Catalyst Track: Nothing to Prove // Day One
Jennie Allen | February 01, 2017
This track comes from Jennie Allen’s new book, Nothing to Prove.
For so many years the voice has been in my head: I am not enough.
Is it possible you hear that same voice?
We walk around desperately afraid we don’t measure up. We slap on self-esteem strategies that feel a little like playing pretend dress up when we were seven. We think that we are someone grown up and lovely and accomplished, and we want to be someone grown up and lovely and accomplished.
But deep in our marrow, we know it is pretend. We are not enough. So we spend our lives trying to shift that reality.
But what if we have everything backward? What if there was a story where the ones who aren’t enough, the ones who recognize they don’t measure up, are the very ones the God of the universe picks to move wildly in and through?
What if I told you today you could stop trying so hard and simply rest? What if I told you today you could start enjoying yourself and your life without performing or striving for another minute? What if I told you that you don’t measure up? And that it’s okay. In fact, it’s necessary.
In this 3-day track, Jennie helps us explore how we can let go of our own sense of independence and find freedom in the abundant resources of Jesus. By sharing her personal story of brokenness and freedom, she invites us into a richer understanding of what it means to let go and be fruitful in our areas of influence by truly abiding in Christ.
DAY 1: Not Enough
A couple of years ago at the start of our second IF: Gathering, I stood in the dark at the back of the theater. I’d just delivered one of the shakiest talks of my life, barely getting through it.
In the ten days leading up to that moment, I’d endured a full-on assault.
But we finally made it through. I delivered my rough broken talk, still believing the lie that I had to hold this thing up and together, that I had to fight the dark cosmic forces coming at me.
Now here I stood in the back, hiding in the dark. Shelley Giglio came to stand beside me. She saw the fear. How could she not? It was all over me. She grabbed my trembling hand, and I said aloud the terrifying words that revealed my biggest insecurity, what I am so terribly afraid is true, and everyone knows.
“I am not enough for this.
“I. Can. Not. Do. It.”
And then one of my most treasured mentors confirmed my greatest insecurity. With a peaceful smile, Shelley delivered the devastating truth: “I know. And that’s why God picked you, Jennie.”
Of course, I hated that she confirmed it. Because what I thought I wanted was my self-esteem puffed up. I wanted her to tell me I was enough. I wanted to be the best and to know that’s why God picked me. I wanted to be especially gifted and smart and brave.
I want to be good enough to lead this thing. I want to be enough for God, for you. And that’s my sin. Deep down, I want to be enough. I don’t want to keep needing God.
I am realizing it’s not my curse that I believe I am not enough; it’s my sin that I keep trying to be.
All the while Jesus is saying, I want to free you from your striving, free you from your doubt, free you from your pride that cares more about your achieving something than you receiving something. I am enough.
So you don’t have to be.