By Debbi White
I found myself bawling the other morning. I hadn’t wept like that in months. The previous weeks had been filled with excitement: visitors from Washington and New Jersey, kayaking, zip lining, white water rafting. . . And that night I was eagerly expecting company again.
I usually love being hostess. I had started a monthly game night several years ago. Some neighbor ladies would meet (frequently at my house) for dinner or snacks and board games. I looked forward to it! Usually. But that morning, I was in tears.
Reveling In My Inadequacies
There were regularly the same three of us, but often we invited other neighbors. Others came and went, and that night two newbies were joining us. One had a beautiful house overlooking the river. I mean BEAUTIFUL. She was married to a man in politics, and they seemed quite well off. And, in the past year, she had lost weight and was now quite thin.
I had my day all mapped out: dusting, decorating (for fall), vacuuming, grocery shopping, and cooking. I should’ve been in my element! But as I looked around I noticed the stains in the carpet, the 40 year old cabinets and countertops, the nicks in the kitchen chairs. I had joined Weight Watchers a month before, but my weight-loss wasn’t yet noticeable. I was feeling very much intimidated and inferior. Would this woman notice all of my flaws and those of my house? Would I be able to hold my head up and enjoy the evening?
I was reminded of the lyrics to Lauren Daigle’s song, You Say:
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know.
Paul tells us in II Corinthians 10 that we are to throw “down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (verse 5)
God’s Word convicted me.
Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. (verse 7)
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. (verse 12)
God does not want me to compare myself to others! He does not want me to focus on the externals to the exclusion of what is important to Him.
He encouraged me with the verses:
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” (Philippians 1:6)
HE’S WORKING ON ME, AND HE’S NOT DONE YET!
“He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (I Thessalonians 5:24)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
What I Could Do
What was important to God in my entertaining? What was His heart? I believe it was to make my guests feel loved and welcomed, for them to feel relaxed and comfortable and to be able to enjoy themselves.
I could not make my home modern, but I could make it clean. I could create an enticing, cheerful atmosphere. And it would help if I was content and relaxed myself. I had to grasp God’s Word for myself!
Lauren Daigle’s song continues:
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity,
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
A Change in Perspective
I do believe! I know He loves me! He’s been my husband the past 25 years. He’s also been my Father. My favorite of all His names is I AM. Whatever I need, He is! The One Who created the universe loves Me! The One Who holds the sun in place died for me. He has provided for me and protected me. He has a plan for me. I have this house only because of several miracles He did for me. As old and stained and chipped and worn as it is, it is my home. It is full of love (and animals!). I welcome guests, and I want them to feel loved and valued.
Are you struggling with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority? Do you think that you are not enough as a mother, teacher, wife, woman? Is it because you are looking on outward appearances and comparing yourself to others instead of looking at yourself through God’s eyes?
As I started readjusting my thoughts and what I was concentrating on, my perspective changed. I no longer focused on my inadequacies and my house’s shortcomings.
All That Was Needed
The day didn’t go exactly as planned, and I was still in the midst of food preparation in a messy kitchen when my guests began arriving. But I wasn’t frazzled. The house was tidy (except for the kitchen!), candles were giving off a sweet scent, and the evening was bathed in prayer. I welcomed my friends into a home with the aroma of the love of Christ.
I, in myself, am NOT enough. But Christ says He is enough. He is I AM, everything I need.
And a good time was had by all.