If I had to take a running guess, I’d say the majority of the people who read or don’t read this post will think that what I’m about to say is over the top. If you are one of those people, then this post is for you.
I am a Christian, and often among Christian’s, we talk about what it means to have God be “enough”. It makes sense, our faith is based on believing that Christ alone can deliver us from our continuous imperfection (sin) and make us more like him (perfect) as a gift and not as anything we have any power to influence, except in believing that he can. We confide in each other about where we have sinned, we ask God for forgiveness, we believe that he forgives us in his mercy and grace, because he can and loves us, not because of anything we do to deserve it. For a faith that is based solely off of God’s divine discretion, it makes sense that God is “enough”, because clearly nothing and no one else can be.
But we are human. We have faith that God is enough, but because of the imperfection thing, we forget continuously. We say stupid crap we regret. We make bad decisions and we impulsively act in ways that make us second guess why God would ever decide that we were worthy of his affection, until we realize that that stupid human stumbling block of “worthiness” as we define it was never part of his equation; from void to shining whateverhappensnext.
Well, like a human, I suck at the “enough” part. I suck at being honest, I suck at being confident in gifts he has given me freely instead of the terrible self-statues I try to cast into gold, I suck at being a good friend more often than not lately, and most of all, I suck at listening. But, my faith makes none of it matter, or at least, none of it counts against me in a way that will make God love me any less. I may have to learn patience, listening, being a better friend, and a whole host of other nonsense, but he will help me because he loved me when I thought he was a figment of my imagination. He loved me when I told my mother in full honesty to hide the knives. He loved me when I had no one to turn to and the years I cried myself to sleep periodically, and he loves me now; I can only just now see it.
I may not have known what enough meant when I cried myself to sleep off and on for all those years, but I do now. And I believe that pictures matter, so I have taken a few pictures to illustrate what enough looks like, because honestly I have no idea. I have no idea what enough looks like, because even though the tear tracks are trickled and carved into my face, I haven’t got a clue. It’s nice to see it though, because then I have a fighting chance of knowing.
Tonight, my dog Eloise had a seizure. I don’t know exactly how long she’s had them or if when she stares off into the distance, she’s really just having a tiny seizure. I don’t know if when she was under the bench on my porch in the freezing rain disoriented as hell and shivering and failing to walk straight if that was part of the seizures. I don’t know if her feet are twitching right now because she’s chasing squirrels in her dream (unlike reality) or because she won’t wake up tomorrow. I don’t know the first thing about seizures, but I know when my dog began to convulse like she had hypothermia and rattle so sharply that she couldn’t walk without tipping over and falling to the ground, I was helpless. I don’t know the first thing about seizures, but I know what one looks like. I hope that counts. She was so scared, I scooped her up and held her, saying calming things until she calmed down (Google told me later that that is meant to legitimately help, who knew), and the seizure lasted for 2-3 minutes. I started crying once her breathing became more normal; I was operating under the peace and no thinking of the moment. She started to comfort me like she always does, nuzzling. I nearly lost my entire mind.
She was still scared, so I held her. She wanted to get up on the bed and sleep, so we did for a little while. Her eyes were so tired. She kept staring off into the distance, at the ceiling or something unreal, and she kept breathing slower and slower. I was really scared. I kept petting her, telling her things I wish I could believe; that it would be alright. I prayed a lot. Like, a lot.
We sat in the beanbag chair, and Teddy sat on my chest like he does when he needs me to stop and breathe. He looked at Ella in a way that was legitimately concerned; he licked away her tears and mine, and I have the allergic reaction to show for it. We sat for another few minutes.
I still couldn’t stop crying. Eventually we moved to the couch. Ella is so tired, I just want her to sleep, but I couldn’t stop crying. Teddy curled up next to her. They are using my blanket, and I was just getting snot and tears all over it. I kept praying. I decided to get my shit together. I got up, got some napkins, cleaned up the snot, dealt with the snot still in my nose, went back.
Still crying. Nope.
I prayed. I prayed because I couldn’t stop crying, and she needed to sleep, and God is enough, and I was scared. I prayed that his will be done (a personal favorite). I prayed that whatever happens, it is his will, which will be enough. I thanked him for all the goodness I have had, which was always enough. I thanked him for my dogs, who are delightful. I asked him for peace for Ella, so that she can sleep. I said loudly until I believed it that his love was enough.
And I stopped crying. Ella fell asleep. Teddy fell more asleep. It stopped.
I don’t know what it means for things to be enough, but I get the feeling that that is kind of the point. I don’t know what is going to happen even five minutes from now, but I know his love is the glue that has held everything together from before creation, and we didn’t even have time when it was all still a void. His love was in it, in the dark, and his love separated the light from the darkness by merely having spoken the light into being and the words from his mouth. His love makes cowards heroes, and it makes up for all the damn crazy that I practice regularly. He holds Ella’s life in his hands like he holds mine in his hands, he holds the entire world and it is his will that keeps the show going; nothing else.
It is enough when I’m upset. It is enough when I’m not. Because enough never had anything to do with me, and that won’t change.
End of story.