When I chased after the gold stars, the question, “Am I enough?” dominated my thoughts.
Am I worthy enough to receive recognition? Am I good enough to be on the worship team? And once I “made it” onto the worship team, Am I good enough to be offered a solo? Am I enough to become friends with so-and-so?
Am I enough?
When I wasn’t “enough,” the gray dots adhered to my vulnerable skin, de-scabbing wounds. When someone rejected an offer of friendship, when I didn’t get offered that lead solo, when I wasn’t invited to a get-together.
Intentionally given or not, all those gray dots hurt.
The need—the craving—for the gold stars was never truly sated. Even when I “was enough,” I doubted it, deep inside.
One day, frustrated over something that happened at church, I talked to God, pouring out my frustration. Then the question came, almost audible:
“Am I enough?”
“Of course You are, Lord.” I lied.
He was silent. I thought about how hard I’d worked to feel accepted in our church. I craved deeper friendships. I didn’t understand why God hindered these.
After a few minutes I confessed to Him the discrepancy between what I said and what my heart believed.
Acceptance by others + God = Enough.
I had to come to the point of admitting God was the only One who was truly enough. He was the only One who could satisfy that longing for significance deep inside.
Here are a few things that helped re-shape my identity, aligning it with how Jesus sees me:
- I studied what God’s word says about me (and all His kids): He delights in me. He rejoices over me with singing and quiets me with His love (Zeph 3:17). He has a perfect plan for me, and it is a good plan (Jer 29:11).
- I explored what the Bible says about thoughts. Each day, I ask God to conform my thoughts to what His are, especially when I am tempted to seek affirmation from people (See Philippians 4:8).
- I re-trained my thoughts, often reminding myself that God is enough. Whether He gives me things I think I need or not, He is enough. What He supplies is enough. When I begin to worry about how people might be thinking about me, I remind myself how God sees me.In His eyes, I am just who He’s created me to be.
- I have a couple friends I talk very honestly with. When I slip into seeking people’s affirmation over God’s, they set me straight. When I struggle with the rejection issues that crop up, they remind me of God’s truths and how He views me.
As I seek to find my identity in how God sees me, how He thinks of me, those gold stars and gray dots don’t stick so well anymore.
What about you? What helps you not get caught up in affirming your identity in the wrong place? How do you keep an accurate perspective about your identity?