I went on a date earlier this year.
An actual adult date. The kind where he calls, asks me to go to lunch, picks me up, and pays.
The kind where we talk, bond about common interests, and he thinks I’m funny.
And he never called again.
Now let’s just pause for a second. This is not a bitter rant. This is not a post about how men are the scum of the earth and gosh darn it, I just deserve better.
I’m writing because I believe there are single Christian women around the world who know what this is like.
And I’d love to tell you how I wasn’t phased in the slightest. I’d love to assure you that when you are securely rooted in your identity in Jesus, then yes, you too, can have events like this happen without flinching. You can just keep walking and not skip a beat. I’d love to give you a step-by-step process on how to do so. Because, you see, my life is perfect and I have everything together.
Who am I kidding.
Because I’m a woman, my brain swirled. Held together and composed on the outside, my emotions ran rampant throughout my mind. I replayed the date in my head over and over again.
Had I missed something?
Had he hinted at something to reveal that he wasn’t interested?
Did I have food in my teeth the entire time?
Is my laugh that annoying?
And the ever-dreaded question, am I secretly really ugly?
I pondered this one day and thought… “You know….I guess I will never know what is was that made me not enough.”
But that’s where my overanalyzing stopped. That’s where God stepped in. The moment the thought crossed my mind…
“Why wasn’t I enough?”
And I realize this is the fear of most women. That we are not enough. Or that we are too much. We worry that all of who we are is the wrong “amount.”
Will I teach well enough to gain approval from my supervisor?
Will I be beautiful enough to hold his attention?
Am I funny enough to make them laugh?
Am I too emotional for my friends and community?
Will ALL that I am be accepted, loved and appreciated in its perfectly ordained amounts…the places where I am too much and the places where I am not enough?
It’s our biggest fear. Being the fullest versions of ourselves and being rejected. We then dwell in the insecurity of our biggest fear – that if we risk, if we take the chance to expose our inner nerd and quirky nature, that it will be too much. We assume this as a truth. They will realize we’re not as put together as we’d like to appear. So we stay hidden. And we trick ourselves into living a life half-full… half alive, rather.
I recently have started watching Parks and Rec. For those of you who have never watched it, it’s stinking hilarious. But there’s something about the main character, Leslie Knope, that has fascinated me.
Leslie Knope is all together too much. There are things she does that I have restrained myself from doing for fear of what other people will think. “Well if I geek out like that, they’ll think I’m too much to handle.” But Leslie Knope does it anyway. And it’s so freeing. She is loved and accepted by those around her in all of her too-muchness because she lives her life unashamed of her places of excess and her places of lack.
She is too passionate, too involved, too concerned, too extreme. But she is herself, in all of her waffle-obsessing glory. And she walks in the fullness of it, unashamed.
What I’ve learned from Leslie Knope is that who I was created as IS the perfect amount. The fact that I have extreme bursts of excited energy when I hear an idea I love isn’t too much. The fact that I have never had a six-pack makes my beauty perfectly enough. The fact that I can get so overwhelmed with emotion that I have been known to burst into tears when watching a Disney movie isn’t too much. And the fact that I might not have the perfect and most witty response to everything is enough.
My places of lack and my places of excess make me perfectly me and perfectly enough. And the realization of that truth puts every lie and insecurity from the enemy to shame.
The fact that this boy never called me again does not define any of my worth or value. It doesn’t mean I was too much. And it doesn’t mean I wasn’t enough. Because I have something that has been stamped on my forehead from the moment I was created by a Savior who died for me: Justified. Beautiful. Valuable. Enough.
So walk in the fullness of who you were created to be. All of your areas of being too much or not enough are the areas that make you perfectly you.