I’m a failure. I have failed again. That’s all I do!
I can’t. I can’t get in front of it.
No matter how hard I try. No matter how much I give.
I’m just not enough.
Not enough for who? You! You are not enough for you.
~ Mom’s Night Out
No truer words have defined each one of us if we are honest enough with ourselves. Not feeling like we are enough is what drives us towards perfectionism, performance, or unhealthy habits. For me, my entire personality and identity has been built around performance. It is what an upbringing in a military family drills into you.
The list of expectations I have for myself (which I rarely share with those around me) has been long over the years: varsity sports, honor roll, graduating college early, master’s degree, successful career, supportive wife, transformational parent, inspiring homeschool teacher, life-changing foster parent, community advocate, political reformer, ministry leader, well-managed home and farm, and, don’t forget, a skinny body!
Those around you can be impressed and amazed at your busyness. It is common for people to say to me, “I just don’t know how you do all that you do!”
And yet, every night I go to sleep feeling like I have fallen significantly short of the internal goals that I have set for myself. Daily I feel like I’m not enough. Repeatedly I have told my husband, “there is just not enough of me to go around — and do it well!”
The problem with performance-driven living? You never measure up. You. Are. Never. Enough!
It is an exhausting way to live. And ironically, it impacts our ability to actually be all those things we want to be for people around us and for Christ.
I think it is why I find Christianity and the story of Easter so attractive…and immensely comforting.
I’m not asked to measure up. I’m not expected to perform. I don’t have to keep striving for an unattainable goal. The weight of the world, my husband, my children, my career, is not on my shoulders.
In these moments of not feeling like enough Jesus asks us to do the one thing we are all eager to do — surrender it all to someone else.
The cross — a place we can surrender our all to Jesus.
We don’t have to get in front of our problems, because Jesus got in front of them more than 2,000 years ago.
You know, as children there is something profoundly comforting in knowing that we don’t have to worry about any of life’s problems, because we have parents who carry that burden for us.
We can find that same profound comfort as adults when we look to the cross and our Heavenly Father. He knows we are not enough. But Jesus is enough.
To paraphrase the end of this movie clip that so clearly defines my life: I doubt the good Lord made a mistake by giving you the life he did. So you just be you, but surrendered to Jesus. Jesus will take care of the rest.