These are two words that often run through my mind. I feel like I am never enough. I want so badly to be enough. I want to be enough for my kids. I want to be enough for my husband. I want to be enough for my friends. I want to even be enough for God. I often feel like I am always falling short and I long to hear the affirming words “You are enough” whispered in my ear and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I recently gave birth to my second son. The last seven weeks of my life have been filled with changes, challenges, and lots of mixed emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my sons tremendously, but this motherhood thing is no walk in the park. I am daily facing the joys and struggles of taking care of a newborn and a toddler. Kids are demanding, exhausting, and just a lot of work. I often feel at the very end of myself and like I am constantly coming up short. Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Don’t worry, you can do this.” “Don’t be so hard on yourself, you got this.” “Hang in there, you are enough.” Or even the ever-popular phrase, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But is that actually true?
As a mom I can be easily overwhelmed by all that my life entails right now: changing countless diapers, keeping up with the laundry, planning and cooking meals making sure the house is not in total chaos, not to mention also being entrusted with two precious boys and trying to raise them to be the men God has created them to be. I want to be enough for this calling, but frankly there are many days where I feel like a failure and there have been times in these last few weeks where it feels like God has given me more than I can handle. But God has been showing me in these last seven weeks that I am not enough, and I never will be, but that’s ok.
I AM NOT ENOUGH
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus doesn’t say that apart from Him we can do some things. He says that apart from Him we can do nothing, not a thing. We were created to need Jesus. We like to think we have what it takes but we really don’t. On my own I will fall short over and over again. (Romans 3:23) Coming to a place of realizing we are not enough brings us to the place of being completely dependent upon our Savior. We all desperately need Jesus.
I NEVER WILL BE
I will never “arrive”. I will never get to a place where I am done growing and learning and maturing, and I never want to. If I ever think I have arrived, it is then that I will become complacent and stagnant. That is not somewhere I want to live. The truth of the matter is, I will never stop needing Jesus. I need Him just as much today as I did when I first accepted Christ. That will never change.
AND THAT’S OK
Maybe this whole idea of not being enough seems depressing, but God is showing me that embracing this idea is ok and actually brings tremendous freedom. Why? Because when I realize that I am not enough I can fully embrace a God and a Savior who is MORE THAN ENOUGH. I take my eyes off myself and my shortcomings and place them on Jesus. Our greatest need isn’t to be told we are enough or even to be found useful for God’s kingdom, our greatest need is Jesus, nothing more nothing less. We have a perfect Savior who is completely capable of anything and everything. When we realize that we can’t but God can, a huge burden is lifted off of us and we can truly live life the way God designed us to- being completely dependent on Him.
A phrase that I was taught several years ago was, “For this I have Jesus.” This phrase has really stuck with me. I like to remind myself of that truth and fill in the blank with whatever I am struggling with. By doing this I am reminded that I have a Savior who is amply sufficient for whatever I am facing in life. So whatever your THIS is, whatever circumstances in life seem overwhelming to you, wherever you feel like you are falling short, remember: You are not enough, you never will be, but that’s ok, because for this you have Jesus and He is more than enough. Embrace that truth. Walk in it daily. For when we do we allow God’s grace and the beautiful truth of the gospel to be put on display to those around us.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Some of the ideas in this blog post were inspired by the book Gospel Centered Mom by Brooke McGlothlin.
Written By: Abby Larsen