When the Unanswerable Questions Make You Feel Less-Than

It was the end of a perfectly normal, sunny, and beautiful day when I was confronted with an unanswerable question.

“Where are you from?” a six-year-old girl asked, leaning close. This seemingly-unanswerable question made me gulp, as it always does. Even though it was “just” a child asking, I could feel insecurity rising. Simplifying my answer a lot, I named two countries.

The six-year-old frowned and shook her head violently. “No, choose only one! You can’t come from two places!” she said.

I felt my insecurity skyrocket. If this sweet girl knew that I was actually from more than two places… “It’s not always that easy,” I replied, using my adult-right to be vague and hoping my answer would satisfy. I didn’t really want to have to get into the complicated story of where I came from at the end of this long day.

Fortunately, as it sometimes is with kids, she got distracted at that very moment, giving me the opportunity to change the subject without her noticing. The diverted conversation may have been the solution for the situation with the little girl, but it didn’t make the queasy feeling in my stomach go away. That queasy feeling that I get whenever I can’t fully answer a question the way people expect me to.

Feeling Less-Than

I suppose everyone has those unanswerable questions. TCKs usually have quite a few. Or, to be more precise, the “unanswerable” questions are answerable, but because the answer is so unusual or so complicated, for some reason we don’t like giving them.

Perhaps we’re scared that others may think we’re showing off. Or maybe the complexity of them makes us feel like the answers aren’t good enough to be spoken out loud. I once heard that if you aren’t able to condense an answer to one sentence, it’s not really an answer. Gulp.

For many TCKs, the dreaded “Where are you from?” is on the top of the list of please-don’t-ask-me questions.

This question has the kind of answer that people don’t expect, the kind that doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter mold.

For some reason, answering the “unanswerable” question – or attempting to – often leaves me feeling less-than. Like I didn’t do a good enough job explaining, or it isn’t okay that I’m not “normal.”

Understanding You Are More-Than

Before I could dwell on the less-than feeling caused by the six-year-old, Romans 8:37 came to mind.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 ESV

The Bible never says anything about us being less-than once we are saved from our sins. Jesus’ sacrifice covered us abundantly with grace upon grace, leaving no room for being less-than.

I think that, as Christians, we often feel like we’re chasing after the people we’re supposed to be. Yes, it’s true that we’re still in the process of sanctification. However, as much as God grows us step-by-step, He also already sees us there.

We are washed clean on the inside. We are justified. We can legally stand before God. 

We’re not chasing after who we should be, always just a few steps behind schedule.

As His redeemed people, we are already enough. Not only that, as His people, we are more-than. We are more than conquerors in Christ.

When Insecurity Comes Knocking

Clinging to Romans 8:37, which God brought to mind at just the right moment, I decided to speak truth over my insecurities. Friend, when insecurity rises, cling to God’s truth that cannot be twisted, turned, or shaken. No matter what our minds might throw at us, God’s truth stands firm. We are loved beyond measure. In Christ, we are more than enough.

The next time someone asks you an unanswerable question – be it a six-year-old or an adult – don’t let insecurity take dominion. Instead, speak truth: you are not less-than. In Christ, you are more-than.

TCKs for Christ: Writer & Email Manager

Sarah Susanna Rhomberg

is an MCK from Europe who is fluent in both English and German. She has cried many tears over the question of home, mother tongue, and identity, and wants to use these experiences to encourage others. Aside from writing, she loves reading, butterflies, and sunsets. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. You can connect with her at Truth & Hope.

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