You are enough

Do you ever just breathe in and realize right in a single moment, that you are enough? That even if you never did one more thing or accomplished what you want to accomplish — even if you did “nothing” by the world’s standard, that your existence is simply enough? I admit it, I think about it every day: ways I could be a little bit closer to perfect or areas in which I am not doing “enough.”

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I tend to shy away from an idea if I know I can’t do it perfectly. In fact, most often I run from something completely even if I could do it well. Because in my mind, doing something well isn’t worth it if I can’t do something perfectly. What if all that I put into my work isn’t enough for some people? What if all that I am doing is never enough?

It is easy to size up how your life is feeling to how someone else’s life is looking. & even if you’re not comparing yourself to someone else, it’s easy to constantly be wishing you could just be better. It’s easy to believe the lie that you are not qualified to step into a dream or calling because you don’t have yourself perfectly together. It is easy to believe that because you are still learning, you can’t teach others what you have learned. And above all, it is easy to believe that you can never reach a point of feeling like you are enough, because there is always something else you could do or a better version of yourself you could be.

In today’s day and age I think that it is so easy for us to idolize people that we learn from, draw inspiration from, or follow online. If you want, you can curate the perfect feed. You can compose blog posts that talk only about the good stuff, and you can share pictures that are edited to the T. You can show everyone your amazing life, your amazing habits, and your amazing relationships. You can leave out the real stuff. You can minimize your mistakes and blemishes. You get to select your content.

We can get caught in a cycle of always reaching for more, thinking that one more promotion will validate us in our career, that one more person will fulfill us when it comes to relationships, or that more recognition will take up the empty space in our hearts when it comes to what we want to achieve.

But no matter how much you achieve, who you know, or what you accomplish, you will never feel as though you are enough if you first don’t believe it when you don’t feel it. 

Believing the truth about yourself isn’t something you save for the days when it’s easy to do. Believing it starts on the days when your heart feels the exact opposite.

That means today.

Believe this: nothing you can ever do can make you more worthy of this life, more beautiful, more worth loving, or more “enough.” When you let that sink in, you can live fully alive in who you are called to be.

Know that you are enough in all of your imperfections,

& nothing you ever do — or don’t do — can change that.

 

the scale has it all wrong

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A lot of us broken people have this thing with scales–with numbers and affirmation and a definition of beauty.

We let numbers sink under our skin and tell us who we are.

We let a mirror affirm our beauty.

We let the world define perfection.

I’m writing this because I’ve decided not to step on a scale again, and I want you to join me.

Body image can control every thought if we’re not careful. We let so much of ourselves be wrapped up in how we appear to others. We allow so much of our”worth” to be wrapped up in what a person thinks. We forget that those people we’re looking to for validation are broken too, and they’re probably searching for the same thing.

But what if our problem isn’t really with ourselves?

I know, it sounds weird. How could hating the way you look not be a problem with yourself?

However, I really do believe that it is not a problem we have with ourselves, it’s a problem with believing the incredibly beautiful truth of our God. It’s a question of purpose, not perfection.

We have to get it through our heads that just because you believe you are ugly doesn’t mean you are ugly. Just because that person treated you like trash doesn’t mean you are trash. And just because you feel like a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake. We’ve lost sight of truth, because we’ve let ourselves believe the lies for so long. You will live what you let yourself believe. You can choose to believe those lies, or you can stand up and defend your heart with the truth.

The truth that you, my sister or brother, are incredibly crafted with a purpose. That you are breathed upon by God Himself.

We’ve forgotten about that when we look in the mirror. We’ve forgotten about that in the way we treat others. We’ve forgotten about that when we’re up late crying because of a deep feeling of emptiness in our souls.

You are so much more than this world will ever tell you you are. But the answer to the pain isn’t to love yourself more, rather to embrace the beautiful purpose God has for you and forget yourself. It’s to find yourself lost in that beautiful purpose to bring Him glory through the passions He has given you. 

I have a choice: I could live my entire life wrapped up in pleasing people, in eating healthy, in running daily, in a trying-to-keep-myself-skinny kind of life. I could live my life constantly trying to love myself more and embrace who I am while inside I really hate what I see. Or I could be free. I could embrace who I am in Christ. I could simply embrace Christ, and watch as I beautifully come to understand my incredible worth because of Him. I could claim my freedom in Christ. I could realize that no amount of applause from men will ever fill the void in my heart unless I turn to Christ. I could have faith to see that the kind of freedom I need is not a freedom to follow my heart but to be unbridled, myself, who I was made to be. The freedom I need is to follow His heart. The freedom I need is to be beautifully caught up in this:

I can live out my purpose-and throw away what people think-because when God sets you on fire with His purpose for you life, you don’t really want to learn to love yourself more, you want to love Him more.

I’m not stepping on a scale anymore because it distracts me from my purpose.

A scale can tell me how much I weigh but it cannot tell me how much I am worth.

It distracts me from know the irreplaceable truth about myself, that I am so much more than how I look.

I’ve discovered that a purpose and passion for King Jesus is more beautiful than all the world has to offer. I’d rather be kind than skinny. I’d rather know my God than be known by this world, and I’d rather have people think I’m strange and overlook me, if it means I press further into the presence of my King.

Please know it tonight: the scale has it all wrong. You are so much more than a number. Let your heart dance in amazing love tonight. Let your joy soar and sing upon the mountaintops of His love. You are so treasured it’s crazy. You are so adored. It’s not because of anything you have done, but because of our beautiful God. I don’t care if not one person has ever affirmed your beauty on this earth, you are incredibly beautiful. Let’s begin to believe the truth, and let it invade how we live our lives.

The scale has it wrong, but God’s Word has it right:

you are loved.

insecurity and I broke up

Insecurity and I broke up last night.

April 13, 2016–

been there. over. done.

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I never thought of myself as being held captive by insecurity.

I never thought it was the source of so much hurt and hindrance.

I never thought it was the breeding ground of the fear and lack of confidence in my life.

I never thought it was the thief that was robbing me of my God-given joy.

But my eyes-oh were they opened.

It’s been keeping me back from who I was created to be.

and now I see my pride,

and now I see my self-obsession,

and now I see my desperate need to be free.

I didn’t realize I have been held captive by insecurity for so long because I didn’t realize what insecurity truly was. Little did I know it was the source of what has been pulling my heart apart.

It’s time it is long gone from this girl’s heart. This heart that’s ready to be set free to run wild with God-exalting dreams. This heart that’s ready to explode with a love so vibrant and leave all of herself behind in the pursuit of Her God.

& so we’ve broken up.

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

Insecurity tends to be defined as a generalized, vague notion in our minds. We might say insecurity is “not being content with how we were made” or “wishing we looked different.”

But oh it is so much more than that.

I opened Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity, and I’ll never be the same. Let me pause right here and say that if you haven’t read it–please pick it up. So much of what is on my heart to share with you has its roots in her words and reflections ( I owe that woman some serious gratitude).

Every insecure heart pulsates reverberations of one thing:

doubt.

doubt in self & the beautiful person you were created to be.

doubt in God & the unfathomable worth He has placed within you.

Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt–a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate. -Joseph Nowinski

The insecure heart places unrealistic expectations on other people to fill what only God was made to fill, and runs on to the next thing if those expectations aren’t met, breaking down friendships and relationships and asking broken people to be its god.

The insecure heart weeps at the very thought of rejection. It is overly sensitive to every little thing someone else says or does. It lives in constant fear that someone will disapprove.

The insecure heart breaks the moment someone else does better. It wants to be a “the” instead of an “a.”

The insecure heart is not content with being average, but wants to soar higher, just to be better than someone else. Everything is a competition. Everything is a fight to be best.

The insecure heart wants to be the highest priority to their friend, boyfriend, family, or boss. It wants constant affirmation from these people that

And yet in all of this mess of an insecure heart–the most insecure person will often appear some level of perfect. Because perfection is what a diseased heart will use to patch the pain of insecurity.

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As I read through the pages of Beth Moore’s book, every word pressed into my heart and echoed,

Madyson: this is you.

This is you because all of this insecurity that is weighing you down is rooted in pride, self-centeredness, and self-obsession.

This is you because insecurity has made you do some stupid things. Insecurity has made you sit quiet and not speak for fear of saying something stupid. Insecurity has made you tell people you’re “quiet” as a cover up-as a lame excuse that disguises the real you. Insecurity has made a fool out of you. It’s stolen your life, and it’s held you back.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve placed your security in the hands of other people. When you do that, when you give your security and purpose to another person or people or friends to hold–they drop it every time.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve doubted yourself so much it’s pathetic. Truly sad. You’ve doubted so much the beautiful person God has made you to be. You’ve doubted your potential. You’ve kept dreams hidden too far inside.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve felt yourself so inferior to everyone else. Because you’ve let yourself be held captive by a lie for way too long.

I’ve spent hours telling God I am done with this. Begging forgiveness. Seeking to understanding what it truly is. But I know that it will not be over in an instant. It takes time to heal a heart that has been bruised.

But when those thoughts of self-doubt, inferiority, and fear arise I am standing up and recognizing them for what they are. I’m calling my enemy out, he’s had enough time to mess with me. I’m claiming the truth and promises of God’s Word over my heart. I’m posting sticky notes in places I see them to remind me of this truth.

It may be a battle to overcome this,

I say bring it on. I have the power of Christ in me.

Slowly, little by little, God’s truth will begin to erase those lies I have believed for so long. As I feed my heart and soul with that truth, I pray it fills my spirit, until all of me knows the perfect fullness of resting secure in who I was made to be. Of reaching my fullest potential in Him.

I was made to do hard and holy things. Insecurity will no longer keep me back from living a full life of joy and peace in my Savior. I will listen to His voice, His opinion of me, and His words alone.

Since the night I decided I’d had enough-and the next morning after that spent with Jesus-I have never known so much freedom in my heart. 

It is a beautiful thing.

Next time insecurity calls- I’m not picking up.

I’ve moved on, I’ve had enough, and #IamSECURE

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p.s. this is just part one of me sharing my journey through insecurity. please follow along as I share more of my heart with you in the next few weeks and months, and ways through which I am seeking to overcome it.  Sisters, in the Lord #weareSECURE.

risen for relationship

 

she fell in love with Jesus

and everything else soon fell away

every other desire–

except the smile of His face upon hers

except His presence and grace and fullness

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rae

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she fell in love with Jesus-

and man’s approval fell to the side

she didn’t even care anymore what they thought

she wasn’t deterred by rejection

or concerned with meeting their standards.

 

she fell in love with Jesus-

Her Savior was resurrected

risen

He rose for a relationship with her

and she knew this within the depths of her being

this–His resurrection–it gave her life a whole new meaning

this love poured out through His blood captivated her

it stole her heart, and all that she was

it gave her freedom

freedom to be all He had made her to be.

and now there was one resolve in her soul,

to be wholly His

in thought

in word

in deed.mak

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Because that is truly why He rose. for His glory, for our greatest joy, for His deepest and most ardent love to be poured out over us through His agony. His blood brought beauty. His resurrection, relationship.

The truest Lover of our hearts laid down all His glory and magnificence so that He could know us eternally as His beloved.

So that He could rescue us from the clutches of ourselves. From self-obsession and eternal damnation. From the world, from the evil of our own hearts, from death. We are rescued from death forever.

& praise God we can know Him. We can walk with Him each day for all of eternity. We can know His fullness, the beauty of His presence and the joy of His face upon us.

because we have been labeled perfect.

blameless.

enough.

& it’s all because of Jesus.

 

 

what approval addicts need

our hearts are all aching for someone, or many people, to tell us we’re approved.

it’s a longing in all of us to be told we are enough and accepted. it can be a poison that infiltrates our bones and destroys who we were made to be.

if we let it go on long enough, we’ll soon find ourselves sick.

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consuming thoughts about gaining approval in the eyes of men are rooted in self-obsession. we’re looking and running after what only God can give us. we’re looking for love in all the wrong places, from all the wrong sources because it can only be found in Christ alone.

no matter how hard you try, the world’s approval will never be enough! but you will find yourself destroyed as you keep searching after what will never fill. man’s approval can never satisfy you because it’s not supposed to. we were not created to live to please man “in whose nostrils is breath” (Isaiah 2:22).

and we can’t serve two masters. we have a choice: serve the world, or serve Jesus Christ.

I think I’ve got an idea:

 

let’s long to be broken of our selfishness and pour our lives out for others.

let’s forget about ourselves and look only to Him.

let’s care less about whether someone approves and more about their soul.

let’s stop craving approval from a world that hates the God we serve.

let’s step out in faith and forget “I”

Just JESUS.

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John Piper’s words cut straight to my heart,

“So my counsel to every Christian who struggles with the fear of man’s disapproval and the craving of man’s approval, which is all Christians, more or less, is this: Realize that in Jesus Christ, in a solid, God-chosen relationship with Jesus, man’s disapproval cannot hurt you and man’s approval cannot satisfy you. Therefore, to fear the one and crave the other is shear folly. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) — free from the fear of not getting other people’s approval and craving it as though you just got to have it.

And the truth that set you free from that is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). You don’t need to fear anyone’s disapproval when God almighty is for you. Think about it. Let it sink in. And the other truth is that knowing Jesus, looking outside ourselves to the glory of the Son of God in the gospel in the triumph for us over evil, looking to him is all-satisfying. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8).

So the itch is satisfied, not with successful self-regard, but with breathtaking Christ-regard.”

and so the solution to this obsession isn’t to love ourselves more and be more confident in our individuality, it’s to forget ourselves, to lose ourselves in His grace, to reach up and out to a hurting world. it’s to become consumed instead with pouring ourselves out and living to make others rejoice in our God. it’s to forget about our own agendas and reputations and dreams and concerns and lay them all down at His feet.

is this something you struggle with? me too, girl! leave me a comment or shoot me an email (beautiefullthings@gmail.com) to share what helps you fight this and live for an Audience of One!

check out John Piper’s whole article on this:  http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gospel-wisdom-for-approval-junkies

gah it’s blurry

blurry. out of focus.

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ehh.

I thought I should delete it.

but wait. maybe not.

this picture is kinda accurate.

it’s messed up. it’s imperfect. it’s not like I think it should be. sounds familiar.

sounds like me, honestly. I want everything so clear and perfect. If I could just have a set of rules to follow, or my life all perfectly mapped out with a route to travel through–then day by day I wouldn’t have to obsess with what could go wrong.

I want clarity–Jesus says “just come.”

“come and embrace the blurry and trust ME.”

we don’t need clarity. but we do need to be FOCUSED.

we don’t need to know our tomorrow. but we do need to know our King.

Oh what a relief, we don’t have to do it all, be it all, or know it all. Because the One who knows ALL has our hearts firmly grasped in His hands. And this is the amazing thing:

He is never going to let go of your heart.

ever.

for eternity and ages on.

and there’s something even greater. He’s chasing you. He’s pursuing you in your mess. In your confusion He is running after your heart. He is yearning for you. He is jealous for you. His love for you is beyond anything you could ever have the strength to fathom.

whisper it again and again to your heart until you sing for joy. until it pours over your being and until His love consumes you.

His love is REAL. His grace is REAL. It’s powerful. It’s beautiful. It’s incomparable.

You know that blurry situation you’ve got? That uncertainty that’s trapping the air out of your lungs? He wants you to come tell Him.

Sit down. With no one around. Tell him your blurry mess. Ask Him to simply invade it with the calm clearness of his presence. You might not have a clear view of where you’re at, but He will give you a clear view of Himself.

And that is all you need.

That is all I need.

That in our blurry mess, His grace could never be clearer. It’s pouring down, it never runs out, and He is using our mess to bring us closer to Him. Because that fullness-that closeness to Jesus- that’s what we were made for.

xoxo,

Mady

 

•••••••••••••

Our prayer for more of you, Lord:

Just to know more of you Jesus! There is nothing greater. No higher privilege in all of the universe than to walk daily with You, King Jesus. Let our lives flow as beautiful rivers of praise to your Holy Name. You are so beautiful, Jesus. Might we reflect your beauty and wholeness and peace to a world so broken and void of light. You are the light. And in your light we find the life we need. We find the radiance of your countenance and it lifts ours. We are filled. We are satisfied in You because You are more than enough. More than all the world has to offer, greater than the cloudy containers of our mind and of uncertainty. We’re grasping, we’re yearning, we’re expecting more of You this day. Do your work in our blurry world. And Jesus we don’t want clarity, so much as we want more of You.

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