Regardless of how people may view you, you are enough
By Godfrey Mpetey
I remember a student who went to Farmington High School. He spent most days locked up in-school suspension. He had recently been kicked off the wrestling team for deciding to jump a sophomore who already was on crutches. He had a speech impediment that caused him to stutter through his words. Our sole interaction left a sour experience between us.
“You-uu know G-G-Godfrey? You ain’t r-r-really that black.” Marquis stuttered.
I glared at him puzzled by what he meant, I asked him to elaborate.
“Y-You ain’t black b-b–because you don’t fight.” he said.
I stood in complete silence as my head heated up. I swallowed my pride and walked away. If I had the opportunity, I would’ve clenched my fist and smacked him in his right temple. If fighting makes you “black,” I was ready to be the blackest man on earth.
I hoped arriving at Bethel University sparked a new change in me or how others saw me. My first time in community with Christians, I was prepared to be washed in a newfound holiness and personality.
Freshman year tested my faith in unclear circumstances. My Introduction to the Bible class posed my biggest challenge. I fought vigilantly for at least a C-. I remember sitting in class prior to our quiz on the books of the Bible. I had asked Tim Hanson, who’d later become one of my roommates, if he’d studied for the quiz.
“You don’t know the song?” Hansen said.
I stared blankly as he recited Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy along with a melody.
I definitely failed that quiz.
I’ve recognized my greatest vulnerability is my adequacy in the eyes of others. What if I’m not black enough for the Black Student Union? What if I’m not Christian enough to be part of a creative chapel group? Our internal struggles develop when we seek to fulfill what others want from us externally.
I’m learning who I am today. I’ve let the beliefs of others define whether I’m enough. I’ve realized that what they value as enough isn’t for all.
I continue to learn more of who I am, but I know I’m enough. We shouldn’t allow others to determine our values. I am enough. You are enough.