Huh – who knew? Who knew there was a name for what we all feel? I think it’s fair to say that every one can think of a time in their life where they just didn’t feel like they were not good enough, or actually, just simply enough. And while I can’t speak for the guys, but I know that for girls, there are so many ways we find ourselves not enough – not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not popular enough. And that’s just in junior high.
Then we grow up and we become women. Now we’re still dealing with everything that we always have, except it’s just ramped up a bit. Now we’re also trying to be a good enough student or good enough at our job. Get married, and then you have a whole new realm of potential failures – a good enough homemaker, a good enough cook, a good enough communicator, a good enough lover.
And then you become a mom.
That’s when it really sets in, because now not only are we not enough in ourselves, we take responsibility for our kids’ apparent shortcomings as well. You know, like when your 18-month old isn’t walking yet, or your three-year old can’t go to preschool because he’s not potty trained yet. Or when your daughter doesn’t get the lead in the play, or your son doesn’t get on the honor roll. Or maybe they get picked up for shoplifting. Or get in a fight with another kid at school. Or maybe they have an eating disorder…..
Regardless of what it is, we are pretty good at taking ownership and realizing that on top of everything else, we’re just not a good enough mom either.
What do we even do with all this? How are you supposed to keep going, when you constantly just don’t feel that you’re enough?
I know the answer. I’ve grown up in the church and have walked with the Lord for as long as I can remember. While I don’t know the Scriptures well enough (see, again!), I know what it tells me as far as “being enough” goes:
- Phil. 1:6 – “…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
- 2 Cor. 12:9a – “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
- Eph. 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
It’s all there. And there’s more – lots more about how we have been created in the image of the Most High God, that we are sons and daughters of the King. Wonderful, simple answers, right? Except they’re not. My head knows them, but heart just isn’t feeling them. The ongoing refrain of “not enough, not enough” just keeps on going.
Tonight as I gave Katie a hug good night and could feel her spine, a visible sign of her slide backwards into the dark world of anorexia, I was struck again by “not enough”. A good mom, a mom who was good enough, wouldn’t let her daughter go there again, would she?
I know that right now if I were to Google “not good enough”, I’m sure I would find some wonderful articles and blogs written by well-meaning Christian women, encouraging women with these same questions that I’m posing. Reminders that these feelings of “not enough” are from Satan, and that we need to just “be in the Word” and just “cling to God”. Wonderful, simple answers. Truth, yes. What I need right now? Not really.
So I’m left with this nagging feeling of just not being good enough. But, then, maybe that’s the point? We honestly can’t be good enough on our own. Maybe in striving to be good enough, are we taking away from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I mean, really, that’s why He died – because we’re not good enough. And we never can be good enough. So maybe it’s time to embrace our imperfections and bring them to the cross, where our Heavenly Father doesn’t see us as not good enough, but rather as perfectly whole.