I’ve always asked the questions: Am I good enough? Loved enough? What’s my purpose? All throughout high school, I looked for approval from my parents by succeeding in school and in dance. I thought, “If I can just get straight A’s, I’ll make it, they will love me, they will think I’m good enough. If I can just be cast in this dance piece and fit into this costume and win this award, I’ll be good enough.” I thought: “if I get a boyfriend and he tells me I’m pretty, then I must be pretty. If he says he loves me then I must be loved.” I thought: “if I just get this group of friends to stick by me, I will have the support system I need. I will feel comfortable and I will fit in.”
My life revolved around the approval of others. I was only happy if I was “succeeding” in their eyes and I was only happy if I met my goals that I scribbled down on a checklist for the week. But every single thing I just named disappointed me. So much so that I developed anxiety and fell into depression. There was always an argument, someone prettier, a test I tried so hard on but still got a B, disappointment from a boy who didn’t live up to the fantasy I had played out in my mind.
I could never live up to my own expectations.
When I got to college I realized that everything I had was gone. The comfort and security I found in my family and previous boyfriend were gone. My friends were miles away. I was alone, really alone. I decided to rush a sorority because, why not? Instant friends. Little did I know that God would use this experience to show himself to me. During recruitment, I met a girl who told me about having a relationship with Jesus and how different it was from the typical view of religion. Yeah, I had gone to church I was a Christian, I said. But I thought to myself… was I really? Did I have a relationship with Jesus?
I came to know that God thinks I am enough. He loves me just the way I am and I don’t have to prove anything to him or be this perfect person with the right guy and the right friends and the amazing grades. I found out that I don’t need to do anything to get His approval but that it has already been done and I am already loved. He sent himself in human form to live as we do and die for us so that we may be free.
I decided that my approval and acceptance would come from God alone, that I would place my identity in the perfect love that God has for us. I accepted Him into my life and He became a sponge that would soak up all of my anxiety, fear, and sadness. He became a rock to hold onto in the ocean of life. He told me I was loved and never alone.
Things began to change and I developed a stronger relationship with my parents, a kinder way to treat my friends and a perspective less focused only on myself. In fact, a friend from high school that I bumped into freshman year of college had asked me what had gotten into me. He said I was a completely different person and there was no other explanation I could give him than the acceptance of Jesus and Him working in my life.I found the answers to my questions. Yes, I am good enough and Jesus told me so. Yes, I am loved more than enough because God decided I was worth having his son die on the cross for me.
The point of life is love. Love God and love people.
— Cami Hall (@joybyjesus) August 9, 2017
That is my purpose.