Have you ever felt like you were too much?…Too excited? Too emotional? Too introverted? Too extraverted? Asked too many questions? Needed too much help and encouragement?…
How about, not being enough?…Not a good enough education? Not good enough to love? Not smart enough to offer advice? Not experienced enough to participate? Not brave enough to try?
If that’s you, I have a story for you…
Once upon a time…
There was a little girl who longed to be happy and for people to love her. Her name was Eve.
Eve was a dazzling girl most often dressed in flowy sparkly clothes. Success to her was coffee dates, writing, reading, and adventures with her siblings in the woods – they played boxcar children most often, running away from the orphan catchers and such…
She felt deeply…
But most of all she felt deeply. While most people shed a few tear at the end of “Fault in our Stars” Eve cried buckets. And a simple word of encouragement could send her skipping through the house for the next eight hours.
Tucked away in an apartment in germany life was pretty simple. Siblings. School. Parents. And, sledding. She lived in her world of flashy fashion and erupting emotions, until one day they moved and she turned 13.
Moving brought them to a whole new world – America – not to mention turning 13, entering high school and facing everything included in “becoming a young woman.” She started dance and other weekly activities.
She began to believe she was not enough…
Not thin enough, not quick enough, not stylish enough, not popular enough. So, she worked out more, took more dance classes, got tighter darker clothes, and pursued bigger fancier dreams.
Before she knew it she hated her life, she hated her dreams, and most of all she hated her emotions. They were too much. So, she turned them off. She thought, if I’m not sad anymore I won’t be too much for anyone and I won’t be embarrassed by my tears. So she did. She stopped crying during movies and being expressing disappointment. She thought she finally had it all under control.
She was becoming enough while not being too much. Perfect.
Until one day…
Until on her 20th birthday she smiled and laughed. All her siblings stopped to watch and listen. That’s when Eve realized, that the unthinkable had happened. In the midst of trying to be enough, but not too much she had become void. Working out and striving for more didn’t make her enough. It made her empty. And stopping sadness didn’t keep her from being too much, it just stole her smile.
Eve decided she wanted her siblings to know a happy sister. She didn’t know quite what that looked like yet, but she read her bible.
As she read she realized that she was made in the image of God and that the image of God was beautiful and powerful – never too much and always enough. That’s when she decided to look inside herself and find the parts of her that God created like Himself.
- Sparkly Eyes
- Big Dreams
So, she changed…
When no one was looking she snuck into the bathroom. Standing in front of the mirror she dared herself to smile. It was awkward at first. Her face hadn’t moved that way in a long time and her teeth looked weird between her lips. But she stood there for about five minutes smiling…or rather, practicing smiling.
The whole next year she burrowed into her bible discovering who God was and daring to be who God created her to be. It was scary. She often wondered, What if people think I’m too much or not enough?
And then she would remember that God created her. He had a purpose just for her – the deep-feeling-glitter-obsessed-word-loving dreamer. So, she determined in her heart to be that person so she could bless the people God wanted her to bless.
And because she did…
A few months later she found herself in a coffee shop smiling a sipping steaming chai while talking to a friend who was back from college. Eve listened as her friend told story after story of all the opportunities God had brought her while at college and how God had used Eve to prepare her to have the courage and skills to take advantage of each opportunity.
And ever since that day Eve has been committed to knowing who God is – never too much and always enough – and who He made her to be – loved and sparkling with joy.
Hey, sweet friend…
I wanted to give you this peak into my story, because I think it could be a peak into your own. I know it was long, but it’s a story of over 10 years of my life. While it’s long, I hope it gives you hope, because this kind of transformation doesn’t happen over night. It did happen for me and it can happen for you if you’re determined to know God and who He made you to be, but it won’t happen over night. So, when the nights get long refer to the length of this story, and hold on.
This is one of my favorite quotes and inspired this post.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.