Not Enough

I’ve been thinking this week about “not enough”. The perception we have of ourselves that we cannot measure up, we are insufficient to accomplish the things we need to do in a satisfactory way. We aren’t good enough women, moms, or friends. We don’t cook well enough food or keep our house clean enough. We aren’t smart enough or talented enough. Our homes are not enough, our kids are not enough. All in all, we simply don’t feel we measure up to our own standards.

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And despite telling ourselves that we are better than some people, the thought nags us, the reality that we are not all we want to be, we cannot do all we want to do, and we cannot control the things we want to take charge of. Despite telling ourselves that we are better than other people, that we should settle for giving it our best shot, or trying to lower our standards,  we are simply not satisfied.

It’s a worry that nags at me sometimes, though less now than it used to. It began to change one day when I was doing my best to go about my business, cleaning up the house, scheduling flights, raising my boys who were young, and crying tears of anger and pain. “God, I can’t do this anymore!” I muttered under my breath while I screamed in my mind.

You aren’t supposed to.

“What?” I asked the voice in my head.

This, my daughter, is the meaning of grace, of salvation. You were never meant to do this, and you will never measure up. That’s why I sent Jesus to pay the price and my Spirit to work through you. You can rest in that. I AM enough. And you are not.

I stopped short. I wanted to get it right, I wanted to prove I could. Yet, I couldn’t deny that all my trying fell far short. And suddenly the thought was freeing instead of degrading. I wasn’t enough and I was never meant to be. God was enough, and He would accomplish His will through simple steps of obedience.

So, I began on a journey of not telling myself I was good enough, but of reminding myself that “enough” was God’s job not mine. I quit telling my friends they measure up to the impossible standard and began telling them that they don’t, and it doesn’t matter.

I don’t always remember that, and I haven’t arrived at the point of letting go of everything. But I am learning, most days. And in my better moments, I love that fact that none of us is enough, but God is still enough. It’s a freeing journey.

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8 thoughts on “Not Enough

  1. I remember when one of my therapists listened to me taking all the blame for something and she said, “you are not powerful enough for it all to be your fault.” That really penetrated my heart. I’m not enough. I’m not supposed to be enough. At least, not for what the rest of the world thinks I should be. Being enough is to be a demi-god, able to shoulder the responsibility for all and be all things to all people. That requires a much higher power than I.

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  2. dnj1229@comcast.net

    You can’t imagine how glad I was to receive your blog post. I had tried to sign up and was convinced that it didn’t work. I was all prepared to snag my son next time he came over and have him do it for me but as you can see, it did work!

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