The last month has been crazy busy. I have returned from America, moved home, graduated, prepared to start a new job and move to the north, welcomed a new baby into the world and turned 21. That’s a lot for one girl to handle within 30 days, and I’d love to tell you that I haven’t been stressed or slightly irritable. But that is simply not true. I have struggled and have learnt new levels of God’s grace through His Word and the people around me. And for that, despite the business and the uncertainty, I am thankful.
You see, I am a doer. I love being busy, having my diary packed and organising my time well. I love productivity and the feeling at the end of a day when you know you have worked hard. For this reason, it surprised me that after completing the to do list for July, I still felt unsettled and without peace. I did everything. I flew home, I did the hat toss and I popped the prosecco when turning 21. I had been blessed as the birthday girl and the recent graduate. I should be content, right?
You can imagine my frustration at myself. Feelings of selfishness tried to crush my spirit (emphasis on the word tried). I saw every blessing as an obstacle to be overcome, or another event to add to an ever-overflowing schedule. I had done so much, but in doing, I had lost being. And that is where God showed up.
Last week, Brett’s older sister, Sandy, brought a beautiful baby girl into the world. Baby Grace has already provided so many with so much joy at just 1 week old and is so incredibly loved. As I sat with little Grace in my arms, I was amazed at how much I could love someone so much so quickly without really even knowing her. At 3 days old, she was so tiny that I could hold the length of her with my forearm. She didn’t do much, except make adorable squeaky noises and throw her arms up when she dreamt, but yet, she was beautiful, and her simply being was enough. Her parents looked at her with pure adoration and awe of how precious she was, and it made me consider two things. The first being that I am so excited to look at my own children that way one day in the future, and the second simply this. Is this perhaps the way God looks at us?
Grace, as mentioned, technically doesn’t do much yet. She doesn’t pack her calendar with events or back to back meetings. She doesn’t have a to do list or a million boxes that are yet to be unpacked from her latest move. She isn’t writing books nor is she preaching from a podium. Yet, she is still so loved. She is enough just to be.
I am sure that there was a party going on in Heaven when she entered the world, purely because she showed up (even if it was 10 days late). She doesn’t have to do anything to be loved, she just is. She has so much potential in her finger tips to change the world for God’s sake, but until this day comes, she is still His beloved. She is enough just by being still.
Perhaps I could learn something from her. Perhaps my discontent and lack of peace over the last month is rooted in the lack of stillness. Had I really taken time to experience God’s presence in the stillness, so that I could experience Him in the busyness? Did I really believe that I was enough just by being still?
This world tells you that who you are is made up of what you do. We believe lies that say we are worth less because our bank balance is lower. We strive for success to prove to others that we are worth something. We ask people what they’re doing after they graduate rather than seeking to understand the person that they are becoming. We become consumed with doing, that we forget that being is enough. But Jesus says the opposite. He teaches us that doing must come from a place of being; being forgiven, being known and being loved. In order to have life in all it’s fullness, we must first accept that the bar we try so hard to reach, for us, is simply unreachable. And that is why He took down the bar when He died for us to have freedom.
After meeting Grace, Brett turned to me and said ‘I loved just looking at her. I was praying over her and counting the number of hairs on her head when she slept.’ I believe that God looks at each one of us the same way, in awe of His children, knowing and seeing us for all that we are, good and bad, and loving us unconditionally.
Just as Grace did not need to do anything to be loved, neither do I, and neither do you. You are seen, loved and more than enough, just by showing up. Grace is a precious example and reminder of God’s saving grace, and I am thankful that even with the changes of life happening around me, the Prince of Peace reminds me that I am simply enough. It is because of Him that I can face the challenges ahead with a joyful heart, a peace that transcends all understanding, and an identity that cannot be shaken.
And there is no reason that He cannot do the same for you.
“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Luke 12:7