As I self-professed geek, I get a little excited over things that others would find a little nerdy. My #FanGirl moments are when I get a book signed by a favorite author (Hi, Brené Brown!)
or when a fellow blogger replies to a comment or "likes" my status on Facebook so that I feel like we're "real life" friends (ok, I generally feel that way regardless, but their clicking of a button gives me affirmation). Not long after I started this blog, I did a review of a book about Disney and ministry and was floored when the author of the book commented on my post. Until that point, I didn't think anyone actually read my blog. He had stumbled across it while Googling himself.
Hmm, that was something I hadn't tried, so I put my name into the Google search box. The results were rather disappointing. There were a few social media profiles (that weren't mine), my LinkedIn profile (that I rarely update), some random websites that contained the words "call Jenny", the Jenny Craig weight-loss program (boo), and the YouTube video of the song "867-5309/Jenny" (for your listening pleasure):
It seems that I haven't made much of a name for myself. Thus began a habit of compulsively Googling other people (friends and celebrities) to see their results and compare them with my own. As you can probably imagine, this didn't help my wounded ego. As much as I know how comparison and judgment fuel my "shame gremlins" (as my bff Brené calls them), it seems I can't stop from digging myself into a pit of despair. When Dr. Brown surveyed people in her studies on shame and vulnerability, she asked them to fill in the blank of this phrase: "not ___________________ enough". The respondents had immediate answers, as did I (and I imagine you did as well). It's far easier to focus on what we are lacking, our weaknesses, our deficits, than the many gifts and resources we have.
For me, it comes down to not being SUCCESSFUL enough. Never mind that I'm perfectly happy in my calling, roles, family, and place. Forget how hard I have worked to get exactly here. It doesn't matter how meaningful my work is on any given day. I'm always thinking, "What's next? What MORE can I be and do?"
It's truly a shame, it's exhausting, and I'm working on it. I don't want my idea of success to be measured in numbers, or programs, or even Google results, but the affirmation from God and from myself that I am living out my calling as a minister, wife, mother, daughter, and friend, whatever that might mean.
May I have the peace to know that I am enough and I have enough, simply because of "I AM". And also with you.