I was recently asked this question after sharing part of my story. The person asking was completely sincere in their asking. They are a new Christian who, before Christ, solved all their problems with drugs and alcohol and were genuinely asking if I found it true that, even in life's hardest circumstances, God is enough to make it through.
You know, in 19 months, that's the first time I've been asked that question. And I wasn't totally sure how to respond. I mean, I know the church answer is yes. Absolutely yes. But, if I am being honest, it's more complicated than that. Hopefully I can explain.
Yes. God is enough. He is hope. He is peace. He is provision in every form. He is calm in the midst of the storm. He is joy even when life falls apart. But He also knows me. All of me. Especially my humanness. And He knows that I don't always think He's enough and I don't always see that He is working. So, in His love and mercy and grace and compassion, He gives Himself in ways tangible to this human heart.
He gives a loving family that drops everything and comes when I call. They spoil me with presents on Mother's Day and birthdays and all the days that Kevin would have spoiled me. He gives me a beautiful tribe of loving, honest, always seeking Him women to help me do more than merely limp along here on earth. He gives me a church family who holds the rope, pays the bills, and allows me to worship in honesty and sincerity, even when that doesn't look pretty. He gives me two beautiful children who know when mom needs a hug or a break. He gives me the chance to be part of a small group who's struggled and suffered and speaks love and wisdom and truth over me. He gives me the chance to be in a Sunday School class where I can watch the Lord redeem the story of addiction and fear and abuse in so many lives and in so many different, beautiful ways. He gives me the chance to share Kevin's story and speak the truth that addiction and satan didn't win because he was a child of God who was welcomed into the arms of a loving Father, completely forgiven. Completely loved. White as snow. Because Jesus paid it all. For all of us.
Sometimes it's easy to look at that list and miss that, though He has used other people, those are all still gifts from the hand of a loving Father. Gifts that prove He is love. That He loves me. And that He is enough. Because each of those gifts, rather than being a replacement for Him, are an extension of Him. And I miss that sometimes. And I am sad to say, that's not the answer I gave. I was stunned and silent at first. And then I think I attempted to make a joke because I felt awkward. I didn't speak up and declare the truth of the goodness of the Lord. I rarely do when I am face to face with someone. My written words are much more bold and honest.
Father, remind me daily that You are enough. You give good gifts. All these gifts are proof of who You are and how well You love and care for us. Give me the boldness to speak of all You've done when I am asked. Give me the words to share the truth of all You've done in our lives, before and after addiction. Lord, remind me that if all you had done was bring salvation to my soul and had never done another thing, it would have been enough. But, praise God, You didn't stop there. You have lavished us with Your love and grace and mercy and compassion and provision. Lord, let my life speak of You, at all times and in all things.