(If you'd rather listen to this short devotional click here: Feeling Inadequate)
Do you ever have that feeling like everything you do could have been done better?
It’s every woman’s battle, especially every mom’s:
“I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough.”
“I could have done that so much better”
“It would have been better if I would have ________.”
“That was lame.”
These words suck the life out of us and yet the enemy continues to effectively use them.
Nothing makes me more angry, frustrated, and hurt than doing my best and still feeling like it’s not enough.
Cue in having 8 kids and there was potential for some serious feelings of inadequacy:
Could I pull off raising/homeschooling 8 kids and not miss something?
Would some of my kids go off the rails because I failed to be enough?
Would they hate the way they were raised or homeschooled?
Would they see me as a failure?
Our thoughts of inadequacy come from many places including regrets of the past, concerns for the present, and worries about the future. Pinterest, social media, and unending access to information are certainly compounding the problem. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry, yes, I have…and sometimes still do.
The thing about this struggle is that IT NEVER ENDS. No matter what season of life we are in, we will face feelings of inadequacy at one point or another. The result is feeling:
But there IS HOPE. In Jesus there is HOPE!
God says in Hebrews 6 that hope in Jesus is an anchor for the soul and in Proverbs 113:12 (NIV)
“Hope deferred (or put off) makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Paul found hope in his weaknesses. He had some sort of “thorn in the flesh”, something that ate at him and really bothered or incapacitated him somehow:
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 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. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
It’s in our weaknesses that HE is made strong!
Through the redeeming work of the cross, Jesus has removed the pressure to perform and strive.
We can rest in His finished work and serve freely alongside Him as HIs grand story unfolds.
We get to be a part of what HE is doing! Everything isn’t up to us!
But we get to participate in what HE is doing!
I was battling with feelings of inadequacy this week.
I’ve felt weak in many ways. A constant reminder of my humanity and need for God. I don’t enjoy feeling this way, but I can’t get away from it. I’ve been talking to Him a lot about it.
God whispered something to my heart and it was so simple:
Every time I think I could do something better say and KNOW, “Jesus loves me”.
Isn’t it just like God to make it so simple…so childlike?
Remember this children’s song? “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so?”
Each time I feel inadequate God was telling me to whisper,
“But Jesus LOVES me!”
God knows everything about us, but He LOVES us.
He is more gracious than the most gracious person you’ve ever met.
Yes, He knows us inside and out.
Those inadequacies we are so concerned about are not an obstacle to Him.
He loves us.
I’m going to share some verses with you and I want you to read them and bask in His amazing love for you:
Isaiah 43:1-5 (NLT)
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
Isaiah 44:21-23 (NLT)
“Pay attention, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I, the Lord, made you,
and I will not forget you.
I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,
for I have paid the price to set you free.”
Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing.
Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!
Break into song,
O mountains and forests and every tree!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel.
Isaiah 51:12-16 (NLT)
I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?
Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator,
the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy
and laid the foundations of the earth.
Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors?
Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies?
Where are their fury and anger now?
It is gone!
Soon all you captives will be released!
Imprisonment, starvation, and death will not be your fate!
For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar.
My name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand.
I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth.
I am the one who says to Israel,
‘You are my people!’
The most powerful, most important message of all the ages…the simplest, yet most profound and life-changing message:
JESUS LOVES YOU THIS I KNOW
(For more encouragement, please check out my devotional for moms, Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart, on Amazon)