Hope and Strength When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough

Negative voices piercing me, backing me into a corner, knocking the wind out of my sails. Satan worked furiously this summer to bring to my remembrance voices and actions from past abuse, slander, and hurts that tell me I’m not enough and I will never be enough.

It’s hard to keep fighting sometimes, isn’t it? To not believe lies that are so rooted in us? To reach for and cling to our identity in Christ Jesus who tells us we will always be enough in Him?

Also this summer, I visited a new pulmonologist, and I was so thrilled that I didn’t get a bronchial infection for two months. Thank You, God! Surely He must be blessing the new treatment…

Bang! Those hopes deflated like a popped balloon. A chronic bronchitis bout hit me extra hard throughout August. Thrown into a tizzy again, I questioned God’s wisdom… Why, God? 

It can be so hard to surrender our plans into His, can’t it?

I began to feel even more useless, and I fell headlong into the comparison trap. I was so envious of other people’s energy and how much God uses them. Defeated and drained of energy, physically and emotionally, it was hard to fight that “poor me” syndrome.

God so often rescues me from my selfishness and despondency. I’m baffled at His endless patience with me.

A blogging friend shared a new book that was exactly what God knew I needed. The first devotion was headed by a verse that God has often used to give me strength to refute those condemning lies. A verse I’ve been forgetting to take to heart lately…

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1

As I read on, the second devotion sent a soothing balm to my troubled soul as I read how sickness and exhaustion never diminishes the work of God in our lives. Each of us has an inherent value as an image-bearer of God Himself. (Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free)

You, too, have inherent value, deeply rooted in our Creator who fashioned us after His own image. No matter what you’re going through or what anyone says of you, God never condemns you. If negative thoughts are condemning us, it’s not coming from our Savior who has borne all condemnation for us so we can be set free.

Rather than condemning us, He opens His arms wide and invites us into His cleansing grace when we mess up or fail, His strength when we are weak and helpless, and His healing love when we are broken and afraid.

No, we will never be enough in ourselves, will we? We so desperately need Jesus to fill our emptiness. We need Him to breathe strength, hope, and life into our souls each and every moment.

“For it was You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.”
Psalm 139:13-14

The Lord willing, I will continue to post every Tuesday. However, I am still wrestling with balance. I need to put less pressure on myself here. If there are other needs pressing me or overwhelming me, whether in my family, around me, or otherwise, I need to let go and tell myself it’s ok if I post something shorter or don’t post at all.

But please know that whether or not I post, you’re always welcome to share your heart in the comments of any blog post or through my email. I would love to pray for you and with you. Above all, remember God is available 24/7. There is no better place for us to go with our hurts than to Him and His loving and compassionate heart. May He fill you with His love and hope!

How was your summer?
Did deep hurts sometimes feel like they would consume you?
Is there a Bible verse/promise that fills you with hope?
Please feel free to share your thoughts!

“YOU SAY”
by Lauren Daigle

“I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe…”

The Voice of Jesus Conquers the Lying Voices of the Past

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“You’re not enough!” Savage whispers like an ax hacking away at the root of our being. Timberrr! And we’re down, wallowing again in the mud of despair.

Sometimes those negative voices seem to appear out of nowhere. One minute we’re at peace and feel enough in Christ. Then bang! Something triggers, and we sink into accusing voices of insecurity. While sometimes we can pinpoint the trigger that causes the feeling, there are other times we can’t.

Last week a stormy cloud of depression was pulling me down. While I knew I was really, really sad for the survivors of an extended family member’s passing on, I realized it was something deeper and gloomier that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I knew I was struggling also with the fact that I was feeling guilty that I didn’t go to the funeral, even though I had a valid reason in that my health and the severe cold prevented me from going out. But I reasoned through that as I know there are other ways we can show our support and sympathy.

Since the funeral was in a church I grew up in – one more of hell-fire condemnation than of the love of Jesus and the one where I was abused by a minister – I’m not sure I would emotionally be able to go anyway. Ever since the time when something broke inside of me and I sunk into a deep depression, my emotional well-being feels shaky sometimes. It took me a long time to rise up out of it, and I ended up taking an anti-depressant. Since then, I have learned it’s ok to protect myself from judgmental people, but still I was feeling down about my failure to go even if I was physically able to go.

I was grieving over a death which made me deeply saddened, yes. But I could somewhat reason myself through these events in life we have no control over. Yet some heavy weight in my heart was plunging me deeper into depression.

I was fighting all these feelings when I wrote last week’s blog post. I was going to just skip a post altogether, but I felt the Spirit nudging me to write anyway. In spite of the heaviness, I tried to dance anyway, listening to what God whispers.

When I shared with my hubby the two songs I included and how they comforted me, he told me about “Greater” by Mercy Me. When I listened to the lyrics, I knew what was bringing me down. It was that ghost of the past, that “I am not enough” enemy, that was at the root of the downward spiral of depression.

“Every day I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world”

Do you feel voices telling you “I’m not right,” “Something’s wrong with me,” or “I am not enough”? Or maybe you don’t even realize they’re there, but you know some culprit from the past is weighing you down?

There is a Voice that is infinitely greater than those lies. A loving Voice that reaches out to us and calls us “Redeemed.” In Him we are enough. For us, He not only took on the full weight of our own sins, but also the ugly voice of shame and every lie Satan or the world taunt us with. We may get battle weary sometimes, but the battle is already won. The ultimate victory is already gained! Greater is the One living inside of us than all the enemies who hack away at the root of our being!

“Greater” by Mercy Me


“Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave

Praying the loving Voice of Jesus will quiet the storms in our hearts and lives!
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21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

But I Will Remember His Miracles

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My airways flamed up and  tightened, and my energy drained away. I was suffocating, so I left to use my nebulizer. It helped some, but I still felt like an elephant sat on my chest. I was exhausted. Bone tired. I couldn’t even think anymore. When I tried to, I cried.

Anytime I get into contact with smoke, even candle smoke, my airways rebel. My sarcoidosis flares up and I get very ill and have to take antibiotic and greater doses of Prednisone.

I had intended to stay for a wedding’s dance, but I had to leave. I felt guilty, but I couldn’t hold myself strong anymore. My husband told me, “I wish you wouldn’t always feel guilty about everything.” But I was, and I often do. I feel like I let people down, like I disappoint them, like I don’t measure up.

I’m not asking for pity, but I empathize with anyone who has a chronic illness, especially those invisible illnesses when people may say, “But you look good.” When your illness doesn’t always show, some people think it must not be so bad, and they don’t offer support like they do with more visible illnesses.

I’m trying to be more honest with how I really feel, but I still easily hide behind a smile. I’m trying to feel less guilty for saying “No,” but it’s not easy. Not everyone understands, and some even think I’m faking it. Some think I should suck it up, that I can do more than I think I can. So I try to convince myself that I’m fine. Then I don’t listen to the warning signals in my body, because I have those voices in my head. And I pay for it again and again.

It tears my heart out to disappoint people, especially loved ones, if I can’t always make it to activities. Sometimes I even reason with myself that if Christ’s grace is sufficient for me, I should be able to do all these things in spite of chronic fatigue and illness. Or I beat myself up – If I had more faith, maybe this affliction would leave me. I even feel guilty to ask for prayers, because maybe then I’m complaining or someone might think I’m feeling sorry for myself. After all, there are people who have it worse than I do.

I don’t know why God allows this thorn in my flesh, but He does teach me deeper lessons through it. When I get so sick, I can’t think, and Satan takes advantage of me. Negative voices flood in and feel like they’re going to drown me. I have no strength to fight them or to focus on God’s promises. But in my weakness, God is strong. My fingers slip as I try to cling to the cross, but an Invisible Hand hangs on to me.

Hang On!

As the clouds of fatigue clear up in my brain, I wonder what we can focus on when troubles overwhelm us:

The mighty deeds of the Lord,

His miracles,

What Jesus has sacrificed for us,

Because only in this,

We gain the victory.

But I Will Remember

My heart is overwhelmed
But I will remember
Jesus’ grace is sufficient for every circumstance.
I am bone tired
But I will remember
Jesus suffered weariness to give me rest.
It’s hard to breathe
But I will remember
Jesus gave up His last breath for my salvation.
The journey gets dark
But I will remember
Jesus suffered the darkest of nights for me.
Words, actions, and silence hurt me
But I will remember
Jesus suffered unspeakable pain for me.
Insecurity discourages me
But I will remember
Jesus thought me valuable enough to die for.
Legalism swings its swords
But I will remember
Jesus died to give me life, not death.
Memory triggers plunge me into past abuse
But I will remember
Jesus died to heal my body, mind, and soul.
Shame beats me down
But I will remember
Jesus’ sacrifice has freed me from all condemnation.
Panic freezes my faith
But I will remember
Jesus has conquered fear.
Bitterness sours joy
But I will remember
Jesus offers forgiveness.
Depression sinks me into despair
But I will remember
In Jesus’ victory I can dance.
My sins testify against me
But I will remember
His forgiveness annuls sacrifice for sin.
I sometimes doubt His promises
But I will remember
He is a 100% Promise-Keeper!

Godhasnotpromised

Joining Faith Barista’s writing prompt:
Remembrance

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