Growing up, I was the youngest in my family, by five years, 10 years, 12 years, and 15 years. You could call me a mistake, but my dad calls me a “wonderful surprise” so I go with that.
Being the youngest by so many years, I could really feel it. I’d be the first in bed, the one not included because I was too young, and the one who didn’t hold as much wisdom or knowledge so I didn’t need to or “couldn’t” contribute to the discussions.
I was labeled the moment I was born.
It wasn’t meant to be a bad label; it was just a true label. I was the youngest and I always would be. I would always know less, have less experience, and be more naive than everyone else in my family.
The problem was I carried that label with me—outside of the home, with my friends, with the people I met, and even into adulthood.
Instead of the label simply saying “youngest”, which is all it was meant for and only as a child, it told me I wasn’t enough and I never would be. Of course, it told me that only because I was allowing it to.
I’m not enough.
That is the message that has been running through my head since before I can remember.
Truth be told, I don’t think I’m the only one.
If we are honest with ourselves, many of us are labeled something at one point or another that eventually causes us to tell ourselves the exact same thing: I’m not enough.
A true label or a true statement eventually turns into a lie that can take over our thoughts, our hearts, and in turn our beliefs. We start believing this lie that is only that—a lie. The more we believe, the more the lie begins to grow, overtaking our entire self-belief.
We become blinded by the lie and we see ourselves as never enough because of the lie. Our lie becomes specific to each position we hold in this life.
Not a good enough mother.
Not a kind enough friend.
Not a loving enough wife.
Not a smart enough employee.
Soon, as we believe the lie more, we feed into it and never fill the roles we were meant to fill. As we believe the lie we live the lie and no longer are we fulfilling our purpose the way we could be.
We become the lazy mother, a distant friend, a cold wife, and a marginal employee. All because we believe that is the best we can do and we simply aren’t meant to shine.
But oh, how we were meant to shine! How we were made to be good enough! Exactly good enough. If we allowed ourselves to believe that, to know those truths, we would shine in ways that would astonish ourselves and brighten others. But this lie cuts so deep it makes those truths disappear.
Are you feeding into that same lie today? Do you hear yourself repeating it over and over again? Has it become so ingrained in you that you don’t even hear it anymore, it has just become a part of you?
Face the lie. Tell the lie what it really is. Only and always a lie.
Then fight. Fight the lie with real and raw truth. Truth that is unstoppable and uncontainable. Truth that is more real than anything else we could ever tell ourselves.
Truth from the True Word.
The Word that tells us we are complete (Col. 2:9-10), we are capable (Phil. 1:6), we are gifted with power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). The Word that tells us we are God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10), we are dearly loved (Col. 3: 12), we are God’s treasure (1 Pet. 2:9-10). The Word that tells us we are forgiven (Eph. 1:7-8) and because we are forgiven we are made enough in His eyes.
I may have been called “the youngest” growing up. But I was never called “not enough”. That was all me. That was all manipulated language that I brought into my own life. But with God’s truths growing in me, that lie is slowly getting smaller. His truths are allowing me to shine in exactly the way He had planned all along. Slowly His truths become reflected in all of me.
I am grasping onto those truths and I pray you would join me in doing the same.