Who are the cool kids in your life? Even as an adult, I bet you can think of one or two people you always wish would sit next to you, laugh at your jokes, and invite you to their parties.
I have struggled with this out-of-the-circle feeling my entire life. As an introverted homeschooler, it was pretty easy to get overlooked for the cool-kid gatherings, and I spent plenty of time trying to wedge myself into actual circles of people. If I stand behind this person long enough maybe they will make an opening for me, and I will stand silently inside the circle.
Now that I’m older, I still want the attention of those I consider important. Unfortunately, even when I make friends, my insecurities seem to fester inside me telling me I’m not enough.
Something I have tried to instill in the girls in my middle school small group is they are valuable and loved. It is important to me, because I still need to hear it:
You are enough because God says you are.
Maybe when you read that it feels like what your mom says after a hard day. “Well I think you’re great!” That’s nice mom, but you have to love me. Big whoop.
This is what I have thought most of my life. Sure, my family likes me, but they have to. And God loves me, but He loves everyone. If only the popular kids thought I was funny, smart, attractive, [insert your most-envied trait here], then I would be satisfied. Unfortunately, looking to other people to give me the acceptance I need only leads to discontentment.
But this doesn’t mean I should just keep repeating, “Jesus loves you, you ungrateful idiot.” I know He loves me. My issue is that I am still focused on me, before I even acknowledge who God is and why His opinion matters.
Who is this God who says I am enough?
He is the Creator of the heavens and earth (Gen. 1:1), and He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps.139:13).
He is the Father of every nation, tribe, and tongue (Acts 10:34-35; Rev. 7:9) who meticulously gave you your own set of talents and quirks (Eph. 2:10).
He is the Ruler of everything up to the expanding universe down to the atoms in your pencil lead (2 Chr. 20:6; Isa. 46:8-13; Rom. 1:19-20), and He is sovereign over all of your circumstances and promises to work them for your good (Ps. 139:2-4 & 16; Rom. 5:1-5).
He is the Savior of sinners who takes the sins that you can’t even admit (1 Cor. 6:9-11) and throws them as far as the East is from the West (Ps. 103:10-12).
He is the Comforter who will dry every tear (Rev. 21:1-5) and who sits next to you in your mourning to give you hope (Ps. 34:17-19; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; Phil. 1:18-20).
On your own, you will never be or do enough to receive approval from everyone you admire. Still, the most extraordinary God loves you so much He gave up His perfect Son so He could hang out with you forever (Rom. 5:6-11; Eph. 4:2-9). You’re the most popular.