I used to think there was a certain mold I needed to fit. You know, the mold that was shaped by the people around me as if they were the potters and I were the clay. The mold of popularity, or beauty, or academics. There was a mold of not having imperfections and a mold of not struggling with depression. There were the molds formed by my friends, my parents, and my campus. Have you felt the need to meet the mark? To fit the mold? To be more than you are in an effort to meet expectations? If so, girl read on and let these words wrap around your heart.
There are so many expectations placed upon us: to be pretty, have many friends, have a boyfriend, make good grades, be known on campus, be involved, to make an impact in the world, the list goes on and on. But here’s the truth: expectations placed on your shoulders are not the mark to which you need to strive to reach. Jesus comes to us each day and places a standard of grace upon us. This standard doesn’t have anything to do with excelling at something or receiving a thumbs- up from the people around you, this standard is about you being you. That’s it. Jesus doesn’t want anything other than the girl sitting across this screen reading this post. He wants your mess, your mistakes, and your unreached expectations. He wants the not-so-good GPA and the broken heart. He wants the tears and the laughs and every intricate part of who you are. He wants you.
I have always struggled with feeling like I am enough. There have been bars that I have set for myself and when I haven’t reached them or made the cut, it has crushed me. I placed my worth in reaching standards and feeling like I was enough for myself and others. However, even when I would achieve a standard or goal, I would still find myself feeling empty or focused on the next thing I needed to fix about myself. The pressure weighed heavily upon me each day as I struggled to look in the mirror and like the person standing before me. However, as my heart grew heavy from the imperfections, God came in and loved me. I drew near to Him and slowly over time, He showed me that my worth didn’t come from being the version of myself I thought the world wanted. My worth didn’t come from what I did on campus or even from the people who followed me on social media. My worth came solely from the quiet moments when God whispered, “I see you for you, and that is enough.” And the same is for you. Each day, God whispers affirmation to you that says you’re enough. We all desire to be known and loved for who we are, and that’s the exact desire God fulfills within us.
I don’t know what lays upon your heart today, and if I could come give you a hug and tell you you’re enough then I would. Those are the words you deserve to hear each and every day. If you struggle with feeling like you’re not meeting expectations, whatever they may be, I encourage you to draw near to God. Listen to what He says about you over your shoulder each day. “I am enough.” Yell, it from the mountaintops, say it to yourself in your car, write it on your notebooks. You are enough. I believe overcoming expectations is a reminder to be captivated by our purpose: to love God and others deeply and fully. Let’s shed the expectations that hold us back and know that meeting them doesn’t define who we are. We are loved, valued, and we have a divine purpose in pursuing God right where we are at. You don’t have to fit a certain mold, you are clay in the hands of God who shapes you with grace and freedom from expectation. I don’t know about you, but I believe that is a truly liberating place to be.
Romans 12:2- “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Taylor McElderry // @taylor.mcelderry
Hi friends, my name is Taylor McElderry! I am studying Elementary Education and Non-Profit Organizational Studies at the University of Oklahoma. In order to paint a picture of who I am, here are some things I love: people, coffee, international missions, painting, sunny days, hugs, authenticity, Dr. Pepper, old movies, deep laughter, passionate people, and the Gospel. I love stringing words together in an effort to exemplify Christ and the ways He has changed my heart. I hope that you may find a glimpse of the Kingdom and a friend to walk alongside you through the words I write!