Beep. Beep. Beep.
Still blinking awake from the alarm, my first thought bangs loudly on its drum: I didn’t get enough sleep. I feel that lack of sleep as I roll over to face its callous companion: YOU are not enough. I roll back, sighing. What a way to start the day. Good morning! You suck.
I’m sure you can relate to this shame-based “not enough” wake-up call. And for many, it isn’t a morning routine but a repeating reminder of how we never measure up. What do we do when our thoughts seek to bring us down instead of building us up?
My pastor said recently, “Your life moves in the direction of your strongest thoughts.” He asked if we were excited about where our life was taking us. I hung my head. I wasn’t. If my thoughts were leaning to scarcity—never enough time, enough money, enough energy—then my life loomed ahead into the darkness of struggle. I … wasn’t excited.
Sometime later I heard Rise Up by Andra Day and paused. Literally, I just paused in midair. So I played it again. And again. And again until my kids’ ears bled and they cried, “Make it stop!” I listened to her sing of my pain and my passion. I was the fighter she sang about: still sitting in the corner but the round had already started. I wanted what she sang about: to move mountains. But my fear kept my faith from believing.
That night I whispered my cry to the Lord. Words streamed without periods, without pause. I felt lighter.
The next morning I woke up, bracing for the litany of lies. With thoughts still forming, I reached for my Bible. I felt even lighter.
At work, I pulled my friend aside. “I don’t think I’m doing so great.” Lighter still.
It is enough that I am not enough. In my failures and faults, God’s power works best. And while Rise Up is an anthem for the bruised, God saves the brokenhearted. I’m done with the cycle of shame and the world’s constant measurement. I’m ready for God’s power to rise up in me.
In a world that seeks to keep us down, how do we spiritually R.I.S.E. up?
- Read. To feed our spirit, we need to replace the world’s opinions with God’s truth. John 8:32
- Invite. Invite others into your journey. When we constantly seek resolution, we gain efficiency rather than intimacy in our relationships. True change happens when believers are vulnerable with each other. James 5:16
- Seek. Seek God first. When you feel like you are not enough, call out to Him. When you feel like you are too much, call out to Him. In every season, seek God. Philippians 4:6-7
- Encourage. Look around. There is someone in your life right now who needs encouragement, and you are the one God has in place. Notice Rise Up isn’t about one person, but two. Be that second for someone else. Hebrews 10:24-25