Do you ever feel like you aren’t enough? That as the person you are, you just aren’t right? That no matter how much you work and how much you try to be what everyone wants you to be, you will never be enough?
This was my struggle. I wanted to feel like enough. I wanted others to think I was “good enough”. I never felt like I was enough, so I wanted others to affirm in me that I was enough.
I can remember reading phrases like those listed below and thinking those weren’t things people actually said to other people, but then they were said to me.
You always fail.
Everything you do is wrong.
You can’t do anything right.
You will always be the same old person.
You will never be good enough, no matter what you do.
I had already heard those words in my head over and over again. I had felt them deep down within me. But, when I heard them spoken to me, it seemed to affirm what I had always believed.
Even though I had been a Christian basically all my life, it was in those lowest moments of my life when I actually found the God of all comfort.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (emphasis mine)
The truth is… I will never be enough… not on my own. I have failed in the past and I continue to fail, on pretty much a daily basis. I have hurt those I love. I have let down myself and those closest to me. If I look at all that I have done wrong and all that I am still struggling to get right, I will never be “good enough”. I will never be able to do enough to make up for my sin. I will never be able to convince everyone that I am “good enough”. But, I am “enough” in Christ and through Him; I am enough because He is more than enough.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
I will always have imperfections and weaknesses, but that doesn’t mean that I am not enough. For it says in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10, “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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
If I focus on this world, my past, what other people think of me (even those closest to me), I will never be enough. When I focus on this, I start to feel hopeless and weak. I see myself as a failure. But, when I focus on God, I am reminded that God works for those who love him (Romans 8:28). I am reminded that these things cannot separate me from God.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 35,37
Maybe you have never had anyone actually tell you that you will never be enough, maybe it is just that little lie that satan whispers in your ear. You try not to acknowledge it, but it’s always there… that feeling that you don’t measure up.
Maybe you feel it the worst when you are with your perfectionist mother, who always has a critique or criticism for you. Maybe it’s when you are at work and it seems that you never shine above the rest. Maybe it’s when you are talking with the group of “Super Moms” who seem to have it all together or you are reading the blogs of amazing women who homeschool, cook, craft, and every other wonderful thing and it seems like you can barely keep up with the things you have to do each day.
Or, maybe you feel it the worst in a broken relationship that you are struggling to fix. When you speak with the person whom you have hurt the worst and you see in their eyes you will never be enough.
Or, maybe you feel it the worst when you are struggling to stay in a relationship with the person who has hurt you more than you ever could have thought possible. They have devastated you and left you feeling like you weren’t enough.
There are a million different reasons that we are left feeling like we weren’t good enough and we never will be. And the truth is, we never will be enough until we turn to Jesus and allow him to fill that place in us. That place that seeks approval from others. That place that constantly compares us to everyone else to see if we measure up. When we turn to Him and allow Him to fill that place for us, we can realize that with Christ we already are enough, no matter what the world thinks.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1: 4-8)
God chose us with all wisdom and understanding and through his blood he has made available to us his forgiveness and grace.