world may tell us we are not beautiful, not acceptable, not important. God tells us that we are so very beautiful, so very acceptable and so very important.
To Him, we are so much more than enough.
What would it do to the way we value ourselves, if we were to look at ourselves through the lens of heaven? How would it change the behaviours we accept from others and the labels we allow them to burden us with? How would it change the way we view others, if we were to look upon them through that same lens?
God wants so much more for us than the worlds concept of ‘enough.’ He holds such value within us that he wants our cups of life to overflow, not to be diluted down, diminished or tainted by the words and lies of others. He wants us to live in wholeness and to live in freedom from the labels that the world tries to hang around our necks.
The world can do a pretty good job of trying to chip away at our soul. We can so often feel we are not enough to be included, to be valued, to be treasured. We can stand on the outskirts looking on at others, whether it be on social media, in classrooms, at the office, in our churches and even amongst friends and we can view others as having more intrinsic worth than ourselves.
We can often believe that somehow everyone else deserves more than us, when the reality is that we all deserve joy and happiness and all the goodness that life can offer. God wants this for each one of us. Understanding and accepting this means challenging those lies, as difficult as that might be.
I look back over this time and see that a great deal was ripped away from me and at the same time, heaped upon me. There is however, one constant throughout this turbulent time in my life that remains. It is etched into my soul and it challenges every negative notion, every layer of hurt and pain. It is knowing this one truth; I am loved by God. To Him, I am enough and I can honestly say that He is enough for me too.
My prayer for you, is that you will truly know, that you are enough.