Proverbs 31- Enoughness.

So, we appear to be in a time in my life where this whole blogging thing is occasional at best… Between grad school, practicum, work, friendships, family, church, and a budding relationship, I haven’t really had time for the other things that keep me – uh, me?

I get so tired from everything that I find myself vegging out in front of my television rather than doing something that actually keeps me centered and brings me peace.

And, it’s begun to take a toll on my well-being.

I have recently been feeling extremely inadequate and insecure, feeling overwhelmed by the idea that I simply am just not enough. Not only that, but that I am not even capable of being enough… And this has been a big struggle through out my life, this

not enoughness.

It began with my job. Little thoughts:

I’m not good at this. I am so slow. Why do they keep me here? I never get enough hours, and that’s probably partially because I am not good at it…

An on and on.
Because I wasn’t keeping guard over my thoughts, the enemy used this as an opening. Speaking things aloud, he realized my life-long weakness was being revealed in an area that had as recently been untouched. So, he used that – he stepped in and began pulling the string.

From work, it went to school, from school to my practicum, from practicum to family relationships, from there to finances… Eventually, I was even feeling these insecurities creep into my new relationship.

Obviously, it’s a pattern in my life. God and I have been working on it for years. I have many blog posts about it, including two of my favorites (Letter to MeSpeak). 

But, I didn’t seek refuge from them, I let them take over, believing once again the lies I have heard since childhood:

You are not enough…

Then, last week, as I was at one of my worst days, I came to the end of my reading of Proverbs. Proverbs 31. Do you know it? It’s the chapter that describes the perfect woman… I mean, that’s what I always get out of it. An ideal that I can’t possibly live up to in my entire lifetime, here as an example of how God wants me to be (not to mention, what my future husband probably expects from me…) A vivid magnification of my not enoghness right in Scripture.

So, I began to break down this woman, looking into the meaning behind some of the words.

She is “noble” in the NIV or “virtuous” in the KJV. In their essence? She is valiant & strong. A warrior. This word is actually masculine and used to describe  a worthy force.

She has a high “price” – her value is beyond anything. Her husband has full confidence in her at the core of his being. Because she is in his life, he knows he lacks nothing. (interestingly, the word for lacking nothing of value literally means “spoil” or “booty”…so, basically, she’s a pirate :))

She literally does no harm to him in any time in her life: she never does anything that is evil or malicious, only what is beautiful or best or in fair favor. All.The.Days.Of.Her.Life… (I’m not sure if he’s in my life yet, and I’m sure I’ve already failed here…)

Then, she works…She cooks, she cleans, she takes care of the home & needs, she has a business, she makes sure her family runs smoothly. She gives to the needy and makes sure those around her are prepared for winter. But, the words used tell me she doesn’t just work: she is active in her work & it brings her pleasure.

This woman is confident; she knows what she wants, she makes it happen, & it brings her pleasure. This brings her husband confidence and makes others take note. She is a worthy force (no wonder she’s a rare find).

But, you know what I have missed all these years? Verse 17.

“She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” (NKJV)

It seems at first glance that she is just doing more work, but when I looked into the meaning, I found it this verse tells us something important. The key to why she can do everything else: The Proverbs 31 Woman takes care of herself, body & soul.

That’s the key to my enoughness.

By letting the thoughts take control & infiltrate every part of my life. By not taking the time to do what refreshes me mind, body, and soul. By letting the insecurities spread. By not turning to Christ in my weakness. By not taking care of my body.

I cannot become what I want to be if I am not attending to myself. I cannot take care of those around me if I do not take care of myself. I cannot pour into others if I am empty.

And, the answer was right there, in the chapter that brought me so much distress a week ago. I find my hope, my relief, and my inspiration.

I am already enough, because I was Crafted by God’s hand in His image for His purpose (Gen 1:27, Psalm 139, Eph 2:10).

In this chapter, I find the key is not to become enough, but to finally step into the enoughness that I already am.