Why You are More than Enough

“You are enough”.

Three simple words. Countless meanings… and yet it took me so long to understand what they meant to me. Let’s backtrack a couple of years to my freshman year of college. I went on a retreat put on by the Campus Ministry office at school and I was sitting in a room with about 30 other girls… we were all wrapped in blankets and probably crying because of the beautiful talks and the feeling of God’s love in the room. One of the leaders was giving a talk and during it, she took a second to point out to everyone in the room that they are enough. “Enough?” I thought. What does that even mean? She went on to talk about dignity and our importance to God as individuals. I remember trying to meditate on this and finding it difficult to accept.

How could I be enough for anyone let alone God? I knew my faults and shortcomings and I didn’t see how that could ever be enough. Perfection is enough. Being great at everything and never sinning is enough. I can’t be enough. I can try but I can’t ever really get there… Or so I thought.

Since that time in my life, God has drawn me closer to Himself and has really been taking time to show me all of the ways that I am perfectly enough… and not only that but how everyone ever created is perfectly enough for Him.

I pray with scripture often and I would like to share a verse that strongly pointed this out to me. St James Writes, “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace.” (James 4:5-6) this verse goes on to say “Come near to God and he will come near to you”. When I read this verse all I could think was oh my gosh… He’s in love with us. God is in love with us, He longs for us… Jealously! That. Is. amazing. And also, why am I just now seeing and hearing this?

I finally understood. We are enough for God because He loves us. One who loves knows that the beloved has faults and yet loves them anyway. For the sake of the beloved, the lover desires that they acknowledge and overcome their faults but does not love them less. This kind of love is always present to us. God is always desiring us and loving us imperfect creatures in His perfect way. He is always there longing for us to speak to him, look at Him, or even think of Him. The one thing we need to do to experience this love and this enough-ness is to “go near to him” as St. James says. That is all. I know that sometimes in order to draw near to God, we need to overcome certain walls that we may have put up between us and Him. Rest in the assurance that we don’t need to be perfect and we don’t need to have it all figured out, we just need to go to Him.

Often, the problem is that we look for our worth in the broken world around us and all we face is comparison. We are shown all of the things we need to change to be beautiful, to be loved, to be enough for any other person. I think Theodore Roosevelt was spot on when he said “Comparison is the thief of Joy”. Instead of asking the world to show us our worth, we need to ask the creator of the world to show us.

When Pope St. John Paul II visited his homeland of Poland and was speaking to his people who had been under an oppressive communist rule for so long he said “You are not who they say you are, let me remind you who you are”. In that moment he was speaking to the Polish people but his words applied to the whole world. We cannot let this world define who we are, only the word of God can do that.

If you ever feel like you’re just a bunch of flaws and mistakes sewn up into a person who rarely knows what to do, remember that the same God who created you and knows your flaws and your vices also loves you without your asking Him to. He loves you no matter what and he is the one who guides your steps.

When we accept this love and meditate on it in tough times, it becomes easier to see why we are also enough for those around us. When we understand that we are loved by the All-knowing God of the universe, we will also come to understand that we are deserving of love from those around us because we are a unique creation who is unlike any other created thing or any other person who has ever existed. We also see that we have a duty to love others back. Just as we are and just as they are… Love does not require change but it does cause it.

If we choose to see that we are loved and we choose to do something with that love (aka spread it to the rest of Gods beautiful creation), we will see with our very eyes, this world piecing itself back together. We will understand that we are not only enough for love, we are deserving of it… and that is a beautiful thing.

I want to challenge you to sit in a chapel or in adoration this week and just ask God reveal His love for you. While resting in His presence, let yourself be filled with the peace that only He can give.

I am praying for you all as you seek your worth in His eyes before seeking it in the eyes of the world.

God loves you So much more than I do but I also love you. 

1 Corinthians 13

Angela’s Testimony 

I’m Angela Maria Therese Marinelli- baptized & raised Catholic. I think it’s fun to know all my friends’ confirmation names and I like celebrating St. Therese’s feast day more than my birthday. The word “testimony” simply terrifies me and I can’t say this one is whole. But it’s a small piece of my lifelong journey of opening the door to Christ and reconciling the knowledge of His love in my mind with my heart.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been known to people as the “good Catholic girl.” I liked it, I never had a problem with it. But my biggest fear was that I’d be known as the “good Catholic girl” but too afraid to truly live up to the name. I’ve always “known” Christ’s love for me, but I never fully understood it. I never even realized there was a disconnect between what I knew with my mind and what I knew with my heart.

It was easy for me to grasp the teachings of the Church- it was easy for me to get straight A’s in religion class, and easy for me memorize everything about who Jesus is. Because of that, it was also easy to keep Christ at a distance- always just a little too far away to fully capture my heart. He was always on my mind but never in my heart.

There’s a painting of Christ outside, knocking at a door where there’s only a door knob on the inside. My religion teacher, senior year of high school showed it to us at least once a week, reminding us that each of us is the only one who can open the door to Him. I never thought much of it because I didn’t think that was something I needed to question- of course I opened the door for Him, I wouldn’t leave Him out in the cold!

But I never opened the door for Him… it was always just a window. He never came in because I didn’t let Him. Yet I still allowed myself to think that I trusted Him. After all, I could still see Him. It’s not like I closed the blinds. I was in this middle ground where I knew Christ loved me and I knew whatever Church teachings you wanted me to explain, but I couldn’t answer with a pure heart who Christ was to me.

I could tell everybody who Christ was to them and why they should love Him. But I couldn’t understand that He was those same things for me. Towards the beginning of my freshman year of college, a dear family friend passed away. He was the “big brother” my sisters and I never had. A few weeks before, he had asked me to make him a rosary, but I never had time to make it. On the day of his viewing (the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary), I made the rosary and gave it to his best friend, someone I had never met. A simple conversation with a stranger helped me realized that my biggest fear was slowly becoming a reality in the relationship and friendships I was involving myself in. I needed the guidance of a protective big brother and I felt like I just lost mine.

A month later I started preparing to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On the last day of the preparation, late at night in the Chapel, I finally opened the door for Him. I finally understood who Jesus was to me. It’s a simple, childlike answer and it’s not a complicated groundbreaking theological doctrine, but it’s exactly what I needed to understand- He’s the protective big brother I always wanted. I’ve always had Him and I always will. That night He taught me everything I think a big brother would have. He gave me the safety I longed for and the protection I needed. He told me all the things I’ve always told my friends.

He taught me I’m beautiful simply because of who I am, not what I look like or what I can do. He taught me that He’s the only man I belong to. He helped me realize how much more I deserve than what I had in the relationship and friendships I was in. He filled my heart with courage to make changes that were necessary to become the woman He’s calling me to be. He also showed me the necessity of relying on the Church. He’s acting through each and every one of us. I felt His hand reaching out to hold me through one of His children.

I learned that true strength is not found in denying our fragility and swallowing our tears, but in offering our fragile selves to Him with tears in our eyes. We don’t need to be perfect to give Him our hearts. I always wanted to give Him only the best gift, I thought He deserved only the best- and the best gift was never me if I wasn’t perfect. But that’s not true. He’s the one that changes us into the best gift. And we can’t be the best gift for others if we don’t allow Him to transform us.He’s always waiting at the door of your heart. My door had/has about 9,718,263 pure steel, deadbolt locks…approximately. Probably more. And I think every time I unlock one of them, there’s always one more to unlock for Him. He deserves to be fully in our hearts and He’ll wait as long as it takes to be.

I hope you thank your big brothers today for acting as Christ to you, and thank Christ today for always being your protective big brother.

Love,

One of God’s Daughters.

Angela is a senior at Mount St. Mary’s University, double majoring in Accounting & Math. She likes drinking coffee, baking, making rosaries, sewing, crocheting and a lot of other stereotypical-grandma hobbies. She’s thankful for the creativity God’s given her and she enjoys sharing His love with others in small and simple ways.

Andreas Testimony:

 

From the beginning of my life, God has been a part of who I am. My parents raised my siblings and I Catholic. My family and I always went to mass on Sundays, but our faith went beyond that. Growing up in a Catholic household, there was always talk of God. My parents would always mention God, even if it was in a little way, each and every day. In fact, I do not think I can remember a time that God was not talked about in my house. Due to my upbringing, I always knew who God was, or so I thought.I never really thought much about who God truly was or just how much my Catholic faith meant to me. In the past, being Catholic for me was just a casual part of who I was. I mean yeah I was Catholic, but so what? I never felt a strong connection with Him in really anything that I did. As I grew up, my parents encouraged me to get involved in the youth ministry at my parish and I did participate in some of the activities. A lot of these activities I enjoyed and went to on my own will, but honestly most of them I did not enjoy. There would be some times that I would not feel welcomed in groups or just feel like no one was friendly, so the events started to not be enjoyable for me to go to. On top of that, I never really had a “God moment” or any strong connection with Him, so I started to find every which way not to get involved with these events. I would make excuses for why I did not want to go, even though some of them were true.

Then, one day, my parents came home from church after hearing about a retreat for high school sophomores through freshmen in college, and of course they wanted me to go on it. My immediate reaction was: Absolutely…not. NO WAY. Why would I torture myself through four days with people that I did not know and probably would not like me? After many attempts at convincing me to go on the retreat, the decision was eventually made for me: I was going whether I liked it or not. You could say I was not the least bit thrilled to be signed up for this retreat. I was SO hesitant to go because of all the negative experiences that I had in the past.

Then came the morning of when it was time to bring me to church to drop me off for retreat. The retreatants all meet at my parish before a bus takes them up to the retreat house. I got into a fight with my parents, probably over something really stupid because I can’t remember exactly what it was about, but it probably had to do with the fact that I did not want to go on the retreat. Despite my refusal, I grabbed my duffel bag and got in to the car with a frown on my face. When we arrived at my parish, as much as I did not want to go on the retreat, I wanted to be out of the car as fast as I could. As soon as I got out, one of the teen directors greeted me with a huge smile on his face and said “Welcome! We are so glad to have you here!”. I was so taken a back… woah…people were NICE here?! As I went to join the other retreatants, I began to become more open to the thought of the retreat.

Following a send off ceremony, we were on our way to the retreat house in a town that I have never heard of. After a few welcoming activities and dinner, the team told us that we were going to be praying the Stations of the Cross. In my head, I immediately said “Oh no. The Stations are always SO long and SO boring, and now I have to go through them here? Great.” Little did I know, as soon as those thoughts entered my mind, they left. Unbeknownst to me, I was going to be witnessing the Stations acted out. I had never experienced a living Stations before this. This experience was so moving for me and with each step that I took following Jesus on the path to His death, I felt a pang of guilt and I could only think “I’m so sorry”. Now reflecting back on this, I realize Jesus must have been saying to me, “Don’t be sorry, but realize what I’ve done for you.” Now instead of apologizing for everything, I realize I would have said, “Thank you God for saving me.”

This retreat was so much more beyond the Stations, but I would be writing a novel if I wrote down every single thing that happened. That weekend, God came in to my life in a way that I never thought He would. He found me, and has stuck by my side ever since. Believe it or not, this is not my full testimony. I have experienced many ups and downs since this retreat, and I’d love to share them with anyone who wants to hear. Just remember, you are never too far gone for God to reach you; He will meet you where you are at. God bless, and thank you for taking the time to read part of my story.

 

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Andrea is a junior in college who is studying to become a teacher. She has a passion for working with children and a desire to love and serve God’s people in any way that she can. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, baking, and spending time with her family, which includes her beautiful nieces, nephew, and friends. Andrea also loves to write, and you can check out a blog she’s started here at: madeinhisimagesite.wordpress.com.