These thoughts have been bouncing around in my head for quite a while. I'm fairly certain it was precipitated by the whole back-to-work thing, but it's always been at least a tiny THING. The feeling of not being enough, of "you should do/be more". Its ugly and nonsense and drowning, but its often here. And apparently other people have been feeling it, too, because I've seen this and this and this popping up all over the place. Dear women/mamas - WE NEED TO GET A HOLD OF OURSELVES.
I told God about it last weekend at church, during some songs (psst... its okay to talk in church if its to God), and I told him that I felt like I wasn't enough, just so, ya know, He could reassure me that I am. Like how you tell your bestie that you're feeling fat, just so she can say that you're not looking it. So I told Him, and I waited to hear the assurance. And know what He said to me? "You're not." Boom. Kind of flippantly. Just dropped it like a burning hot potato right in my lap. "You're right. You're not enough."
And for a moment, I was all like "Whoa there! That's harsh!" and then God was like "Stop interrupting me, little sister, and let me finish what I was saying." and I was like "Okay, but please, can you talk a little softer to me? " and He's like "Just let me finish..." and He might have sighed at me. I've told you, God speaks to everyone differently, and I get a bit of an attitude from Him. Because I need it. Anywhoo, when I stopped throwing up my defenses and listened, He reiterated "You are not enough. Because you were never meant to be." And then I sighed, not out of frustration, but because I could feel some self-imposed stress just evaporating.
We aren't meant to, aren't built for, doing this life on our own. Cease striving, He says. My grace is sufficient for you, He says. You are called to do the best you can, with what you have, where you're at, and trust Him to fill in the gap. Its not up to you to make it happen. Lets say it again, all together now - the results are not under your control. The only responsibility you have is to do what you can. Enjoy it if you can. And then trust that the God who created the Mariana Trench and the whole concept of sunsets (not to mention every single one) can make up for whatever you lack. Because the world doesn't need you to be perfect - if you can be perfect, you (and everyone else) don't need God. The world needs to see God through you, which can only happen when you trust Him to fill in your gaps.
It might be due to where I am in life right now, but I think new mamas especially need to hear this. You've just been saddled with what is likely the biggest & heaviest responsibility of your life, and you're feeling the weight of it. You think that you now have to do so much more. And yes, you do have to do more, like change diapers and check temperatures and wash baby clothes. But you don't need to be more. You still need God to, as Jerry Maguire put it, complete. you.
And speaking of a complete you, (Segue Of The Year, thank you, thank you...), a you that is riddled with guilt and stress and feelings of insecurity is not your best. If you can find no other motivation for taking care of yourself, realize this: Your baby needs you to take care of yourself, because a whole & healthy mama is whats best for your baby. You need to be on your own team - this means not doubting everything you do, not berating yourself because you're not like someone else, not giving in when the "not enough" monster comes to call. This means making deliberate, intentional choices, and being proud of them. This means accepting your shortfalls, and capitalizing on your strengths. This means trusting yourself and your God to do whats best for your baby, for your family. You're not enough, but God is more than enough, and He's got your back.