I Am Not Enough.

Unknowingly, we begin shaping our opinions of ourselves from a very early age. A series of seemingly unimportant events and circumstances create the framework of how we view ourselves. My earliest memories of how I felt about myself were what we all now as adults aim for: pure confidence, almost to the point of conceit. I remember thinking I was completely amazing. I was pretty, strong, smart, funny, worthy of so much. Until suddenly I wasn’t.

When you have a sister less than two years apart in age from you, competition is only natural. I remember when I was quite young, adults would praise my sister on her intelligence. They would then look over to me and with a compassionate smile simply state how cute I was. But I never heard that I was cute. All my young mind heard was, “you’re not as smart as your sister.” For years, in fact until my latter years in highschool, I believed I was dumb. I wasn’t smart enough for people to praise me.

I wasn’t enough.

When I was around ten years old I did what all the girls did before Sunday school: I congregated in the bathroom chatting with my friends. We were all having a grand time when one little girl exclaimed at me with a loud laugh, “YOU’RE FAT!” My initial thoughts that I was beautiful were shattered on that bathroom floor. I believed these words about me for the majority of my life which resulted in multiple eating disorders. Even at my thinnest, I was never skinny enough.

I wasn’t enough.

As a young teenager, I developed a strong relationship with God. I prayed and read my Bible diligently and did His work every opportunity I could. I joined a youth group that was just starting out so naturally I tried to help lead and minister into the other youth. One day I poured my heart out on to the white boards in the youth room. It wasn’t long after that I was called into the pastor’s office for a talk. To be honest, I can’t remember what he said. I believe it was something about how the other kids weren’t ready for all that I had said and that I needed to leave the ministering up to the youth pastors. But all I heard and all I remember to this day is the overwhelming conclusion that I did not hear properly from God and that I was too young to lead. That I had let God down. I drew away from Him for many years because it seemed so unachievable for me to actually be close to Him after that. I was not a good enough Christian.

I wasn’t enough.

When I was nineteen I went on my first anniversary vacation with my then husband. On the long ride home we began discussing the possibility of divorce. I don’t even remember the exact context of the conversation, but I do remember him saying to me, “I never really loved you…. You won’t find anyone else that will really love you.” I didn’t respond. I stared at the floorboard choking back tears that my darkest nightmare had come true. Even during our good times, he never loved me. From that day forward I began to build a wall protecting myself from every other man on the planet because I never knew if that “L” word they’d say would be true or not. I was not good enough or a worthy partner.

I wasn’t enough.

If there was one thing I was still confident in, it was farming. I knew I wasn’t perfect or had knowledge on everything, but I was eager to learn more everyday. I worked hard, long hours and was extremely happy in my job. Because I got up so early to milk I was given the opportunity to rest after morning milking before I had to go back to work. One day when coming back to work from my break someone was at the farm and yelled to me, “Hey, PART-time!” I responded with a profanity and waving a certain middle finger, but that one little statement altered my confidence in my job so severely there were multiple times I nearly gave up my farming dream. I stopped believing I was worthy of my job which slowed my eagerness to learn, grow, and even be there. I wasn’t good enough of a farmer so why try?

I wasn’t enough.

Last summer I took a leap and took on a second job in addition to my farming. It meant averaging four hours of sleep a night for over two months, trying to do home updates, maintaining my normal house hold duties, growing my relationship with my boyfriend, keeping my commitment of hosting a fundraiser event, and still trying to excel in both jobs. It was overwhelming, I won’t lie. But though I was spread quite thin, I loved what I was doing! I enjoyed both jobs so very much and on top of that I was able to become more stable financially. Then a well meaning friend pointed out a few areas I was lacking. I lashed out in anger, but really I was cut deep into my soul. Despite all my efforts and trying to be and do everything, I was still failing.

I wasn’t enough.

Now, I truly believe none of the people (even my ex) in these incidents meant for what they said or did to have such a negative, lasting impact on my life. They either said something in jest or rashness or trying to give constructive criticism. But however it was meant, it shaped the way I viewed myself. These incidents gave me unachievable standard I put on my life and the overwhelming feeling that I was simply not enough.

As an advocate for self love, I have often told people that they are enough the way they are. But if I were to be honest, in the depths of my soul, I never believed this was true of myself. There were too many failures and shortcomings marked up against me. How could I ever be enough!?

Then I realized something beautiful, freeing, and sobering all at once:

I will never be enough and that’s okay.

I began my year out feeling overwhelmed and under qualified in absolutely every area of life. I was face to face with how not enough I was. For someone who only ever wanted to feel like she in and of herself was worthy, this had cut me to the core. But like many in dark times, I chose to turn back to my faith.

People say God is a crutch to which I fully believe. If my lack of being enough we’re manifested in a physical sense, I wouldn’t have the ability to walk. And if there’s one thing the Bible is excruciatingly clear on, it’s that the human race isn’t enough. We’ve all sinned. We’ve all fallen short of the glory of God. There’s no way we can live up to who He is and the standard He sets. But if you know and understand the Word you know this:

He doesn’t expect us to live up to an unachievable standard. He doesn’t expect us to be enough.

In fact, he wants us in our brokenness and shortcomings. He wants us just as we are. If we were enough, why would we need a God? If we were perfect, why would Jesus have had to die on the cross for us? It is in our brokenness, He makes us whole. He manifests his glory in our shortcomings.

In Jesus Christ, we are enough.

So I urge you, stop trying so hard to be perfect. Striving to achieve unreachable standards put on by you or by others will only leave you feeling further from the enoughness we idolize. Let Grace make your broken, aching soul whole.

One thought on “I Am Not Enough.

  1. I enjoyed your ramblings. Your words touched my heart as I have often felt as you have. Our Heavenly Father is faithful to lead, guide, and direct our path, and forgive us. I see God working in your life and changing you. You make me smile. I love you…keep on rambling. I am sure you will touch many lives with your words. God Bless. Sharon Sweet


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