I’m sitting in the lobby of a hotel, surrounded by strange carpet patterns and mismatched chairs. Some morning talk show is on the television while men in suits sit at tables and conduct business, while another talks on his phone. Christmas carols play in the background and all the noise and clatter is somehow soothing and distracting at the same time.
And while I’m flipping through photos on my phone of an incredibly fun day with friends, my heart is fighting to be fully present. I’m missing home, I’m missing fresh new snuggles with my nephew who was born yesterday, and I’m fighting the fear that I don’t belong here. I’m afraid I won’t have anything to add to our conversations. I’m nervous that what I bring to the table won’t be counted.
Even in a room full of friends who believe in me and love me, who cheer for me and include me, I let the enemy sneak into my head and pick one tiny, itty bitty, super small moment to keep me awake last night as he whispered in my ear all the ways I wasn’t good enough for that crowd.
The holidays can amplify all those feelings, can’t they? When we’re suddenly involved in more activities in one month than we attend throughout the rest of the year. When our families come together with all their joys and laughter and disfunction and own style of crazy. When we catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while and suddenly realize our “what have you been up to” answer sounds small compared to theirs and we wonder if we should even say anything.
When we see the photos online and wonder why they were there and not us, and we forget that the little social media snippets never tell the whole story.
Whatever the insecurity you struggle with, whatever it is that your heart will be fighting this season, can I offer you some encouragement? There is nothing you can do, won’t do, will say, won’t say that will make God disappointed in you. You are always included, always wanted, always chosen with God. Your accomplishments are always His favorite, because He chose you to do them.
There is no comparison in God’s eyes, no ranking of who’s written more books, spoken at more events, raised more children, hosted better parties, made better crafts, told a funnier joke, or created the better business plan.
You are His.
He loves you.
That is enough.
You, my friend, belong.
You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
Ephesians 2:19-22, The Message
I don’t know what the holidays bring out for you, what struggles your heart fights when you desperately want to be fully present, but I’d love to invite you to share so we can pray for one another today?