It wasn't long ago that I had the opportunity to sit down with a woman I admire--someone who is a bit of a role model for me, though we are amazingly close in age. We have similar dreams and goals--and personalities, if truth be told--but she is much farther down the path toward realizing her goals than I am. I relished the time to be with her, chat with her, share dinner with her.
But as the evening went on, I noticed a phrase that she seemed to use a lot: "kind of a big deal." As in, "my friend so-and-so has this great job in New York. She's kind of a big deal." From her family to her friends to people she ran into on the street, she seemed to know a lot of folks who are kind of a big deal.
To be fair, she wasn't in any way being snobbish, just excited to talk up the people that she loves, and I think that is fantastic. But I couldn't help but leave there feeling inadequate. Not only am I nothing, but I don't even know anyone who is something! She is extremely talented, but she also has great connections. What hope do I possibly have in my little corner of Small Town America?
I wish I could say I quickly let it go, but it has stuck with me. My insecurities wrapped themselves around this idea and reminded me that I am far from a big deal, that I am far from significant, that I am far from enough.
Have you ever felt like you're not enough? Maybe life hasn't turned out the way you thought--you've had to let go of a dream because of choices or circumstances that have come up. Maybe you are playing the comparison game with a friend or family member or even someone whose blog you read, and you just don't measure up. Or maybe you just lost your temper with your child and you feel that oh-so-familiar mom guilt weighing on you.
The burden of inadequacy is almost impossible to avoid. We are inundated with social media, where it's all about putting our best foot forward. We are surrounded with examples of people who are doing exactly what we're doing--but better, faster, and with more "likes."
But maybe if we don't measure up, it's because we need a new ruler.
Have you ever had a lightbulb moment for yourself when parenting your children? Maybe it's just me, since I am basically raising a mini-me, but it happens a lot around here.
Lamb has been really wrestling lately with who she is. She's smart, but not the smartest in her class. She's musically talented, but not a prodigy. She's active, but not likely to be a legendary athelete. She's helpful and a great leader, but can come off as bossy. She is a devoted friend, but can come off as needy. (Yep, I told you she's a mini-me.) She has asked, on more than one tearful occasion, "WHY did God make me this way? What is special about me?"
And this is what I have been telling her: "Sweetheart, YOU are the daugher of the almighty GOD. YOU have been created uniquely to accomplish something that no one else can do, because no one else has your set of strengths and weaknesses and experiences. YOU have been entrusted with a family who needs you, friends to love and encourage, and a mission to serve the Lord. And not only is the God of the Universe your heavenly father, He is also your VERY BEST FRIEND. You are incredibly special."
Here's what I know for me: This post may be read by thousands of people, or it may never been seen by anyone but me. I may one day be known across the country as an author/speaker, or I may just be the world's best book reader to 3 little munchkins. Either way, I am going to do it with all my heart, because I am on a unique mission to serve God.
And here's what I know for me AND for you, if you know the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ: YOU are the daugher (or son ;-) ) of the almighty GOD. YOU have been created uniquely to accomplish something that no one else can do, because no one else has your set of strengths and weaknesses and experiences. YOU have been entrusted with a family who needs you, friends to love and encourage, and a mission to serve the Lord. And not only is the God of the Universe your heavenly father, He is also your VERY BEST FRIEND. You are incredibly special.
I don't know about you, but I think that sounds like kind of a big deal.