From: Julie ~
I looked at the calendar this morning and gulped, “where did my year go?” I had so many plans and thoughts about how I wanted to be, places I wanted to go, things I wanted to accomplish.
Did I fulfill all my 12 month dreams? Did I kiss my babies or tell them that they are loved and cherished enough? Did I whisper “I love you’s” to my husband and make him feel appreciated enough? Did I pray and seek God’s face in every situation like I promised in my New Years resolution? Did I stand up for injustice or create peace, give to the poor, care for others enough? Was I selfless enough?
After twirling around all these thoughts, I came to the base question of it all. Am I enough? I unconsciously ask myself this question every day and don’t even realize it. It lingers in the back of my mind when I go to bed and think of all the things I never accomplished that day because there is never enough time. It’s there when I respond in a harsher then meant-to-way to my family. The question pops up when I wake up rushed before I even put my feet on the floor in the morning. When I doubt who I am as a child of God or feel I could never live up to what God has for me. Am I enough?
Sometimes it’s when you say something out loud – it really gets you in the gut.
So many times I feel unworthy of what I am supposed to be. The levels of expectations I place on myself to achieve can be daunting. I expect to be the greatest mother I could be, work full-time, have a clean house 24/7, be in ministry with my husband and a listening ear when needed. But really the expectations I place on myself and even on what I should have accomplished this year come from my own selfishness. I’ve created these expectations of myself so I can deal with the inadequacy I feel inside. “Am I enough” could really be rephrased as “will I be as seen by others/God as I want to be seen?” “Will they all think I have it all together.”
It also stems down to comparing myself with what I feel God wants me to be. He doesn’t want me to be perfect and I don’t have to be enough for Him. He knew I would have flaws and bumps and bruises. He knows when I use harsh tones and forget to pray, but He also wants me to go to Him for my strength and my fulfillment.
Psalm 139 lays it out so perfectly. “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.” He knows it all! My doubts, feeling that I’m not enough, can’t conquer the world in a day and will never be perfect yet he sees when I sit and when I rise.
“You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.” Wherever I go, His hand is upon me. He walks before me, behind me and covers me.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to dark for you.” When I finish the day or even the year, when I am in the darkest place of my mind and feelings of not being enough try to take over… He is there.
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” If He created me then I need to thank Him even when I don’t feel I am enough. Even if I doubt my parenting skills, or my wife skills or servant heart – I should praise Him and thank Him for what He gave me for in Him I am wonderfully made.
In short, I will never be enough. It is really only through God’s strength that I will have the ability to complete each day and year. It is through His goodness that I can be all I am supposed to be. It is through His grace I can live a life that will never measure up to what I think I am supposed to be, but to His standards… It is through His sacrifice of paying the price for my selfishness and sins and saying that He loves me enough to cover it all by taking my place.
I have to set aside what I though this year would hold or things I thought I would accomplish. I have to just keep going day-by-day loving and caring for people, apologizing when I could have said or done things better. I have to just look at my kids and realize I am the mother God gave them and try to be a little softer and more loving but not go through life feeling I am in adequate. I have to love my husband and family fiercely and fight for what is right as best as I know how, not trying to measure up in my head when I could have done better. After all, when my life is over there will only be me standing before God and He will be the only one saying I was enough.
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB