I’m feeling small today. Like Alice who drank a potion and became small, I am feeling small in my own life. And I don’t like it.
You see I dared to put myself out there in two different arenas: one in a corporate way and the other in ministry. And in both arenas I have fallen. As if I am too small to be of value or to be heard.
So like Alice, I have fallen down, down into an unfortunate locale; I call it The Land of Not Enough. In this Land every where I turn I see reminders, signs that say What Isn’t: You don’t have a real job, Lisa. You are too old to be of value. You used to be… No one cares about your experiences. You are a has been. Not relevant.
I just want to stop and say this hurts.
These reminders of What Isn’t touch up against the message I have lived under most of my life: your value is in what you produce/achieve. The rut in my brain is deep with that repeated familiar thought. So the Land of Not Enough has a familiar feel like an old pair of shoes…and it’s time to throw them away!
Have you felt like this? In the Land of Not Enough? Sometimes it feels like the Land of Not Enough is where we live All. The. Time. The signs are all around us: you need to buy this to be relevant. You need to own this car, live in this area, shop at these stores. Your kids need to be in this school or this activity or you need to parent in this way…
In the Land of Not Enough I see evidences of What Isn’t, but I don’t see a single Truth about What Is. I can focus on all of What Isn’t or I can hunt for the Truth of What Is and speak it to myself. Author Ann Voskamp writes about her journey out of depression in her bestseller One Thousand Gifts. (Depression is a real medical term for a serious condition but what I also think of as The Land of Not Enough. It helps me gain perspective on my struggle) Ann learned the exceedingly abundant practice of counting the Gifts that are daily given; the practice of looking at What Is, and ultimately Who Is.
One of the pastors at the church we left when we moved to this new area spoke of the important difference between a gaze and a glance. When we gaze at something we are focusing our attention on it. When we glance at something we briefly acknowledge it’s existence. He said we often gaze at our circumstances and glance at God. How much better for us to gaze at God and glance at our circumstances.
In the Land of Not Enough I have to hunt for What Is and focus on What Is instead of gazing at the signs in The Land of Not Enough; the reminders that litter the sides of the rut my mind travels.
Romans 12:1-2 reminds me of What Is true.
I urge you therefore brethren by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
This is the path I am training my mind to walk when the signs come up from the Land of Not Enough. I don’t have to gaze at those signs even if they are true. They are NOT ALL of What Is. I am learning to let go of the worn out familiar and lean in toward the Land of More Than Enough because of Christ in me, the hope of glory.
What are you letting go of in this season of your life?