As I child, I grew up in a home surrounded by a thick layer of oppressive testosterone that choked every breath I took. Because of the domineering nature of my three brothers, their loud and raucous behavior, I rarely spoke. Trying to get a word in, let alone be heard, was a challenge too exhausting, and in my mind, one not worth taking. What was the point? No one listened anyways.
So, I’d hunker down in my room filled with dolls and either talk to them or write in journals. This was much safer, and I could actually get off my chest the thought of the moment without interruption. But, because I had no voice, I never felt like I fit in or was good enough.
Over the years, this haunting feeling plagued my heart and fed into every other aspect of my life. I wasn’t good enough to be someone’s friend. I wasn’t good enough to get good grades and get into the college of my dreams. I wasn’t good enough to be loved by anyone outside my family.
Nowhere did this paralyzing belief hold truer than in my relationships with the opposite sex. Boyfriends were rare if at all, and in my marriage I scrambled constantly trying to stay one step ahead of my children’s father to be the woman I thought he wanted. And, in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Lent is a time of reflection, and I’ve spent hours wondering why I’ve done this to myself. I’ve accomplished much in my 58 years and have four amazing children to show for my efforts. So, why does this feeling of inadequacy continue to haunt me like a forgotten ghost stuffed at the back of a locked closet that comes out to strangle my soul when I’m not paying attention?
Recently, the sun finally broke through after two weeks of non-stop rain and with its glory dawned a new revelation. The awe-inspiring arrival of spring’s warmth helped me to understand that we’re all given the opportunity of a rebirth in the eyes of God. Through His love, daily we’re given gifts (should we choose to grab them) for knowledge, deep introspection, and cleansing healing. When a parent continues to stand by their child, no matter what the circumstance, it is their way of saying “you’re worth it.”
Today, I’ve learned that it will no longer matter if others feel I don’t measure up to their standards. I will continue to make mistakes, lots of them, and I may still find it’s hard to express my feelings. There will forever be mountains I struggle to conquer, but in the end, all that won’t matter because by walking in God’s love I know I’m good enough for Him. And that right there is pure perfection.