By Nicole Kerr
Not too long ago, I was the guinea pig model in some photos to test a photo editing technique that my co-worker wanted to try out. The result was a picture featuring three of me! It really looked like there were three of me that posed for the picture. I went around showing people how realistic the photo looked and would make the comment, “If only there really were three of me!”
We would all laugh, but my joking came from a place of real desire – a pain deep within of not feeling like I am enough and a wish that there were more of me. One of me to focus on being a wife, one of me to focus on being a mom, and one of me to work and do everything else I feel I need to do.
This solitary version of me gets really stressed trying to keep up with life. I seem to go from one season of being overwhelmed into another with no break in between. I try to eliminate time wasters, change my focus to things that are most important in the moment, and take time to breathe. But no matter how much of that I do, I still feel stressed and overwhelmed with not enough of me to go around. According to my toddler, I should be able to do all things as soon as he asks – especially while making dinner, driving, or going to the bathroom. But sadly, I can’t. One of me can’t do it all. Let’s be honest, if I really were given three of me, I would probably just be three times as overwhelmed.
You can’t go very far on social media or even to Target without seeing happy little quotes affirming how great you are, how strong and capable you are. “You can do it (with coffee),” “You are enough,” “You are perfect just the way you are!” This culture of self-affirmation sounds great to my ears, but to my heart it feels the same. It keeps the focus on me, and the truth about me is that I am not enough.
I am not enough to be the perfect wife or the perfect mom. I am not enough to be the best employee or a great church volunteer or even a decent housekeeper. I am not enough to be the Christian I want to be. None of us are.
Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, none of us can measure up. We are all separated from God because of the sin that we are born into and the sin that we accumulate in all of our self-centered strivings. Nothing we can do can get us back to a place of right relationship with God. There are 613 commandments that the Jews rehearse attempting to do just that, to get to a place where they are enough. But even if we could possibly keep all 613 commands perfectly all the time, we would still fall short.
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind (Isaiah 64:6, NLT)
God knows. God knew that after the Fall we would never be able to measure up, so He made a way in Jesus. The whole reason Jesus came was to be enough — to be enough to bridge the gap between us and God, to be enough to bring hope to a world that will never be enough.
I will never be a perfect wife or mother. I need Jesus. I will never be the best employee. I need Jesus. I will never be a great church volunteer, decent housekeeper, or the Christian that I want to be. I need Jesus. God didn’t call me to be those things because I could do them. He called me because He wants to work through me in all those areas. If I try and be enough on my own, I will just interfere with His plans.
As I walk into this new year and what I am sure will be countless overwhelming seasons ahead, I need to repeat to myself daily, “I am not enough, but Jesus is.”
About the Author
Nicole Kerr received her marketing degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and currently serves as the Executive Assistant to Open Bible President Randall A. Bach. Her family’s mission is to minister to future generations and help them become leaders and people of influence. Nicole enjoys writing about what GOD is speaking to her as she is being stretched and challenged in each season of life.