I fell into this hole years ago that is surely like the quicksand traps I read about. The ones that you don’t see coming and before you know it, you start slowly sinking, wondering how you missed it. Why didn’t I see this coming? Can I ever escape? Where are my friends with a rope to pull me out? And it’s a slow demise. The worst kind, actually. Thoughts of what could have been, all the things you’d do over again, and why did it have to end it like this?
You see, I fell into a trap of “not-enoughness” years ago and have been sinking ever since. Every time I snapped at my kids about making us late to church. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? I missed a deadline at work. You’re a worthless employee. I let a friend down when she needed me most. I don’t even deserve friends. My children are screaming and writhing around on the floor in the cereal aisle. I shrink inside, step away, and want to say, “WHO are these children’s parents??”
I could go on and on. Those moments in life that we feel inferior. That we don’t measure up. That our lives are spinning out of control like a vicious amusement park ride that we can’t escape. And we lay down at the end of a long day, pull the covers over our heads, and wonder how can we possibly be “enough”.
I am and always have been my worst critic. I fear I’m not alone here. Do I have what it takes to be all things to all people? Because people need me. And obviously, only me. Can I be the mom, friend, coworker, and servant that Jesus has called me to be? Am I enough?
I may lose a reader or two here. But no. The answer is no. I am not enough. Not even close. I am full of imperfections, so frail in many ways, weak in my faith, undeniably not the best mom around, and just a human. How could I ever be enough? So why do I obsess over it? Because I’ve bought into the lie that if I could accomplish this feat, look like that, rise to this challenge, or impress that co-worker, I’ve finally arrived. I’m not sure where. But I HAVE ARRIVED!
Thank you, Jesus, quite literally, that there’s a flip side to this. Now that I’ve told you all that you can never be enough. Seriously, that’s not leaving any warm and fuzzy feelings in my heart. And I love all the happy feels. And so do you. Yes. You ARE enough. Because of Jesus. We are so enough and much more in Him. He came to ensure that we were enough. That we were bought with a price. That His love for us is unconditional and unwavering. When we try to compensate for what we lack, we forget that running to Him is the only answer to our feelings of inadequacy. Instead, we run to the gym. We work longer hours. We volunteer for every activity we can find and loathe every minute we are there. That will surely earn us point somewhere. Geesh. I cannot keep up.
Over so many years, too many, actually, I’m learning to come to terms with my “not-enoughness”. As Sweet Brown so eloquently put it, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Let’s try this on for size: we are much more than a friend, we are daughters of the King. We are way more than just likeable. We are loved by the Creator Himself. We are more than beautiful. We are His craftsmanship and wonderfully made. So no, I am not enough. I never will be. I am more. And so are you. When we try to compensate, He wants to fill us up with His “enough”. His grace, mercy, love, and wisdom are beyond what I can imagine. It’s not my job to be enough. He has all that we need to be exactly who He wants us to be. This is no solo act, friend. He’s only just started with us. And He’s promised to finish it. Listen to what Paul says in Ephesians. “Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in the world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea. And all His work.” (The Message, MSG, Ephesians 2:7-8).
We are exactly where He wants us. Time is no issue for Him and He plans on using it to shower even more kindness and grace on us. He will shower more “enough” down on us, that we won’t be able to handle it. I just know it.