Being Enough

Receiving the gift of being God's beloved child

by Laura Bratton

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  —Genesis 1:27

Am I enough? Or am I “less than” others? I struggled with this question from the time I was diagnosed with an eye disease as a child. As I adjusted to becoming a blind teenager, I had thoughts such as, Now that I am labeled disabled, does that mean I receive less of the love of God?

The question followed me through school, even through graduate school and a residency in clinical pastoral education at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

As a person with a disability, it is easy to slip into the mindset of thinking and believing that I am not enough. When I am treated “less than” or treated as though I am invisible, I can easily fall into this hole. In fact, the question “Am I enough?” is one that everyone wrestles with in some way.

The answer comes in a shift in mindset as we start to change from a thought pattern of “I am less than and not worthy” to a pattern of “I am equal and I am a worthy human being.” Our thoughts change from “I have nothing to give” to “I am a valuable person who has gifts and talents to share with the world.”

One day during my residency, I was called to the pediatric unit to see a 12-year-old patient named Heather. The nurse told me that Heather had an eating disorder. She was not responding to her parents, counselor, social worker, or the nurses. So they wanted the chaplain to visit. When I walked into the room I said, “Heather, I am Reverend Bratton. Could I sit down and chat with you for a few minutes?”

She blurted out, “Wait. You are blind?”

I immediately thought, Oh, here we go. She is viewing me as less than because I am blind. This is so frustrating!

Then she said, “You are not going to focus on how I look physically?”

I said, “No,” still thinking that this was not going well.

Then Heather said, “Please, stay. I want to talk to you.”

Heather was able to open up about her eating disorder. We were also able to talk about her relationship with God. Why did Heather let me in the room? She let me in because of the one part of me that I thought made me “less than.”

Genesis 1:27 reminds us that we are enough because we were created by the creator of the world. The living presence of God flows through our hearts, minds and souls. We are enough regardless of our current anxiety or fears of the future. Let us give ourselves space to rest in the good news of God’s promise.

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