When Good Enough Isn’t Working Anymore

It’s the battle I’ve fought for years…my whole life, really.  It’s a constant battle.  Good moments, good days come, but they are fleeting moments.  Without fail, the feelings and fears creep back in, whispering in my ear, “You can’t do this.”

It’s my ongoing battle with “good enough.”

I’m a rule-following kind of girl. I don’t want to make waves. I just want to do my job and do a good job.  Being a rule-follower is a great trait to have…sometimes.  The downside is that rule-followers are doomed to fail.  You can’t get it right every time.  Sooner or later, you’re going to mess up–and the battle to be good enough begins.

I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s fantastic book, One Thousand Gifts right now, and in Chapter 2, her words jumped off the page and grabbed me:

“I wake to self-hatred.  To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always the failing.”

That is the battle of good enough.

I think people would be surprised to know just how much of the time I feel like a failure and just how long I’ve fought this.  People see me juggling work, school, college, and ministry, with my color-coded day planner and coffee cup in hand, and they think I’m this confident, strong woman who has it all together.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In my mind, I’m in junior high, getting a B+ on my first science test and going home proud, but hearing, “You could have done better–why wasn’t it an A?”  In my mind, I’m in high school and hearing my friend’s mom talking about the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend, saying, “One day Amanda will find someone who loves her for her sweet personality,” because obviously to her, I’m not pretty enough to attract a guy.  In my mind, I see the home that needs to be cleaned, the nice dinners I’m not cooking, the time I’m not spending with my kids, or the ministry I should be more involved in, and I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.

As a senior in high school, a wonderful Christian teacher gave me a book that started changing my life and showing me that I don’t have to be good enough for Jesus.  It’s a children’s book, but if you’ve never read Max Lucado’s You Are Special, go buy it.  Today.  I cry every time I read it, because it’s full of truth every adult needs to hear.

One of my favorite verses also reminds me that I don’t have to be good enough to be loved.  Isaiah 49:15-16 (NASB) says:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.  Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” 

My Savior loves me so much that when He sees the scars on His hands, He thinks of me.  It’s such an overwhelming love.

“Good enough” is a hard battle, and I think it’s one that we don’t talk about enough.  I think we would all be surprised at just how many women fight this.  I still fight the battle every day, but I know I can win it, because I can do all things through Christ.  I never have to be good enough for Him.