Have you ever had feelings of inadequacy? You know, the feelings of not being enough? While some of you may utter the word “no” with your mouths, your thoughts and behaviors may prove you wrong. Let me be clear: Having a lot of responsibilities does not provide proof of being enough. It’s probably the exact opposite- stretching yourself thin to be involved in everything so that you may feel that you ARE “enough.”
There have been many things entrusted to me in life. On some occasions, I began to feel as if they were burdens more than blessings. That’s just me being real. There are also times where you may feel confident in the ability to manage a lot. I’m certain at some point in your management you may also just wonder: “Am I doing anything well?”
Here’s a subset of my list of things. Most times, if there is an issue related to technology, my family will contact me and it makes sense. I spent 9 years of my life obtaining educational degrees in this field. Then I have my 5 children who are all at different stages in education. When they have homework and projects, guess who else does also?
The children also have their extracurricular activities, I have books that I am on the cusp of starting and completing, assisting my husband with managing the business aspects of the church, and his music career, maintaining our home, trying to balance the needs of those who ask for spiritual guidance…and then the calling to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ…the list continues on and on and on and I didn’t even mention the well-being of my own self. The things I’ve listed are not burdens by any means; however, the requirements associated with fulfilling these roles can be burdensome, especially when somewhere in your life, you have felt inadequate.
There are so many things I’m responsible for and there just never seems to be enough hours in the day to complete them to the level of completion that I desire. Sometimes it feels as if I am doing enough just to keep things from sinking. What about you? I’m sure if you paused, you could list a number of responsibilities that you have as well and how you are called upon by family, friends, co-workers, management, church leaders, and even the pressure you place on yourselves to make it work! Do you feel like you are just getting by?
For me, it’s that last responsibility on my list above that has left me often with feelings of inadequacy: that of being a minister. So with some assistance, I began to unravel the thoughts in my mind as to why I have felt this way. Why couldn’t the Lord choose me? Why do I feel as if I am not enough to spring forth His word in power? Listen, the sheer thought that He actually desires for me to do this is beyond humbling. I mean I have been searching for way to place my feelings in words and I simply cannot. It’s almost like being out of breath and falling to my knees in an emotional disarray of disbelief…then the thoughts race in my mind: “but will they listen? Will the heart’s of the people be drawn to the love of my Savior? I know what I have to do, and I am certain of the calling, but will He be pleased?”
So I had to unravel, dissect, and unpack years of luggage that I have been carrying around, in my mind, and I came to this conclusion: With my dad not having any desire to pursue a relationship with me throughout my life (4 years old up until now) had left me with feelings of “why wasn’t I good enough?” He has had 3 other children, with me being the oldest. My sister, who was born after me, has an estranged relationship as well. The two younger (another sister and brother) are in my dad’s life of which I am certain it is because he is married to their mother.
This buried emotion has impacted my life in so many ways. Prior to marriage, when past relationships would fail as a result of cheating, the same thought would cross my mind. When I was not chosen for jobs or positions, that same question would be the focal point of my inner conversation. And now the question resurfaces but only this time it’s changed from:
“Why was not I good enough” to: “Am I good enough?”
This cloudy thought has kept me spiritually covered for years. Think about this: Although the clouds in the sky prevent the sun from shining, they are just a temporary covering. They don’t literally stop the sun from shining – they just block the sun and prevent your eyes from seeing the sun in its full potential (Oh my God- that’s it! Here comes the word…)
The cloudy thought of worthlessness, although present in my life for years, was only a temporary covering; but it could not stop the truth from springing forth. THAT. IS. IT!
As I began to look in the mirror and became more aware of who I am, I began to throw away negative thoughts and I came to some realizations:
Just because I feel “it” doesn’t make it real.
Just like the clouds cover the sun, my life’s journey with relationships, stemming from the lack of a relationship with my dad, had prevented me from seeing the truth. I felt abandoned. I felt worthless. I felt angry and upset but those feelings did not determine who I am today. With all of my responsibilities, there are days where I might feel like I’m not doing anything well, but it doesn’t make it true and it only becomes real when I act on the belief that these thoughts are real. Guess what? This applies to you also.
Let me help you today. Hear this: The fact that we have weaknesses doesn’t make everything about us weak.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
2 Corinthians 12:9 says that God’s power is made perfect in weakness.
Hello somebody!! When you begin to have thoughts of inadequacy, remember that your ability is not based on what you can do. Bae baeeee your ability and strength come from the One who can do all things and He told us we can do all things through HIM.
I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
With the Lord working in me and through my weaknesses, I can feel the transformation from disqualified to empowered. From inadequate, to adequate.
And now we turn the page to you. You have many strengths. I dare you to sit down and write down 30 positive things about yourself. You’ll learn how and why you’re able to carry the load that you have. It’s because of the strength and power given to you and the gift placed in you long before you knew what existing even meant. Now it’s time to cultivate your gifts. Take those same 30 words you’ve listed, and speak over your life:
- “I am worth it!”
- “I am passionate.”
- “I love helping others.”
- “I care.”
- “I am loving.”
Move beyond your past. The only time we should use the negative things done and said to us in our lives is to be an example to others and to catapult us into moving forward.
The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. Job 17:9 (NLT)