Inadequacy. It is that feeling which is born from the very thing of inferiority itself, it is that which leads to a life of ashes. It is everything that whispers “not enough”, “failure”, and “wrong”. It is that feeling that hauntingly arises when brought before the new and the extraordinary. Inadequacy, it is the thing that has taken up residence in my mind since I was a child. I wanted…I needed to be enough.
A reflection of the years gone by is shadowed in the murkiness of the inadequacy I have always felt. I keep it hidden. If others knew the fear gnawing at every decision chosen, what would they think? It is anxiety pulsing faster and faster that often leads to retreat. When opportunities arise, I see all the ways that I can mess it up. I see failure that is mine.
The retreat. It feels so good at the time. It is a wave of relief washing over parched mind. The many ways it is justified in my head, make it feel good and right. I can rest easy in the realm of nothing, because failure is not an option in that space. I can lean into the known and secure, spaces which I have occupied well, or well enough. I ignore the stab of wondering if I missing out on something more – if I am missing out on something so much bigger than myself.
A few years ago, God took me on a journey of grace. He was leading me into a place where I would understand it, embrace it, so I could let it be infused into my very being. It was a long journey. I had to let go of so much legalistic baggage, to make room for all that is grace. During this journey, everywhere I turned and every place I went, I saw grace. He was constantly pointing me to His grace. It was one of the best journeys I have ever taken…it changed my life.
More recently, He took me on a journey of obedience. He was teaching me to trust in His sovereignty; He was asking me to lean in to His will. Again, everywhere I turned and every place I went, I saw obedience in its most beautiful and pure form. I felt Him stretch out His mighty hand and to follow Him fully…obediently. It brought a rush of feelings – fear coupled with that of wonder and trust. To accept outstretched hand, was my decision alone to make. In perfection that is from Him alone, I shakily accepted the warm and sure hand extended.
Then the battle of the mind. Inadequacy hit full and hard. I wanted to walk in obedience, I knew it possible by leaning into Christ’s obedience perfected. But, the wretched thing of feeling as if not enough began to emerge. Where I had walked in safety for many years, I kept buried these feelings. Now, the fullness of the inadequate rises and begins to haunt me. Struggle. Prayer. I know nothing but running back to Him. I question and I probe – am I enough.
My newest journey is His whispering reply.
I recently experienced a weekend away with some dear friends. It was during this weekend that God began to answer my question and constant probe. His answer was found as He poured Himself fully into my life – heart, soul and mind. Where I was battling all my shortcomings, His grace was showing up and winning every battle. I could feel the tears brimming as I heard words spoken by Sarah Mackenzie, “He takes what I have and makes it enough”. I just knew those words were His spoken to me.
As a wife and as a mom (especially as a homeschool mom), that feeling of inadequacy is prone to wander in my heart and mind. I just know I am somehow falling way short in my purpose in these areas. I worry about failure. I worry that I am in the long process of screwing up the most important roles God has given to me. I look at my children as I read to them, teach them and point them to the glory and grace of a beautiful and perfect Saviour…and I worry deep that, because I am not enough, I will royally and thoroughly mess this all up.
Those words – “He takes what I have and makes it enough”, I let the power of those words sink fully. It is His firm and grace-filled reminder that it is not me, but He who is living in me that is enough for every and all roles He has brought my way. I have not been able to let go of those words. Every time the feeling stirs up, I can squelch it with His words.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
– 2 Corinithians 12:19
This journey He is taking me through right now, it is so so good. Everywhere I turn and every place I go, He is echoing the same words over and over to me – He is enough, He is enough. He is enough. And to rest in that knowledge is to rest in knowing that whatever role He is giving me or whatever path He is leading me on, He will be there and it will be His power working through my weakness. I gladly humble myself weak, to make His glory strong.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“It is a special grace to have an equal temper of mind always. And in a low state not to lose our comfort in God, nor distrust his providence, nor take any wrong course for our own supply. In a prosperous condition not to be proud, or secure, or worldly. This is a harder lesson than the other; for the temptations of fullness and prosperity are more than those of affliction and want. The apostle had no design to urge them to give more, but to encourage such kindness as will meet a glorious reward hereafter. Through Christ we have grace to do what is good, and through him we must expect the reward; and as we have all things by him, let us do all things for him, and to his glory.”
– Matthew Henry
In every area of my life – I am being to led into this new area of grace. As I immerse myself more and more into His strength, I feel the slow release of inadequacy’s hold. I feel His boldness in my steps. I feel His embrace holding me close as I travel down into the wild unknown. This new journey can be slightly unnerving, but in where it unnerves, it also fulfills and makes new.