On a walk with a friend this morning I told her that I felt God prompting me towards something. What I actually said was “in church on Sunday I felt God say to me “Stop qualifying your relationships with your past sin”” and then I let that hang in the air a bit. Like watching a balloon float higher in the sky after accidentally letting it go.
Even though I talk candidly about God with my friends over coffee or via email there’s something about saying words like that out loud and then realizing that you can’t pull them back from the air around your head and stuff them back inside.
Shhh, nevermind. I don’t hear voices speaking deeply convicting things to me or have conversations with God on the regular in the car while I’m driving. Just, just nevermind. Let’s talk more about your thing.
Later on in the morning I was stretching and decided to focus my attention on a personal mantra of “I am enough” which was all good until I was done and the rest of my day begged to be gotten on with and I could no longer breathe like a normal functioning person.
We had poked a deep seeded bed of unrest inside of me. And it wanted to play.
Naturally I got in the car, drove to the grocery store and bought 4 dozen eggs, 2 gallons of milk, some canning jars and the tinfoil pans for batch baking cinnamon rolls. We were out of eggs and we don’t drink milk. Makes sense.
Still not breathing normally, the phrase “I am enough” is rolling around in my head like a baby trying to take it’s first steps. Persistent, a little uneasy, determined.
And I start to panic because I can’t catch my breath and these are JUST WORDS after all. WORDS. But I kept running in to them head on.
Stop qualifying your relationships with your past sin, you are enough. Put them together and it’s a doozy. I tend to go all in. Open book Jodi wants to race you to the finish line of my story and see if there’s anything left. Maybe if all my new and future friends know all my dirty little secrets they’ll just get the ‘abandoning me’ thing over with quickly so I can suckle my victim wounds and stay broken and afraid. Or perhaps, I can just stay Right. Instead of always Wrong.
I do this. I drink a few glasses of wine and open my mouth where the bits and pieces of me that need protecting walk off my tongue like an army marching towards the front-lines. Ready to fall at the first mention of rejection. And I don’t share this with you to seek pity or comfort within this certain misery but because it bothers me to no end.
I’ve learned this before. I qualify relationships, always new and often tried and true ones, with the parts of me that make me who I am – yes, but that are no longer where I stand. The real story is the victory over the burden of my past. But I leave that part out, because that part is even more uncomfortable than the qualifiers into humanity.
We all have walls and triggers and pasts and struggles. We do. And I’ve said before (and I mean it) that relationship is my favorite human condition. But what am I doing wrestling to bring my burden back for show and tell when the real story is my own resurrection from the deepest regrets, mistakes, and suffering of my past.
I am enough.
Today. Today I am enough.
Take it or leave it, I promise not to hold on to your decision like I had anything to do with it. But my past is no longer for sale for click bait or interest level or acceptance. It’s not fodder for girls night or something to whisper when I’m not present to offer my heart with all it’s brokenness.
I’ll bring to the table what I have to offer, and inside of relationship when trust is established and vulnerability is fostered, I will open up and let you in if need be. But I won’t throw you in my deep end and expect you to swim back to the safe shores and shallow waters without first giving you the same life raft I drifted in on.
It will be slow going and not all at once.
Because the fire that burns the hottest is the one that is stoked carefully, fed easily, and given room to grow.
I needed this today. I’m still holding my breath, consciously trying to release this deeply rooted belief that I’ll never be enough. Less is more but the lie about that phrase has become that we can do more with less, when really it was supposed to be a reminder that with less – we are more. More free to rest and recuperate. More free of the obligations of stuff or debt or schedules or showing up as a shell of who we know we are. Less is more doesn’t mean emptiness. It’s supposed to mean fullness. It’s supposed to be the room we need to give space to the places in us that need to be seen. Less is more; it’s more work. But this work is worth it.