Just the other day, I left a class with tears in my eyes and I broke down when I made it to my car. As I cried on the way home, I kept wondering if I would ever be good enough. Was I even in the right major? I was questioning my abilities as a writer and if I could honestly continue on the path I am going. It was one of those days where I felt discouraged and it was hard to shake that mood. Instead of progressing, it seemed like my writing was only getting worse. I felt like a failure.
That day, my identity crisis came rushing back. If I couldn’t make something out of my writing, then what would I do with my life? My chest started to grow tight and I thought my world was closing in around me. In those painful moments of self doubt, I felt utterly hopeless and afraid. I felt incomplete and broken.
After making it back to my dorm room, I began to panic and let myself become overwhelmed. A panic attack was about to take hold, but then I caught a glimpse of a necklace on my window seal. It was the necklace my roommates gave me for my birthday. Oh, how they know me so well. Or God allowed them to pick a necklace that I needed more than anything. I needed that necklace as a reminder.
It’s a simple gold chain with one word printed on a rectangle plate: complete.
James 1:4 reads “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
I finally could breathe again after looking at that one word. It reminded me that without God, I am nothing. I am broken and incomplete. I could never amount to anything worth while without him.
Philippians 4:13 was every athlete’s go-to verse when I was growing up, and each time I heard it, I was desensitized to its meaning. Since it was so popular, I almost rolled my eyes when people would quote it. But this week, I revisited that verse after my meltdown in my car. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with the verse, it reads:
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
God opened my eyes when I actually opened my bible to read that passage. Memorization of verses are great, but rereading them with fresh eyes can make a huge difference.
When I was all alone, rivers flowing down my cheeks, heart cracking in my chest, I felt unworthy and miserable. I kept thinking to myself, how in the world am I ever going to get everything done for the rest of this semester? How am I ever going to accomplish my true goal? To be honest, I felt entirely hopeless in that moment, and at times, I still do.
But, after rereading Philippians 4:13, my heart stopped aching. My tears subsided. I felt a rush of peace come over me. I don’t have to rely on myself to get it all done. I don’t have to push myself to be the very best. Because if I put everything on my own back, I will get nothing done. But with God having my back, I can move mountains. I can finish those papers. I can push through. I can make it to the end of this semester.
I can do all of this because God gives me, his child, strength.
No one is perfect, and I don’t have to strive to be perfect. If I get too hung up on being the best and trying to make myself feel complete, I will never get there. The only thing I can do is realize that I don’t have to be the best, and just continue to be the best possible version of myself. I won’t ever make myself feel complete because that is out of my power. I am complete in God’s eyes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas where I can improve myself, because believe me, THERE ARE A TON.
I am complete because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Nobody gets to the father except through Jesus (John 14:6). I may be complete, but I can still continue to strive to do my best. I want to be at my best for my God, my family, my friends, my co-workers, and anyone else I meet. Most importantly, you deserve to give yourself the best possible version of yourself. You can always improve things, but there is no need to chase material things, or other people, to make yourself feel whole.
You are complete, and you can always shine up those pieces.