The day had finally arrived—the day that I had waited for and prayed about for most of my life. The wedding was just as I had always hoped it might be, but what I was most excited about—the thing that I couldn’t truly control or plan—had now come true: I was finally a “wife” to the person whom I had prayed to find for twelve years.
I had a new last name, a new title, a new responsibility, a new honor. Nobody could take my joy or steal my thunder—or so I thought—but after two very short weeks of being a “wife,” people began asking me when I was going to become a “mom.”
What? After only two weeks? How was this question already coming up in conversation? Sure, people had asked when I was going to find my future spouse plenty of times when I was single or why I wasn’t married at my age of twenty-five, but I really thought that getting married would change that. I really thought that this huge, gigantic step in my life would be enough to deflect some of that attention and appease the hearts of those seeking my next milestone of life.
Weren’t people excited and, even more, satisfied with the fact that I just had become a wife? Didn’t people realize that I had prayed to find my husband for twelve years and that I was overjoyed to have found him? Wasn’t it clear that I wanted to enjoy this season of just being married before anticipating and planning for the next one? Wasn’t becoming a wife at this time in my life enough?
“Enough” is a difficult concept to define as we all define it a little bit differently. Enough food for me might not be enough food for you. We might seem to never have enough time with one person but have more than enough time with another. Enough awards and accomplishments for one person might just not be enough to satisfy someone else.
Our sense of “enough” unfortunately is often defined by comparison to other people instead of by contentment with what we already have or where we are. In our society, it seems that we can only be truly satisfied with a season, milestone, or accomplishment for a few minutes before striving to reach the next one, especially after comparing our season, milestone, or accomplishment to someone else’s. We rarely feel a true sense of contentment or satisfaction with the new phase of life that we have just reached.
Our “new” used car all of a sudden doesn’t seem so satisfying after seeing someone else’s brand new Lexus. Our apartment all of a sudden doesn’t feel so roomy after being in someone’s brand new mansion. Our job or purpose suddenly doesn’t feel as gratifying when we see someone else really excelling in his or her line of work, and when we fall prey to the comparison game, we begin to lose all sense of our own identity and purpose.
Our next problem is that we then impose these incorrect beliefs on ourselves and on those around us. We begin giving ourselves timelines and deadlines on when certain seasons, milestones, and accomplishments need to occur in order to achieve success. We begin finding our identity and defining our achievement based on whether we and others reach certain goals by certain times.
We begin telling ourselves and others lies created by our love of comparison and our lack of contentment: If we don’t feel prepared or ready for college at eighteen, then we will never have a successful career. If we’re not married by age twenty-five, then we are destined to become men and women with cats. If we don’t have a baby within a few years after marriage, then we are not fulfilling our true purpose and roles or getting the most out of life.
In Ecclesiastes 3, we are told that there is a time for every season under the sun and that God has made everything beautiful in its time. In Philippians 4, Paul shares that he had learned what it was like to be content in any situation that he found himself in. Throughout God’s Word, we find examples of people facing all kinds of different seasons and circumstances at all different times of life.
Sarah, the wife of Abraham, became a mom around age 90 (Genesis 17:17). Isaac, Abraham and Sarah’s son, married Rebekah at age 40 (Genesis 25:20). Joash was 7 when he became king and reigned over Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 24:1). Jesus was around 30 when He began His ministry (Luke 3:23). Many people in the Bible never married or had a career or even a house. The apostles were willing to abandon their careers in order to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:20). We are told that our Savior didn’t even have a place to lay His head at night (Matthew 8:20). The Bible gives absolutely no requirement of these earthly seasons, milestones, and accomplishments to occur in our lives, and yet we have allowed our culture and society to make us feel inadequate if we are without them.
The people of the Bible did things at odd times because they were following God’s purpose for their lives and not a cultural expectation. There was no unspoken pressure or timeline that these people had to follow, and there shouldn’t be for us as Christian’s either. God desires our faithfulness despite what happens or doesn’t happen in our lives. “Success” in spiritual terms is living a life that is found pleasing to God, especially when we go through trials of many kinds or life doesn’t go exactly as planned. When we allow our identity in Christ, regardless of our circumstances, to define us, we will always be found to be “enough.”
I am writing today to tell you that “enough” is enough. Right now, who and where you are is enough. You are satisfactory. In fact, you are above satisfactory, and you are not less because of what you are not.
We must stop believing the lie that says we won’t truly be someone until we reach a certain milestone. We must stop believing others when they tell us that we need to start focusing on the next season of our lives when the current one is still in progress. We must stop waiting to begin living until after our dreams come true.
We need to become content with where we are right now. We need to embrace both the ugly and the beautiful of this season of our lives because it will never come again. We need to stop comparing our stories to the stories of others because if we do, we will never be satisfied or content. Our identity is in Jesus Christ, the only person who can truly define it, and we need to start seeking His purpose instead of our next milestone.
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and you will always have and be enough.