Every once in a while I bring out my memory box. Usually the box comes out on a dreary, rainy day when I’m feeling a little bit down and need a reminder that I am not alone on my journey of life and ministry. After a week of rain and flooding last week, I had one of those days, so I pulled the box off my shelf. Just opening it made me smile.
My memory box is just a simple plastic container filled with notes and cards, dating all the way back to my days in middle school. I tend to throw things away—I am probably the opposite of a hoarder—but I have kept these notes through moves to different schools, states, and places of ministry because they remind me of so many people who have shaped and formed me—people who have encouraged me and walked with me through the most joyous and difficult moments of life.
Some of these cards are store bought. Some of the notes are hand-made. Some are from people I know personally. Some are from those I only know by name. Some are from children. Some are from adults. Some are in perfect script. Others are barely legible. Some are thank you notes. Some are welcome and good-bye notes that I received as I have transitioned to new places of service. Some are “blessing” notes written when I was ordained, and others were written just because.
As I sat with the box last week, I opened up one note from a mentor and minister friend and read, “Blessings on your life, your ministry to be, your joy and your hope, remembering that you bring enough to the table and God will make a way for you.” I’m so thankful for these words of encouragement, even more so now than the day I received this note. I bring enough to the table and God will make a way for me. This is a reminder I need every single day. I am enough. You are enough.
On good days, I can muster up confidence, productivity, and stability. On less than good days, I still may appear confident, but I feel like I’m falling apart inside and messages about why I am not enough come creeping back in. Why would God call me to be a minister? I am too young, too female, and too introverted. The messages start by creeping in slowly, and then they begin to pour until I am flooded with uncertainty about who I am and who God is calling me to be. Before long, I’m absolutely sure that I am not, and never will be, good enough. Thank goodness for friends and mentors who remind me that I bring enough to the table and who help me continue to claim that truth for myself. I am enough. Not because of a successful trip. Not because of a sermon preached. Not because of a balanced budget. Not because of an eighty-hour work week. I am enough and you are enough simply because we are children of God created in God’s image.
As we live out our faith and minister alongside each other, I pray that we can encourage one another with our words, our notes, our conversations, and our lives so that, together, with God’s help, we may live into this truth and our callings with confidence. What I bring to the table is enough. What you bring to the table is enough. Thanks be to God.
Brittany Riddle is minister to adults at Vinton Baptist Church in Vinton, Virginia.