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When am I enough?

Last week I packed myself, my four year old and 10 month old baby up to head to camp to teach dance for a week. What an experience that was. The camp was beautiful, more like a resort. It had trampolines and a swimming pool. Our room was lovely and we even had our own bathroom! (I know, exciting isn’t it?!)  Little did I know that I was in for one of the roughest weeks I’ve had in a long time.

I was enjoying my “fully-loaded” camp atmosphere until I learned there was no cell or internet coverage. At first I thought to myself; “That’s ok, it will be nice to live for a week without it”. I set up the high chair in the staff section of the dining hall, as well as all the toys the boys would need while I taught dance each morning. I got our room all set up like it was home. Ben was thrilled to be sleeping on a top bunk. I was excited that this week I wasn’t just going to be teaching dance, but was given 8 wonderful 12-14 year olds for two and a half hours each day to pour into. I fell asleep in full anticipation for the next day.

As per normal, the first day was really just learning the ropes. Meeting the girls I was teaching was a joy. They were your typical junior high girls; high energy and full of life… and a tad bit of drama of course (I wasn’t any different if I remember correctly!). We sat at lunch with my two  friends who invited me to the camp and got to meet some of the other staff members. We were feeling pretty at home.

But as the week continued, the constant giving stream that had to flow out of me onto the girls, only to turn right back onto my kids non-stop without hubby started to wear on me mentally, emotionally and even physically. Didn’t bother me too much, as I knew what I was signing up for. But what I didn’t expect was the loneliness that would invade my soul like a flood day in and day out.

As the week progressed, we found ourselves eating alone at our table during meal times. Our friends worked at the camp so had many responsibilities, we didn’t get a chance to see them that much during meals. Some of the counsellors I had connected with sat in the dining hall below with their cabin. Those who sat upstairs were camp staff, made up of single, young adults all the way to parents with kids. I’m not sure where the parents with kids sat, because I  didn’t see them. Each meal would come and various staff would pass our empty table to sit at the table next to us. I brushed it off at first, as on the first day or so, we always had someone to eat with. But something changed, and this was becoming the norm. I would look up and smile only to see various ones pass our table by. I realized our table was sometimes messy so I cleaned and set it up really nice with enough chairs to invite new friends, but yet again we sat alone. People would even come and grab chairs from our table to add to their already crowded table. By the last day, I broke.

It was lunch on Friday and I was doing all I could to not burst into tears right then and there. It was the strangest thing I’d felt in a long time. I didn’t realize how much the loneliness was getting to me – not to mention feeling like I was back in grade 8 wondering if my pits were smelly? I seriously started to wonder: “What’s WRONG with me??” Granted, I could see why 20 something’s wouldn’t be interested in sharing a table with a mom and her young children, making a mess with their food (yes, mommy included). But the consistency of the same scenario happening over and over started to wear on my emotions and cause a tsunami of self-doubt within me.

I remember one particular lunch-time thinking; “When will I be enough?   This question of course stemmed much deeper than just my present camp experience; it had been echoing in my mind for the past months only to be heightened in the heat of my present experience.

Funny, though, while all this is happening I’m telling my impressionable junior high girls to find their self worth in God…. alone. That they didn’t need friends, boys, or anyone else to give them worth. Just God. It would frustrate me to hear them say; “Great words, Connie!”, only to see them run off with player-type guys who were clearly just out for a summer fling. I found myself rolling my eyes one day at such a scene when God poked me on the shoulder. I could picture Him saying something like; “Ahem. Are you LISTENING to yourself??”. Interesting when God pokes us with our own words of wisdom isn’t it? The very thing I was preaching was the one thing God was wanting ME to get.

I instantly started my rant of how things were different in my case: “I’m not basing my worth on this, I just want some interaction from adults!”. “This is different, God.’”   And then of course the line I mentioned before; “Will I ever be ENOUGH?”….. that’s the one that did it.

I felt deep inside me, God ask; “No, Connie. When will I ever be enough for you?”. When would I stop asking myself, “When will I be enough” and start saying “God YOU are enough?”. We say this all the time in Christian circles. It’s quite the common cliché. We even sing one such chorus: “All I have in You is more than enough”. Yet, this experience showed me how true I was clinging to those words. How can we really know until put into a place where it is put to the test? In that very moment, our situation doesn’t sway God from asking that very same question again; “When will I be enough?”

This is something God is working in me at the present moment. I want Him to be enough. I want to feel I can express who He made me to be without constantly nit-picking my every quirk. I want to be who He uniquely created me to be and have it celebrated. But when its not, or when its misunderstood or even rejected, I want His opinion to matter most. I want Him to be more than enough.

Takes a whole lotta courage to live it and even love and bless those who seem to be pushing us aside. But Jesus, Himself did nothing less.

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Categories: relationships
  1. Steph
    August 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Amen sister 🙂 ❤

  2. August 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for this. I felt like i was reading about me and my life as I read about your meal time experiences at camp. I needed this today!

  3. Dawn Anne Brown
    September 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    well said and well lived, I love how God speaks to us… ever think of passing these on to a Christian magazine? I sure would read your column…
    big hugs…

  4. Jim
    September 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing your journey… isn’t it interesting how life has a way of refining us further and further into a true tree of hope and victory. As you hit the road of reality of the complexity of your inner person, God and His wisdom is right there to take you through it which makes you a real overcomer in this life. Bless you and good job!

  5. Mrs. Penelope Darwin
    June 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I do hope you find yourself by means other than religion. Religion of all means has screwed and mislead so many of my friends and family. My son was religious but finding so many unanswered or multiple answers to the same questions brought him down. True science and truth brought him to reality and a better understanding of life. Marriage under religion was horrible and only when my husband saw my other son die of a brutal cancer did he accept his loss as the circle of life not god’s answer.

    • June 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      oh Penelope, I am so sorry to hear how religion has messed with you. I’ve been screwed by religion as well, but faith has never let me down

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