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All My Not-Enoughness

All My Not-Enoughness

I see a post on Instagram from another Christian writer and it’s so beautiful and wise and creative. Wish I’d thought of it. I’m not creative enough, I conclude.

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I’m writing a book and sometimes my brain hurts and the words won’t come. I feel overwhelmed by the phrases in my mind and how I can’t seem to make sense of them myself, let alone for my reader. I’m not smart enough, I send in Vox to a friend.

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My son acts out. I know it’s a cry for attention because his baby brother demands so much of me. I snuggle him, play with him, and involve him in activities, but he still requires more. I’m not available enough, I lament.

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My mind is so full of information that I forget appointments, plans, deadlines, medications, or just simply to drink water. Guilt floods my heart in bed because I forgot to put ointment on baby’s rash again. My mind isn’t sharp enough, I tell my husband.

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I’m in the dressing room at Target and I thought I found a shirt to cover my distended stomach. But chronic illness has won again and I look 6 months pregnant still. I can’t wear most of my clothes. Sometimes I avoid going in public now. My stomach isn’t flat enough, I say under my breath in frustration.

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I can’t keep up with it all. The dusting and vacuuming and cleaning food off of counters and faces. Piles of laundry hang in the background of my brain. My home isn’t clean enough, I determine.

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The baby still isn’t sleeping through the night. I try to read my Bible through dozing and blinking eyes. Shame fills my mind. Clearly, I don’t love God enough, I decide.

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I’m confronted with my not-enoughness a lot lately. As I get dressed, as I parent, as I’m faced with yet another important thing I’ve forgotten. When I try to write and the words won’t come. When I feel so tired that every inch of me longs to slink to the floor and crawl back into bed. So many of these examples show how often my eyes shift from my Savior to myself. Some are true shortcomings; others are perceived. I can become so discontent with my mind, body, and soul.

But this is the mind and the body God has given me. And these circumstances are meant to remind me that I can’t do it all or be it all. To believe otherwise is vanity. My failures can be avenues to worship, if only I look beyond them to the God who sustains me in all my imperfections (both perceived and real). The gospel changes everything about where we go when we feel “not enough.” Because at the end of the day, I will never be enough, but Jesus is, and any flaw seen in me points my eyes back to him. 

The night-wakings, need for patience, desperation for wisdom, writing through thick brain fog, and feelings of pure inadequacy all lead me to greater dependence on God. When I cry out “I can’t do this!” I have no other choice to press into the all-sufficient God of the Universe. He whose resources, time, goodness, and strength are endless.

Suddenly, I’m free. I’m free to be creative without comparing. Free to work hard to the glory of God and know that when some tasks go unfinished, he is still pleased. I’m free to rejoice over this body as a gift in which I get to glorify the Living God, rather than hating it for how it holds me back. And I’m free to rest in Christ, knowing he alone sustains me through every bleary-eyed season. 

In all my not-enoughness, Jesus is enough.

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