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…”

7 Days of Soul Care (Book Review)


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Does your spirit feel empty, discouraged, and confused? Does it feel like you’re missing something important in your life? Do lies about God, yourself, or others torment you? Do you long to grasp your identity in Christ Jesus? Do you crave a deeper relationship with God?

Wearying of trying to fit her circle into the square expectation of certain key people, Dolly Lee prayed and asked God to show her how He created and designed her. God answered her prayer and led her on a deeper experience of His love.

The journey was far from easy. Through valley lows and mountain highs, God led her on a journey of self-discovery and a deeper experience of His love that can transform and redeem brokenness to beauty.

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Dolly’s personal battle with anxiety, depression, and  PTSD, and God’s transformation through His love and grace has birthed a book that will resonate with many. 7 Days of Soul Care: A Guide to Letting God Do the Extraordinary With Your Ordinary “invites readers to surrender fear and to courageously embrace the journey of living more fully into his or her amazing true identity as God’s Beloved.”

Through creative (and some vulnerable) stories, Scripture, soul-searching journal questions, and heartfelt prayers, Dolly gifts us with highlights of what she learned over the past 17 years and continues to learn. With love and compassion, she invites us into a deeper relationship with God.

The top three takeaways Dolly wants readers to take to heart are:

  1. God created you in love and for love.
  2. God sees you as a masterpiece.
  3. We won’t be able to fully receive God’s love when we believe lies about God, ourselves, or others.

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Some of my favorite quotes, one from each day, are:

Being exceptional begins with our connection with God. It has taken me decades to learn relationship with God begins first with our “being” and not with our “doing.”

We have worth because we are created in God’s image.

When I admit and experience my own brokenness and my failure to love well, I see in contrast God’s tender love and grace welcoming me back home. He calls me to rest my weary head on his chest. I don’t need to live by my own limited strength.

The more I remind myself of God’s unconditional love for me, the more I walk in freedom from people–pleasing and perfectionism.

Remember that the cross and not your circumstances are the measure of His great love for you.

I travel away from God whenever I forget I have all I need in him and instead seek my soul’s fulfillment elsewhere.

It isn’t selfish to make time to care for our minds, souls, and bodies.

Life can get so busy, but that’s all the more reason to rest and nurture our souls. Our time will not be wasted as we read this book slowly and carefully so we can soak in refreshment for our thirsty, weary souls.

“I am the Vine; you are the branches.
The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit,
for [otherwise] apart from Me
[that is, cut off from vital union with Me]
you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 AMP

If you purchase this book, you will be contributing to a worthy cause – the International Justice Mission, a ministry that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. Dolly’s hope is to raise at least $500 out of her royalties for this book.

A Child's Trust

When Dolly needs to remember what is true about God and herself, she listens to songs. One of the songs she listened to during the writing process was “Here’s My Heart” by Casting Crowns.

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Dolly Lee believes God’s love can transform a person from the inside-out if one surrenders to his love. She’s thankful God’s grace allows second acts and second chances. She attends Fuller Seminary and writes at her blog Soulstops.com where she invites readers to stop and connect with God. She lives with her family and one lovable dog in California where she loves to hike, read, share meals and laugh with family and friends. Her goal is to collect enough in royalties from the sale of her book, 7 Days of Soul Care, to donate $500 to the work of International Justice Mission.

* The two images were created by Dolly’s daughter.
* I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book but I was not paid to write this review. This is my honest review, based on information from Dolly and my own opinion.

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New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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Great Grandson Ultrasound 5 monthsI just have to share this with you. 🙂 Recently our grand-daughter sent me an ultrasound photo of our great-grandson. At 5 months, his facial features are so distinct. Even the four chambers of his heart and other organs can be seen. It’s always so amazing how God plants and grows that little seed of life from conception to birth. How He creates each child so uniquely and with a special purpose in life, no matter what situation surrounds that little life.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.”

Psalm 139:13-16

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ABCs of Jesus’ Love

I have added this page!
It started out as a post, and I decided to turn it into a page
to help us remember how vast Jesus’ love is.
Thanks to all who offered descriptive words and verses to add to the list.
Please feel free to let me know of other adjectives you think of
that describe Jesus’ love, along with a Bible verse that proves it.
Let’s see how many we can build up!

After I wrote the post, some of you expressed interest in a print-out:
ABCs of Jesus’ Love

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Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂 I find many of them because I read about them on someone’s blog post. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

Holley LifeGrowth Guide

This month I’d like to introduce you to a new book coming out on March 1. You may have read You’re Already Amazing where Holley Gerth dares us to embrace who we really are and to become all God created us to be. Now she has created a companion to build on that foundation in an interactive study guide. A guide that helps us to apply heart-freeing truths to every aspect of our lives. Don’t miss You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth. It is designed to be experienced with the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth DVD and to be used in whatever way fits you: a group study, an online study, one-on-one, or an individual study.

There are six sessions:

1. Who God Created Us to Be
2. What’s True No Matter How We Feel
3. Our Amazing Journey with Jesus
4. God’s Plan for Our Relationships
5. God’s Purpose for Our Lives
6. How We Can Thrive for a Lifetime

you're already amazing

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Hope Harbor

Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 

ABCs of Jesus’ Love – A print-out of descriptive words using the letters of the alphabet and Bible verses to show the many ways Jesus loves us.

Top Verses – This is an awesome search tool to discover and explore all the most popular verses in the Bible. I looked up “Hope” and found 202 verses. I searched for “Jesus” and found 1,356 verses. What better hope, healing, and freedom can we find than in God’s Truth and faithful promises, right? 🙂

 Hope After Abortion – “It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness. You are not alone…” Project Rachel Ministry gives help and support for those seeking healing and reconciliation after abortion.

Nature Retreat

“We must not cease to wonder at the great marvels of our God.”
~ Spurgeon


More of God’s Amazing Creatures

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Common Whitetail Skimmer Dragonfly
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I haven’t been able to identify this dragonfly. Anyone know?
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Bee Moth

Gary Jones Wildlife Photography – Amazing, unique wildlife photos

 Steven Round Wildlife Photography – Stunning photos of wildlife 

 Birder’s Journey – Photos, insight, and inspiration about birding

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Quotes

New quotes for this month are about “truth.”

❤︎ “You never find yourself until you face the truth.” ~ Pearl Bailey

❤︎ “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ~ Brene Brown

❤︎ “In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

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