Do you ever feel that part of what drives you forward in life is the sense that someone is watching and weighing up your value- constantly reassessing whether you are worth the oxygen you inhale, the space on the planet you occupy? I think that at times when we take knocks in life, the person we were at that moment freezes, and crouches down inside us- hiding away, but kind of there trying not to get in the way.

All these hurt little people have been getting in the way this week. I went on a clergy wife retreat, and I have been feeling a bit low since. I am not sure why, but it has to do with how amazing all these women
are, how glamorous and together and helpful to their churches.

Inside me is the four year old with the bowl haircut who played with the boys at playtime because the girls didn’t want to talk to her. There is the eight year old who was followed around the playground by chanting
children, copying her walk. There is the eleven year old who was dumped by her only friend over a Bunsen burner and had to complete the experiment alone, through hot, humiliated tears. There is the thirteen year old who was told she could have been pretty if it wasn’t for her nose, and the seventeen year old who had
a Cambridge interview so terrible she hasn’t yet been able to turn it into a humorous anecdote (and there is great potential there believe me).  There is the girl who liked a boy who liked her sister, the one whose second book was pulped because so few copies were sold, the one who loses weight but then eats too much and puts it on again and knows people notice because they comment.

These are the labels: REJECT. FAILURE. FAT. ALONE.  I feel low because of the labels.

Recently, a new friend texted me to say she felt God wanted me to know I was enough. She wrote: “Jo Swinney- in Christ- is enough.”

Her message has been slowly percolating through my mind. I am enough. I am not my sales figures. I am not my dress size. I am not what I contribute to my church. I am not the number of people who would be sad if I

Mystery it is, but I am in Christ, and he says I am LOVED. ACCEPTED. He says I BELONG, that I am
BEAUTIFUL. In him, I am ENOUGH. One day, I hope these words will stick so firmly that I will be able to make it through a clergy wife retreat without feeling inadequate.  These are my words- words my God has said about me, and about you. These are the truth of the matter. All we need to do is choose to believe them.