We can struggle with wondering if we're "enough" - like all the time. Read on as Melissa d'Arabian shares her conclusions on this constantly-dripping topic in our minds.
Am I Enough?
By Melissa d'Arabian
Have you ever wondered if you are enough?
I do. All the time.
I wonder if I am patient enough to be raising the four daughters God blessed me to raise.
I wonder if I'm strong enough to endure the loss of my dear friend Mindy last week, and whether I'm wise enough to share the right words at her funeral because her husband asked me to speak.
It's not just the big stuff, either. On a random Tuesday night, I wonder if the meal I've made is tasty enough to please my family's palates. Have I worked hard enough today to take a few hours off, just to curl up on the couch and get lost in reading a book?
When I was competing on The Next Food Network Star, I came face-to-face with my own fears about not being enough.
I had watched reality television and knew about typecasting. For instance, there's always an over-the-top-but-hilarious character, and there's always a cute blonde. (Was I the cute blonde? I wondered. Spoiler: I was not.)
A few hours into filming, I figured out my part: I would be playing the well-meaning-but-underqualified housewife from a small town. I would be the kindhearted mom of four kiddos in diapers, bumbling around a commercial kitchen for the first time. All of this was technically true, but from my perspective, these were all merely elements of my life experience, not the entirety of who I was. I had an MBA and more than a decade in a career as a finance executive under my belt.
None of that stopped me from wondering if I was enough.
On the first morning of filming, in the Food Network Kitchen, the contestants stood shoulder to shoulder in a lineup while the cameras captured our awkward silence as we met the judges. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a huge commercial kitchen that looked nothing like my home kitchen. And I saw incredibly talented chefs who had important jobs, like being the official cook for a major league sports team, or had done big things like open thirty restaurants across the country. I was more than overwhelmed. I felt sure I would be the first person eliminated. I wondered if perhaps I truly was just a token baby-bottom-wiping casting addition to the show, meant purely to entertain audiences in her incompetence.
I questioned whether I was enough.
But the words of Psalm 19 tell us a different story. They tell us that just being who we are is worship to God. Skies declare the glory of God, without any words or effort on their part; just being the sky is enough.
Me being me is enough.
You being you is enough.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voicegoes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV)
That first day of filming, in the busy whirlwind of lights and cameras and a stressful first cooking challenge, pushed into a corner, feeling less than adequate, I was forced to find my own steady ground. God was my rock; reliable in the strange world of reality TV. I leaned into the only solid, safe identity I knew: the one given to me by God.
We don't have to be "enough" according to society's standards. God sets my standard, and he says I am enough. My job is to choose to believe him.
Celebrity chef, television host, best-selling author, speaker, writer and mom of four, Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking. Her latest book is Tasting Grace: Discovering the Power of Food to Connect Us to God, One Another, and Ourselves. Melissa believes in the power of the family meal, and always serves food with the goal of nourishing both body and soul - cooking for the person, not the plate. Connect with Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as on her website, www.MelissadArabian.net.