By: Laura Rinas
That’s a heavy word.
I am enough.
That’s a heavy phrase.
I love that word, that phrase. It brings with it a sense of empowerment. I can stop insecurity with it, stop that spiral that sometimes happens as a mom, as a wife, as woman, as a HUMAN. I. Am. Enough.
But what I am coming to realize is that… that phrase? That heavy, powerful phrase? It’s a lie.
Just sit on that for a second. “I am enough.” We see it everywhere. Billboards, commercials. Use this product, and you’ll be enough. Use that product, because you ARE enough. We chase it. We want it. We add this, take that away, all to hit that fine line: enough. It’s a phrase that can calm me in the moment, but I inevitably lose that balance. I find myself back in panic mode, where all I see are gaps, holes that I cannot possibly fill. And still I try. Because I SHOULD be enough. Right?
When I take this cup that has been given to me, when I take my life and try to fill it, there will always be holes. I run out of patience, I yell, I pull away. I cannot possibly be enough, for me or for my family. And it’s so important for my kids to know that, so important for my husband to know that, and so important for myself to know that. I will come up short. I DO come up short. Every day.
This seems terrifying, this truth that I will never be enough. It seems to shout PRISON, a cage I will be trapped in for the rest of my life, with Enough just out of reach. But the truth is, when I accept that I am not, and will never be, enough… that truth brings with it an exhale, a letting go. It shouts FREEDOM. I was not made to fill those gaps. I can go forward with confidence, do what I can do, knowing that though I may come up short, there is One who will not.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus is the gap filler, the bridge builder. Jesus is Enough. I am not. And there is freedom in letting Jesus do what he desperately wants to do, which is to rush into my pain and weakness and breathe an other-worldly strength into it.
As important as it is to remember that I am not enough, never will be enough, it’s just as important for me to remember that the people that I love the most, they will never be enough either. I must extend the same freedom, the same grace to them. My husband, my children, my parents… they were never meant to be my End All. I love them fiercely, but try as I might, I will not be able to keep them from every harm, or them me. And sometimes I do unintended harm when I try to do it all, when I try to be the gap-filler. I get in the way of the good that God is no doubt working.
So when panic starts to creep back in, I can still use this phrase, but perhaps with a twist.
Praise God that I am not enough. And praise God that He is.