The most played mental tape of all time in the minds of women! (In my humble opinion)….
These words can show up quicker than a two year old’s temper tantrum in the middle of target. They can sneak in and steal my joy before I even know that they have entered the room. Sometimes so quietly and subtly I don’t even recognize what’s happening. Until I’ve succumbed to the lie.
Other descriptors of not enough….
Deficient, faulty, incompetent, incomplete, lacking, unequal, unqualified, inadequate. Not good enough for a particular purpose. I cannot tell you how many ways that all of these words have played out in my life. Over and over on repeat.
Some variations of how “not enough” shows up for many of us…..
You don’t have what it takes.
You aren’t good enough.
You are ……..
You are not…..
You will never be….
Did God really call you to do “that” because you are not “fill in the blank”.
My husband didn’t wanna stay…
You dont look a certain way..
You don’t have a certain skill…
She has better……
Her family is so……
Her kids are…..
The list is literally endless. And sounds a lot like comparison!!
Whether you are mom, friend, coworker, leader- it doesn’t matter. We are all influenced by these negative messages. They may look different or sound different but we all have the tapes.
I HATE these words and all their variations. They create a disturbance in my body that can only be described as paralyzing, unsettling. They can unnerve me in the most inopportune (inconvenient or inappropriate) times and usually when I’m hoping for the most confidence I can muster up. These words can show up in the mundane moments of my life as well as the areas that I try and step out in faith to what God is calling me to do. There are no limits to when they come. But when they do, I lose my joy and my peace……when I listen to them.
The latest manifestation was –“you don’t speak well enough”. “You aren’t cut out for this”. Words whispered, not by a person, but a subtle voice in my head. We were in the studio recording the very first Truth Republic podcast. (For those who aren’t familiar with it – The Truth Republic is a ministry making Jesus known by equipping women to fulfill their calling.)
Exciting right? Yes! On so many levels. But not so much for me individually. While the concept is great, and there is so much value in this avenue of resources, from the moment it was placed on the calendar this sense of dread came over me. And I don’t even have a huge part in this particular bucket so I should have been relieved. And it isn’t “video” so I thought I would have been more relaxed. The closer it got the harder it got. Until I was overwhelmed and just wanted to run. Or throw up. Or do anything else that was way less invasive to my being. Yes these are real thoughts that I experience. This is real anxiety that I deal with when it comes to certain things-mostly speaking in public in ANY format. In part because of the lies that I’ve carried my whole life. And an enemy that would like nothing more than to silence me. Silence my God given voice to change and influence the world. I KNOW that God says I’m enough because HE is enough. I KNOW that I have abilities and can do hard things. (I’m raising 2 teenage girls alone to prove it). 🙂 I KNOW that there is value in what we are doing as a ministry.
So how do we silence these useless voices? How do we combat them in a world where there are SO MANY avenues telling us we don’t belong, we don’t fit, we are not enough? We hear it in the home, in the workpace, in our communities. We see the messages flash across facebook and instagram. But the reality is that “people” are not our enemies. The enemies of our life are not our boss, our spouse, our competition. Our enemies are self doubt, insecurity, fear, inadequacy, and my own personal favorite… “perfectionism”, the loudest scream of not enough because it is impossible to please. It is never happy. Never satisfied. You don’t measure up. You’ve missed the mark.
There is an epidemic of women who can’t see or don’t even know their value. These women are amazing and gifted and talented. They have so much to offer this world but just cannot see that the enemy has been lying to them. They have been blinded by what they “don’t” possess rather than the many things that they do. They’ve bought the lie that there is someone else better equipped. Me too!
I even hear it in the voices of my children – already -that says I’m not enough! I don’t have what it takes.
We are measuring by an impossible and invisible stick that constantly changes with culture rather than by our identity in Christ.
The only way that I know to combat these lies are with a different voice. The truth of Gods word and what God says that I am. WHO he says I am! He says I have the keys to the kingdom. The kingdom has power, and love, and wisdom, and purpose. Which means I have power, love, wisdom and purpose. Everything that God has belongs to me. So why am I still measuring against things that don’t really even matter?
The enemy says…I am nothing.
God says..I have been washed, sanctified, justified and CHOSEN.
The enemy says…I am inferior.
God says…I am uniquely designed for His purpose.
The enemy says….I’m not smart.
God says…I have His wisdom.
The enemy says…I have no strength.
God says….I have His power.
The enemy says……I feel defeated.
God says…In all things we are more than conquerors.
The enemy says….you don’t look or act like them.
God says….you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
We have a choice as to whether we will listen to the negative voice that plays and believe it or fight it with everything we are made of. And believe me I know the fight is HARD. Especially when it seems to be a constant, sometimes daily battle with remnants from our past mistakes compounding the present culture’s messages. You don’t measure up. You never have. You never will. Don’t even bother.
If you are a women who does not or has not struggled with this – you are in the minority! But in my experience most of us have. I have seen all types of women who struggle with this. From the stay at home mom to the corporate leaders of large companies. The ones who have “perceived” perfect families and lots of money to the ones that have BA’s, MBA’s, PhD’s, doctorates or any other thing you can have on paper but it doesn’t calm the lies within. To sit down and have a conversation with them it is apparent the struggle is universal. In all types! Over and over I hear it manifest in different ways. Over and over I hear them in my own head!!
When I hear some variation of how I’m not enough it truly depletes me! It makes me want to retreat into the safety of my comfort zone-the very one I’m trying so hard to get out of. While it’s good to have this place to go, it doesn’t have the ability to take those negative voices and strip them of their power. All my comfort zone does is give me a place to retreat and stew on them in my head a little bit longer. I have grown up with these thoughts. They have become my internal dialogue. I have nurtured them and babied them and accepted them as truth. No more.
I need the truth of God to help me combat these lies, not lay down in peace with them.
I need deliverance from them!!!
Not a way to live with them.
What are the tapes that the enemy is playing for you? What would you do with your life if you didn’t have these negatives on loop in your brain? What is it that you KNOW God is calling you to that these mental futilities seem to keep overriding the realities of it?
You don’t have to accept your default behaviors or your default tapes. You can change them!
The enemy does not want you, yes YOU- to step into the fullness of your God given purpose. He does not want you to tap into that inner strength, the inner warrior that God says you are. Maybe you are still trying to figure out what your purpose or calling is and these words are constantly bombarding you, paralyzing you into staying still rather than stepping out in faith to try because you believe that you don’t really have what it takes.
If you have a call to use your voice-the enemy will surely try to silence it.
I want my fear of living a life “without” purpose to far exceed the fear that the enemy tries to whisper that says I’m not enough to “have” a life of purpose.
This piece has been really hard to write because it digs deep into so many other things that tie into this notion of not enough. It’s a personal struggle that I’ve battled. Sometimes these words have led to shame, regret, depression, anxiety. Sometimes I win the battle. Sometimes I lose. But I keep getting back up. Determined to squash these lies. Sometimes I have to walk the hard stuff and do it anyway. Even when I’m afraid. Take the step and see what happens. I believe that shedding light on the problems and encouraging others that they are not alone in these thoughts can take away some of the sting.
In a book I’ve been reading on anointing the author says…. “Gods anointed weapons of choice for women are words!”
That would indicate that we are in a war. And we are! We are in a war for our minds and the negative things we allow to take up residence there. But we are not left alone to fight. God has given us everything that we need to live this life. Armor, tools, words, His word, His spirit, His power.
We are meant to speak ladies…and on so many things. Speak out. Speak up. Speak life. Speak love. The power of life and death are in the tongue. Let that sink in. YOU have the ability to KILL/tear down or build up with your words. So why not use our voice to build up OURSELVES as well as others? Go to battle for MYSELF just as hard as I would battle for someone I love. With the same power and fervency that we as women can have when protecting our own. Speak life into the deepest parts of ourselves that need to be reminded that we have value, purpose, a unique voice and that we are SO ENOUGH! And stop listening to the negative thoughts that are killing us and our purpose. We have the power to CHOOSE!!!! We have the weapons to win!
We need to SPEAK some things in the presence of Jesus about words/lies that have occupied space in our spirit, in our minds, families, generational blood lines, etc. that have no place anymore. They need to go!!! (Steven Furtick’s sermon Dysfunctional Comfort…..)
Your voice is needed.
Your voice matters.
Our voices can change the world!
I’m tired of living this limited, weak willed, fearfulness that the enemy tries to keep me wrapped up in. I’m ready for the warrior to rise up within me that God says that I am and take back the territory lost to those lies. So much waisted time that I could have been using my gifts and talents and sharing my voice with those who could benefit from my experiences/lessons learned rather than cowering down in fear of not being enough. And the truth is – I won’t be enough for some people. I may be “too much” for others. But none of that is relevent when I realize that I have a purpose and a voice unique to me that was created to speak life. There is a calling on my life to lead people to the truth of Jesus and to help them discover their own purpose. And to recognize the roadblocks in that process. Even when I’m currently working out those same roadblocks in my own life. So this is a way of speaking encouragement and dispelling the lies that we believe that say we are not enough. Or at the very least for you to know that you are not alone in those thoughts.
What will it take for us to be a generation that rises to the occasion rather than cowering down to the same enemies (whatever those may be for you) that have kept us bound and “small”. We need to stand up and fight against these lies. We have great purpose ladies.
Where will you use YOUR voice?
You are enough. You are SO enough! It’s unbelievable how enough you are!
God help us to rise up and claim what you say we already have with CONFIDENCE. And believe who YOU say that we are. Help us to recognize our identity in you and not in the standards of this world.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
*My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
*For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)