Sometimes I think I want too much. No matter how much I have, I always crave more—more sleep, more time, more energy, more money, more ice cream (especially when it’s chocolate), more romance, more connection, more vulnerability, more affirmation, more love…the list goes on.
Do I just want too much out of life? Do I long for more of everything because I expect too much of myself or hope for too much from my relationships with others? Or is it that I am I actually hearing the echoes of eternity reverberating in my heart, stirring my desire to become all that I was created to be?
Our culture certainly tells us there is more, but it’s not the same type of “more” I’m yearning for. I heard a commercial this week for a Black Friday sale that started at 5 o’clock in the evening on Thanksgiving Day. An opportunity to consume and buy and get more stuff, right in the middle of the one time a year set aside for families to feast together in thankfulness for all they have been given. Instead of giving thanks, marketing stirs our discontent as businesses compete for more opportunities to make a profit—is there nothing sacred? But more of this kind will never be enough.
There will always be something more that I desire, yet I will never have enough to satisfy. Even if I actually grasp hold of the thing I am pursuing, there always seems to be something else just out of my reach. I finally found the perfect brown boots last season, but now I need to buy some grey ones. I finally lost the weight from having my second baby, but maybe another five pounds would finally make me feel good about my body. I finally have all the things I dreamed about as a young girl—a husband, two children, a beautiful home—but I still find myself striving to become a better wife, mother, homemaker.
All my life, I’ve bought into lie that the “more” I’m craving is actually something I can possess or achieve through my best efforts. If I work harder, I’ll gain more approval. If I eat less, I’ll lose more weight. If I buy just a few new things, I’ll feel more beautiful. If I say and do the right things, I’ll have more friends. If I don’t show any needs, I’ll be more loved.
But no matter how much more I acquire, it is never enough. What if the sense of longing for “more” is really just a calling from deep within my soul to become fully alive? What if the ache for meaning and craving for purpose can be satisfied by becoming the person I was created to be?
When I stop grasping for all the things I am tempted to believe will satisfy my soul, the truth of what my heart desires starts to rise to the surface. I want to live life on purpose. With purpose. Fulfilling my purpose. Not just while I’m young (ish) and full of optimistic energy (let’s be honest, having kids stripped away most of my energy reserves when I stopped sleeping at night), and not later on when life is easier (when will that be, really?), but right now, living intentionally every day, for every moment that I have breath. I want to seize hold of every opportunity to bring life to others, to be the truest, most complete, wholehearted version of myself.
My journey of becoming myself has been and will be a lifelong expedition. Most recently though, several forks in the road have taken me closer to home:
1. I’m learning to stop striving and rest in the One who says I’m enough.
Becoming a stay-at-home mom has rescued me from finding identity and worth in my achievements. As unnatural as it has felt to release my need to earn approval by doing, God’s grace has removed the professional work that once tricked me into thinking my good performance gave me value. Instead, he is using a season of relative simplicity for training me to rest in my identity as a dearly treasured daughter of the King, just because he says that I am. And that’s enough.
2. I’m falling in love with the One who knows me best.
I didn’t used to think I loved God. I mean, I was devoted to him and committed to following him the best I knew how, but “love” felt a little too personal, too intimate, too emotionally charged. Last spring, I heard someone say that the more you know Jesus, the more you love him. It’s true. He is everything that is good and true and worth loving. The more time I spend listening to him by reading his true Word, the more I know his character, his thoughts toward me, and his absolute goodness, the more I’m actually falling in love with him! It’s beautiful, too, because Jesus is the One who promises a rich and satisfying life, and he knows exactly how that will look for me. He gives me purpose and meaning that satisfies like nothing in this world can; he opens my heart to the awareness that I am created for much more than I ever hoped or imagined. And he is enough.
3. I’m asking the question, “What makes me feel most alive?”
On my own, in prayer, with friends, I’m thinking lots about how I am uniquely wired to bring life into the world. A friend gave me a book last spring called Freefall to Fly that is stirring my heart and bringing tears of hope to my eyes with almost every page. In it, Rebekah Lyons courageously shares her struggle and joy in seeking to live a life of meaning. She argues that by embracing the unique, God-given gifts that each person possesses, we find a lasting treasure in fulfilling our divinely appointed purpose. She quotes Howard Thurman, who says, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” I want to come alive. Being alive is enough.
Jesus said that anyone who clings to their life will lose it, but anyone who gives up their life for his sake will find it. I want to give up my life, everything I grip tightly in my attempts to create false meaning, and grab hold of the real, meaningful, purpose-filled, lasting life Jesus offers. Life to the full. A life used to bring life everywhere I go.
Because more isn’t really more until it becomes more of Him and less of me. More of life that lasts and less of the things that don’t. That’s enough for me.