Never once have I believed I wasn’t enough for God. How many times did God rescue his people even though he knew they’d disappoint him? How many times did God love on his people knowing they were going to hurt him? What’s more? How is it that God could send Jesus to this earth to save us? I mean the agony of being God on this earth could not have been easy. Looking at people with those eyes that see the soul and knowing how hurt a person is. Knowing the evil desires of the heart. But out of compassion teaching his people who God really is. Helping them to understand what God really wants from them—Love God. Love others.
Then not only teaching, but the 98.5* blood that dripped off his flesh, down that cross and finding its resting place on the ground—evidence that Jesus had me (you) in mind on that cross, knowing I’d (we’d) need this salvation centuries later, man… that’s overwhelming.
Over and over and over yet again God shares with us evidence that he follows through with what he says he’s going to do. He is a God of his word. He says what he says and means it. There’s no question. There’s no gray area.
This issue of not enough is a horizontal relational issue for me—relationships with people on this earth. We are imperfect and love imperfectly. For example, we’ve all witnessed the friend who is gorgeous, kind, and intelligent continually cycle in relationships with the wrong men. It’s her thing—Get together with this guy, eventually get hurt even when we told her she would, and then come crying on our shoulder.
Sometimes I wonder if we’re not like the girl picking the wrong man. This image of the girl cycling in relationships keeps playing over and over in my mind as I’ve been contemplating this post. Why does she keep putting herself in situations so similar and familiar and yet know deep down she will end up hurt in this relationship?
Taking this from hypothetical to personal, why do I, Danielle, continue to overextend myself in relationships? Why is it I can’t just form healthy relationships well? Why do I see people and run away afraid they might want to talk? I’ve come to realize I run from relationships with people because I hate the work that is required to maintain them.
I lived on that theory for a while. A long while actually. I joked with close friends who understood I wasn’t a terrible person when I said, “I really just don’t like people.” The problem with saying that I hate people wasn’t how I felt. I actually love people! I love the beauty that is a sea of people, knowing God created each of them perfectly for a purpose for His kingdom. That each of us have a job and my job isn’t any better or worse than anyone elses’ and that we all have a stake in the Kingdom forever. I love God’s women. My heart, oh, I wish you could see my physical posture when I think of God’s women. How he adores us so. How he created us so specifically and so intimately detailed. How important we are to His Kingdom work, too, is overwhelming at times! Oh how I love speaking some Truth into women and allowing God’s women to speak a whole lotta whip-lashed Truth into me.
Last fall God was doing something in me. Stirring something so deep. I knew it was something scary deep because it had to do with feelings. I shudder at the word feelings. A coping mechanism I have is to not feel and just do. Accessing my feelings mean I might be stalled and imperfect. Might knock me down a tad bit. So during this time of stirring, I started questioning things about myself. Last year around this time my family and I were settling into a new rhythm of life. Dustin had retired from the United States Air Force and began working for Ball Aerospace in Dayton, Ohio. He was staying in Dayton during the week and coming home for the weekends. This left the kids and me to continue the home life routines. I enjoyed the rhythm.
Sometime around October of last year I really felt a weird tug. A familiar tug, but one I haven’t felt in almost eight years. The tug that God was preparing me for a season of turmoil. I couldn’t quite place it but I know it had to do with the stirring of feelings. Life was so rich and fulfilling at the time. I had it all under control. I remember distinctly in October making a goal of not putting any extra things on my calendar for November. Somehow I followed through with that. I remember taking time to focus on me. I went to the gym. Had ample time to study God’s Word. I began journaling again. I hate journaling but knew for some reason I’d need to be journaling more causing me to slow down.
I started asking more questions than just accepting what was.
Who am I?
Why am I the way I am?
Why do I get so frustrated over things I cannot control?
Why do I distance myself when I need comfort or help?
Why would I rather do life alone than with others who have or might hurt me?
Why is it people are drawn to me all over the country, no matter where I am, asking me for directions?
Why is it people come to me to tell me the most incredible stories and yet have an instant trust bond with me to hold their story safely?
Why is it so hard to do it all and yet be happy?
I sit here with a broken heart as I think about those questions. Not for myself. No. I sit here with a broken heart for other women who have these questions, and even more, have the questions and no one to walk alongside them. Some may not have deep friendships where they feel comfortable walking through these questions with. Maybe these women need counseling but don’t have the finances to seek Christian counseling. That was me. For years I could not afford to seek counseling, yet I needed it so very badly.
During the preparation I was able to do some beginning self-examination with the Enneagram and Meyer’s Briggs. I learned my personality is very hard, rough, raw, and direct. I am an Enneagram type 1. Most people freak out about it when they find out because one’s are quite possibly the most difficult to understand and to understand others. We like perfection. We like people to behave properly just because it is just and then we feel resentment and anger because people don’t do what’s right because it is right. See how complicated it is inside my head?
I’m also an INTJ on the Meyer’s Briggs. As an INTJ I am quite a loner, not because I want to be, but because as a woman I am just one person in .8% of the population who also is like me. I’m relentless in my pursuit. I foundationally believe the more we educate ourselves the better we will be. We don’t get the option to quit because we don’t know any better.
On this pursuit to understand myself, I learned I am no better than anyone else. Not in a pride sense, but I literally was no better nor more important than anyone else to the people that matter in my life. I realized, deep down, my gut desire is to be known for who I am. I want people to love me and respect me for who I am. Not who I was. Not my family name. Not who I’m associated with. No, I want to be loved, respected, and known because I am Danielle. That is all. And she is enough to be loved.
Because I have such insane high standards for others, and likewise myself, I have always dealt with issues of not being enough. Not feeling like enough caused me to escape my feelings of inadequacy. I remember when the No Doubt Tragic Kingdom album came out. I took my boom box to the garage, plugged it in and played that whole album on repeat for hours shooting hoops in my parents’ driveway. I escaped. Trying to better my BEEF (Balance, Eye, Elbow, Follow-through). Trying to get my body to move quicker. Pushing myself for long periods of time so that everything else in my mind was gone. I could focus on me and not worry about what anyone else thought.
I remember the satisfaction I got from working hard on homework and getting it done and done well. When I was in school there wasn’t a completion grade. Everything was graded right or wrong. We had to prove we were mastering the content. Man, did I love proving I was learning something. Grades were a tangible way to prove I was worthy.
I remember getting to school around 6:30am to practice pitching before school. There was nothing better than hearing the solid pop of that softball landing directly in the catcher’s mitt echoing off the empty gym walls. Every pop-pop-pop reminding me: gosh dang it, I’m freaking good at something. I’m worth it.
I remember losing seventy pounds in high school. Each dropped clothing size I felt more and more worth it. I looked like a girl my age. I got attention. I got what felt like respect and reverence.
I remember making negative decisions with promiscuity. I was getting attention. Any attention. I felt worthy. I felt wanted. I felt like I was good enough.
Until the people who are supposed to love me the most and support me, let me down. In my mind, when let down I am not enough to be loved well through the hard times. I’m not enough to be loved unconditionally and try to have a relationship with. I’m not enough to be chosen over other people. I’m not enough to be chosen over certain behaviors.
That’s when I realized the common denominator—I thought I had to work in order to earn love and respect. Work showed I was worth something. I got attention when that hard work paid off. The problem was, work was the bad boyfriend, and I was the girl continuing to cycle in and out of the bad relationships crying on friends’ shoulders. What the real problem was? I masked my feelings, never faced my problems, and instead used work to gain recognition and value.
Last fall I realized I had become a person who needs to do in order to be seen. I need to be appreciated. I need to know I am loved.
Last fall, what I was learning, oh, it was just the brimstone of what was truly plummeting my mental state into the ground. Little did I know just how close to the ledge I was. Little did I know, that I was to start digging into something that will forever be a part of my recovery.