It's fair to say that in my working life, I have had a varied amount of jobs and experiences. Anything and everything from insurance broker to dental nurse, store manager to nursery nurse, care worker to cleaner. And anything and everything in between. The list is pretty much endless.
It's not something I'm proud of, and honestly I've never really fit in, in any workplace environment. Truth is, I've never really felt like I am enough. Not smart enough, or committed enough, and I've never really found that thing that makes me feel like I wanna strive to be the best in any profession. It drives me crazy. I've just never felt good enough. And then not long after I had begun my adulthood, along came my depression to make things even harder. Harder to motivate myself, harder to concentrate, harder to get through days, harder to hold on to a job in general. And it’s not just in work that I have felt this lack of competence, but in all areas really; sports,relationships, hobbies, friendships...you name it. So I spent (and still spend) a lot of years just thinking “WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!?”
And then I had kids. And with them came the realisation that life was about to get very very real. And no longer was it about finding out what I wanted or needed, or how I was gonna cope with life, I had two small minds to nurture into the world, and had to figure out what they wanted and needed too. And again rose the feelings of not being enough.
But to them I was… and am enough.
But I’m not about to proclaim here that I am an amazingly skilled domestic goddess or some sort of mary poppins on the parental quality meter (thank goodness that doesn’t exist!!!) Because I’m not, and if you’ve read my other blogs, then you’ll know.. No, what I mean is, that to them I am what they need. A mother. And without me to love them, feed them, or clothe them, or drag them out of bed and off to school on a morning, then...well, they wouldn't get very far in life. So I guess you could say that by default, I am enough. Phew!!!!
But jokes aside, I am enough for them because I love them. And as any parent would know, that comes with the territory. There is nothing they could do to make me love them less, and I would do anything for them.
When I came to faith, having all these hangups about not being enough in life, I really struggled to understand how God could love me even more than I love my kids. Feeling so inadequate in my own life didn't matter when I had the kids because I knew that I would always be enough for them. Just as I am. And the bible tells us that God loves us...just as we are. There is nothing we could do that would stop Him from loving us. We don’t need to be extra special or behave like saints because if we don't God will stop loving us. No, He loves us despite all the bad things we do, despite the fact that we (I) can't keep hold of a job, or play netball. And even when I don’t feel like I am doing very well as a parent (because let's face it...I might be enough in their eyes, but sometimes I sure as heck don’t feel like I am.Parenting is hard!!) even then...God still loves me and in His eyes, I am more than adequate.
Because of my illness, I suffer with paranoia a lot. So trying not to focus on the things that make me believe I am not good enough, is really hard and a daily battle, as anyone suffering with a mental illness will tell you. I have to remind myself of God’s love and remember what the Bible and God say about me as His child. It’s not easy, especially living in a world that is so focused on ‘being better, looking better, and having it all’.
And as a parent, I have to convey the message to my children that whatever they choose to do, or not do in life, no matter what, they are loved, and they are enough. And so are you. But not because I say so...because God says so.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven. 4 In Christ, he chose us before the world was made. He chose us in love to be his holy people—people who could stand before him without any fault. 5 And before the world was made, God decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. This was what God wanted, and it pleased him to do it.”