“When I’m Not Good Enough.” That was the title of a devotional I read recently. The writer described how that theme ran through all her life, defining her. “I’m not good enough.”
Like her, and probably you, I have had my own battles with doubting myself and my abilities. I’m a first born. Maybe that explains, in part, why I have set impossible standards for myself.
OK, so you want to hear some of my, ‘I’m not good enough’ experiences?
I was sick at home for half of my first grade year of school. A cousin came whenever she could and tried to teach me to read and write. I did well enough to pass to second grade. But it wasn’t until my senior year of high school – 12 years later – that they discovered I could only read on a third grade level. No one knew because I worked so hard.The truth was that my low reading level really handicapped me. And all those years I thought, “I’m not a good enough student.”
I was the shy girl in my high school. I don’t believe I was the only one, but I was certainly the only one I knew. We were all hiding in broad daylight, you see. I became a believer in Jesus at 14, but I never met another born again teen throughout high school. I wanted to witness to my classmates, but I couldn’t strike up conversations- especially about something as meaningful as my faith. I thought, “I’m not a good enough Christian.”
I never got good grades on my school essays. I couldn’t seem to remember where to put commas or how to organize my thoughts. For many years I didn’t write because, “I wasn’t a good enough writer.”
So why would I tell you my deep dark thoughts and even prompt you to remember your own? I take that risk because I discovered some truths that I want to share with you. Read the next few statements slowly, maybe a few times. Try them on your soul and see how they fit.
God chose each of us before He even made the universe. Life may have damaged us, but God makes junk into jewels.
God wove us together in our mother’s womb. I do not know how he managed to oversee each of us, but that is what we learn from His Word. He knew all about what He was making.
God has a plan for our lives, and he can form us for those plans. His plans are good.
God will never leave us nor forsake us. Even if we don’t get it right, He doesn’t reject us. As one of my husband’s favorite songs says, “Even if you do it wrong and miss the joy I’ve planned, I’ll never, never let go of your hand.”
What did God do with my list of doubts and disabilities?
God knew it would be hard for me to read, but he gave me the persistence I needed until I could learn.
It took many years for me to get over my shyness, but even in those lonely silent years, God was working in and through me. I am a good listener and so many people need to pour out their hearts to a listening ear. I also learned that I have a voice when I am passionate about the topic.
Oh, the writing I have done since I stopped listening to the lie that I could not write! I’m not Francine Rivers or Janette Oake, but I have something to say and I love to try to express it. I just needed an editor and God provided that when He gave me my husband.
Now, as a wife and mom on a foreign field, do you feel you are not good enough? Do you feel insignificant and unproductive? Do you ever fear that if your supporters knew what you do everyday, they wouldn’t want to support you any more?
You may not be doing what you were trained to do. Maybe you can’t be out there preaching and teaching. After all, you have children to raise and a home to keep. Those are important responsibilities. Those are your God-given tasks for now. Maybe later you will have other things to do for the Kingdom. True passions do not die easily.
There may be some supporters that feel they only want to support those who live in grass huts or constantly tramp up mountain trails to witness to unreached villages. But there are still multiple millions living in cities with traffic jams and giant malls and internet who are just as much in need of witnesses.
You may look around the crowded sidewalks and feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the needs of those around you. I have good news for you. God knows the field He has sent you to. He knows His plans for reaching those people. He gives you a task that is just right for you. It will be just large enough that you cannot do it without His help. And when you reach Home, you will not hear, “You were not good enough.” Oh no! You will hear, “Well done, My daughter!”
And ladies, really! Who is good enough? But You are God’s workmanship. You are gloriously and wonderfully made with God’s promise for a future He has planned. Revel in His love today!