The voice inside my head said, “You’re not good enough.”
And I knew it.
I was a mom of four, my youngest still in diapers, and I was overwhelmed.
Thankfully, I had a loving husband and friends who recognized that I needed help.
My husband is a pastor, so we’re supposed to have it all together, right?
Being a full-time SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom) means that sometimes your only free time is after the kids are in bed–if they stay there.
This was supposed to be the fulfillment of a life-long dream: A loving husband and a house full of children.
So what was the problem? Me. My insecurities, My self-sufficiency. My doubt.
The struggle was real. And I was drowning in my thoughts. “You will never measure up.” “You’re failing as a wife. As a mother.” “No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to do it all well.”
In my mind, I had failed. Funny thing was, there was nothing that led to this moment of futility. My husband and I were not in a fight. It was a Sunday morning, and everything went pretty smoothly considering that, as a pastor’s wife, it meant that I had the full responsibility of getting the five of us ready and to church on time. Pastor-husband always leaves early on Sunday mornings, and this day was no different from all of the other Sundays or Wednesday nights or any other time that we had services.
But I was different.
I was supposed to sing that Sunday morning, (in both services), but by the time I got to the stage in the first service I barely made it through the song. It was a surreal feeling. I was singing the words but my brain was saying, “You shouldn’t be here.” “You’re only here because of obligation.” And again, “You’re not good enough.”
I had allowed those words to penetrate my mind so thoroughly that I was frozen in time. Those words were defining me. Controlling me. And I let them. I asked the nursery worker to tell my husband to bring the kids home. I told the Worship Pastor that I couldn’t sing the second time. And I left.
In a frenzy of spent up tears, I drove home feeling like a complete failure. I couldn’t even get out of my car. I was still sitting there in my parked car when my husband got home. He was confused and uncertain of what to do, and I panicked at the thought of my kids seeing me like that, so he got our neighbor/friend to take them home.
I loved my husband. I adored my kids.
But I was tired.
Tired of trying. Tired of surviving. Tired of barely-hanging-on-by-a-thread.
And tired of believing that I could never be good enough.
Heres the thing. I can’t ever be good enough. Not without Jesus. Not without the hope that He provides. Not without the wisdom that comes from above.
Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. James 3: 13-18
I have a very wise husband who pointed me back to the truth from God’s Word. This was a spiritual battle that was taking place in my mind. The temptation to compare myself with others and thoughts of “if only” had grown to a place of prominence. I didn’t see myself as fitting into the mold of a pastor’s wife, and felt that I could never measure up to others expectations of me… so I wanted to quit. I wanted a “normal” life. One where my husband had a 9-5 job that didn’t place demands on me to be something other than a wife and mother.
But I couldn’t. And I knew that deep down, in my heart of hearts, I really didn’t want that either. My true desire was to follow the Lord wherever He led me. Even if it meant being a pastor’s wife. Even when it was hard. Even when I didn’t feel like I measured up.
Surrendering our life to being a follower of Christ means that we are not enough apart from Him. We cannot do it on our own. We’re not even supposed to try! We need a perfect Savior to walk us through the valleys and out of our deepest pits.
Depression can be a lonely place, even when you are surrounded by people you love. Your focus can be so clouded by negative thoughts that you don’t see what’s right in front of you. That’s why keeping our eyes focused on truth from God’s word is so crucial.
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2
There’s a really popular phrase that has good intentions: “I Am Enough”. Even with the best intentions of encouraging others to see that they have value, I can tell you that sentiment falls short–unless you include “I Am Enough–with Jesus”. He is the One that fills us. Only He can fulfill in us what we were created to be.
I didn’t grasp this fully on my own–God placed people in my life to bring me back to what was true and good and right thinking. Relying on the Bible for that source of truth, the Holy Spirit can and will reveal what a healthy self-perspective looks like. Yes, we are all sinners who need a Savior–and that same Savior who has the power over sin and death and hell also has the power to change your heart and mind and life. By faith, you just have to invite Him in.