Hello 4th Grade Elizabeth. Not my favorite portrait of me, but I embrace it anyway.
There are two of me. One is Too Much and one is Not Enough. No, I am not having mental health issues with a sudden onset of personality disorders. I think what I feel sometimes is what most of us feel from time to time.
One of me is Too Much. Way to much. I am overbearing. I get pushy and demanding. This type A kicks into overdrive and scares people. I leave meetings thinking of all the people I cut off, all of my opinions I shoved down people's throats, and stayed an irritatingly intense level all day. I really don't like Too Much me. I lay in bed thinking of all the ways Too Much Elizabeth freaked people out. I feel the lie roll into my head telling me that no one can handle me or wants me around. I am simply, too much.
Then there is Not Enough Elizabeth. I sit silently in a conversation listening without giving any input. I don't say what comes into my head. If I do offer a thought it is with an awkward apology or a note of insecurity. I don't get in the game or even the sidelines. I sit in the nose bleed section. When I lay in bed I think of all the things I never said, all the ideas I kept inside and the generally boring vibe I gave off. I feel this lie creeping in that no one sees value in me. I am simply, not enough.
It drives me nuts. I feel torn between these two broken versions of myself - one crippled with pride, the other crippled with insecurity. I swing back and forth hoping to land in the middle, but missing it more days than I would like.
Some of you swing back & forth between anger & passivity, being an dictator & not leading at all, full of vision & lacking any focus, disciplined & easily swayed. Maybe you go between being completely unfeeling and having emotions that could win an Oscar. We all have our 'too much' and 'too little'.
I can think of funny examples that are entertaining on paper, but truth of the matter is it feels crippling. Frustration builds and I just feel stuck. Thankfully Paul felt the same way. See if his emotion rings a bell with you.
"I do not understand what I do. (umm. hello. me all the time.) For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do....For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out..."
- Romans 7:15-18
Paul, buddy...I feel you on this one. What is wrong with us??? Why do I give myself a pep talk to go into a party and be normal & then suddenly turn awkward? Ugh.
I know that God has made a way for me to walk in the true identity of who I am. Not pulled between extremes of personality, gifting and communication. He didn't make Too Much Elizabeth or Not Enough Elizabeth. He just made Elizabeth. Fearfully & Wonderfully made Elizabeth.
You are fearfully & wonderfully made too. Read Psalm 139:14 if you don't believe me. The things that embarrass you about yourself, the weaknesses you can't seem to overcome & the strange personality bumps you seem to hit.
How do we get to that Fearfully & Wonderfully made version of ourselves? At the end of Romans 7 it says:
"Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Christ Jesus our Lord!"
Despite our extremes and imbalances, Jesus makes a way. Instead of reacting in self-hatred for doing what we don't want to do, we run to Jesus. We listen to His voice, we rest in His presence & we allow Him to complete His work in us. He makes all things new.
Too Much Elizabeth and Not Enough Elizabeth melt away and Elizabeth comes to the surface. A daughter of a King. Confident in her making.
Stop trying to auto-correct yourself. Sit in His presence. Hear your identity spoken by a thundering voice that stills the waters. He makes all things new. He makes you new.