All my life I have sought to be the best I can be. A good daughter, an achieving student, a praiseworthy Christian, a loving wife, a caring friend, a patient teacher, the perfect mom. I am a type-A perfectionist. If I’m going to do something, I will do it to the best of my ability, no matter the toll it may take on me.
It. Will. Be. Done.
I decided to go to college, I graduated with honors three and a half years later. My darling husband proposed to me, I read no less than seven books on marriage during our engagement. I decided to take up running and completed my first full marathon just a year and a half later. In my short life, I feel like I have accomplished much, but it has never felt like enough. There’s always been something that I could do better. I can be better. An object of perfection that is within my grasp, but always eluding me. Every time I have felt close to winning in one of these areas, something happens that knocks me right back to the start line or I fall short in some way. I find myself being disrespectful to my husband. Fail. You’re not a good enough wife. I discipline my child out of anger. Fail. You’re not a good enough momma. I commit to reading my Bible everyday for a month. I make it two days. Fail. You’re not a good enough Christian. Why can’t I do these simple things? Why can’t I be enough? And this defeat has left me hopeless at times.
So, I sought out advice. And what I’ve heard over and over again from friends and mentors and pastors and bumper stickers is, “You ARE enough!” “You are exactly who you are supposed to be!” You can do this!” And for a brief moment, I would hear words like this and get pumped up and say, “Yah! I’ve totally got this! I’m going to go slay (fill in the blank) right now, because I AM enough!”
But guess what, ya’ll… I didn’t.
And as the defeats began to pile up, they brought me to a state of self-loathing, anger, and frustration. Until one day, I was listening to Philippians while getting ready for school, and the Word pierced straight to my heart. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13 God is doing the work, not me. And for the first time, I realized what was wrong with the good-intentioned advice and all those cute Pinterest quotes: they were eloquent lies.
You see, the thing is, I am not enough. And I will NEVER be enough.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 All. Alllllll. ALLLLL. We all fall short. All of us are NOT enough. But Jesus is. He came to fill that gap for us by dying on a cross, knowing that we could never achieve it in our fallen state. All we have to do is believe in Him, obey him, and HE will do everything else in us. God will not only gives us the ability to glorify Him, but the desire, also. It’s not about you being enough, but about Christ being enough.
You can do nothing on your own. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine: you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Therefore, we are all going to fail if we continue to try to accomplish life’s challenges on our own. But if we abide in Christ, He will accomplish it all. We can live a life of victory, for He has already overcome!
So can we stop? Can we stop seeking after something we will never attain on our own? Can we stop encouraging others to do the same with a gorgeously hand-scripted lie, “You are enough”? Can we, instead, turn and point to the only One who is enough?
How freeing would that be! And what a testimony to our spouses and children! Instead of trying to convince them that I can love them enough and heal their booboos and meet all their needs, I would rather point them to the only One who actually can.
I am not enough. And I am so so grateful for a loving Savior who is.