No, I’m Not Enough

 

You are enough.

I’ve heard and read those words a thousand times. And they’re nice, aren’t they? This idea that I’m sufficient the way I am. But as I ran across those words the other day—you are enough— something caused my eyes to linger over them. I examined each word, confused by the prickliness I suddenly felt by the statement.

You are enough.

“But I’m not enough,” I thought to myself. “I’m not.”

Over the course of the past year, I’ve experienced an amazing truth…I am not enough. And it has been one of the most freeing, empowering, beautiful truths that the Lord has graciously revealed to me.

My motherhood is currently the most important, sacred task I’ve been given. I’ve always wanted children even when I was a child myself. When inquiring grown ups would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always answer, “a mommy.” (Well, there was a period of time when my answer also included “a doctor” but as I got older I realized that I’d have to deal with blood and germs and death on a regular basis, and the whole “doctor” idea fizzled away.)

Now that I am a mommy, I desperately want to do this parenting thing well. And boy, do I try. I give it everything I’ve got. I muster up energy when I’m already running on fumes. I give 100 more kisses and cuddles and tuck everyone into their beds when I desperately just want to melt into my own bed. I want to teach my babies about Jesus and build their faith and love for him, even when I’m still learning all of that myself.  But even when I give it my everything, it’s still not enough. And that’s because I am not meant to be everything to everybody all the time. I can’t be. It’s not fair to me, and it’s definitely not fair to my little people. Or to anyone else for that matter.

It is only where I end and Jesus begins that true fullness, complete satisfaction, and enoughness is found.

(No, the word enoughness isn’t actually a word. And yes, I just used it…and will probably use it again.)

I have come to the edge of my own limitations—as a mom, but also as a woman. Things I’ve always avoided because I wasn’t “enough” to do them. And yet, that is exactly where God has called me to—beyond myself. (He tends to do that, doesn’t He?)

I remember a conversation I had with God last year that changed everything. I was preparing to speak at the hospital I miscarried twice at. I knew God had given me this holy opportunity. I knew I had to do it and that I needed to do it. And really, I wanted to do it. Yet, I kept explaining to God that I wasn’t enough to do it. “I’m not qualified enough to talk to these people. I’m not eloquent. I’m not an expert on the issue. And I’m definitely not super excited to bare my soul to a group of complete strangers.” And just to make sure God understood how inadequate I was, I ended my thought-conversation with God with these words: “I can’t do it. I’m not enough.” Just as clear as I had tried to make a point, I heard His response…every single word.

“You’re right, you can’t do this. You aren’t enough.”

I was a little taken aback with God’s response. I expected something a little more glitter-and-rainbowy. Maybe a supernatural energy boost or perhaps a spiritual pep talk with words like, “No, my child. You are enough. You are amazing and you can do this! Now get out there and be awesome.”

But nope. Didn’t hear that. At all.

“You’re right, you can’t do this. You aren’t enough.”

But that wasn’t the end of his statement. There were 3 more words: “But I am.”

I’m not enough, but he is.

I can’t do this, but he can.

And just like that, the paralyzing fear of not being enough melted away. The weight of my own limitations dissipated. Any hesitation to walk in obedience was replaced with a new boldness. The only things remaining were my willingness, and God’s ability.

I realized if I’m going live life according to my own limitations and boundaries, my soul will always be malnourished. I will only see a fraction of what could have been. And if I rely solely on my own abilities, resources, and circumstances, then I have no need for God.

If I want to experience fullness, abundance and enoughness in my life, I need Jesus. Because he is the only source of those things.

I’m the right mom for my kids, but I’m not enough. He is.

I want to be a great wife, but I’m not enough. He is.

I want to walk alongside other women who have lost babies and comfort them, but I’m not enough. He is.

I want to step out in obedience to God’s leading, no matter how rocky the terrain, but I’m not enough. He is.

Am I loved? Totally! Am I valued? Absolutely! Am I enough? No…

…but I know the One who is. And He is all I need. He is all you need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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