When You Feel You’re Not Enough

I shared a devotion over at Proverbs 31 Ministries yesterday. I wanted to share this with you too. Here’s what I want you to know: You are enough!

As soon as my first-grade teacher held up that initial spelling flashcard, I knew I was in trouble.

Just 6 years old, I’d skipped off to school with a new box of crayons, a Swiss polka-dotted dress, and fresh hope that I would be smart. But first grade only confirmed my greatest fear: I was “not enough.”

We lined up our miniature wooden chairs in a row like a choo-choo train. The teacher held up a spelling flashcard for us to identify the word. If we missed the word, we had to go to the caboose. I spent most of the first grade in the caboose. I just couldn’t spell. For some reason, I especially had trouble with the word the.

I’ll help her, my teacher must have thought. She made me a nametag that read t-h-e, and I had to wear it for two weeks. Students came up to me and asked,
“Why are you wearing that tag?”
“Is your name ‘The’?”
“What’s wrong with you?”

Eventually, I learned how to spell the, but that’s not all I learned. I learned I wasn’t as smart as everybody else, and once again, not enough. Although I ended up doing well in school, many times I’ve still felt like that little girl in the caboose.

Moses was also someone who felt he wasn’t good enough. When God spoke through a burning bush and called Moses to lead His people out of Egyptian bondage, he had a big case of the “not-good-enoughs.”

That’s when he had a one-sided argument with God. Moses told God he was the wrong man for the job. He wasn’t brave enough, strong enough, smart enough, eloquent enough, charismatic enough or confident enough.

At one point, Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

And God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-14, NIV).

Moses was 80 years old when argued with God. But even the weakest knees in the hands of I AM can become a mighty force to be reckoned with.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that you, too, have likely struggled with feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy. And the underlying statement feeding the sense of worthlessness is “I’m not __________ enough.” You can include any number of qualities. False beliefs such as …

I’m not strong enough.
I’m not experienced enough.
I’m not talented enough.
I’m not brave enough.
I’m not pretty enough.

But here’s what we need to remember: Whatever positive characteristic we feel we are not, God is. Whatever we need, God is. He is the God who fills in our gaps; He is I AM who fills in our blanks.

When we say, “I’m not strong enough,” God says, “I AM.”
When we say, “I’m not smart enough,” God says, “I AM.”
When we say, “I’m not good enough,” God says, “I AM.”

Once we let go of the lies that we’re not enough … taking hold of the truth that we’re more than enough because of Jesus’ presence and power in us … then we’ll be set free from paralyzing insecurity and on our way to experiencing courageous confidence to do everything He calls us to do. We’ll get out of the caboose and sit up front with the Engineer.

Want to know something amazing? One of my greatest weaknesses as a child was spelling words. And now that is what God has called me to do today … write with words. I stand with Paul who lamented about his weakness: But he [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

That’s what happens when we allow God to fill in our blanks. He turns what we perceive as our greatest weakness into our greatest strength.

What is God calling you to do today? Where do you feel you’re not enough? Oh friend, because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, and His power in you, you are more than enough! Don’t forget it.

Heavenly Father, so many times I feel like I’m just not good enough, smart enough, wise enough … just not enough, period. Help me stop focusing on my self-perceived inadequacies and start focusing on Your all-sufficient supply. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Which areas of your life do you tell yourself that you’re not enough? What is God telling you about your true abilities through today’s devotion? Leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick one to win a FREE ENOUGH bracelet made by the women of Fashion and Compassion.

Do you ever feel that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to silence the lies that steal your confidence and awaken the truth that you’re amazingly created and equipped by God. Today’s devotion was adapted from my new book that released  TODAY: Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your ConfidenceIt is an expanded and revised version of the book, I’m Not Good Enough, with 50-percent new material.

Order your copy and submit for your bonuses by Friday, April 6 and you’ll receive a passel of free goodies including 3 FREE e-books:Your Scars are Beautiful to God, Listening to God Day-by-Day, and 5 Dreams of Every Woman, plus a printable set of 24 Truth cards! Click here for more details.

59 Responses to When You Feel You’re Not Enough

  1. Marlene Thorn April 3, 2018 at 4:28 am #

    I can’t wait to get the book and start reading, we have to keep our hope in Jesus, he is our ever present help

    • Ann Haluska April 5, 2018 at 11:47 am #

      I feel truly blessed to have found this devotional. My own childhood of neglect and abuse still impacts me today. God carried me through those bad times and have me a future and hope. But sometimes the lies chase me down and I struggle. My depression gets worse. I forget who I am in Christ. Thank you for this powerful devotion that spoke to my soul, heart and mind.and gave me strength.

  2. Deborah Eason April 3, 2018 at 6:12 am #

    Thank you for your sweet devotionals of the worthiness of us all through Gods eyes. I see myself when I was a child and as a young adult never feeling good enough. But once I started studying the God’s word, I began to see the love that God had for me and how precious I was to Him. My relationship and my love for our Savior has grown, along with my confidence knowing I am a precious to my Creator and Lord.

  3. Karen Pope April 3, 2018 at 6:19 am #

    Thank you for this devotion this morning!! I remember sitting in the wooden chair spelling train and looking at those flashcards. Even at that young age, I remember feeling not good enough and trying to figure out how to survive that spelling “game”. Praise God I know I AM now. We serve an awesome God!!

  4. Lisa Smith April 3, 2018 at 6:25 am #

    God tells me in His word that I am a good enough wife and momma, through Him.

  5. Linda D'Agostino April 3, 2018 at 6:44 am #

    God created me as I am, therefore I am enough! I can’t be what He didn’t want me to be and so I must be who I am. These thoughts come from my 10 year old granddaughter.

  6. Bonnie April 3, 2018 at 6:44 am #

    I have a recording in my head from childhood, as well, that I am not enough…thank you, Sharon for the reminders to play another tape – that God has taped over that tape with His Love … I AM says I am enough.

  7. Geory Frieden April 3, 2018 at 6:48 am #

    With God I would have no meaning or identity! My self worth is larger because His love shows up every second of everyday. There is a wall around my porkypine handicapped love of my life. Each day I pray for a break thru, even a small one. God is always there waiting for me each morn. He equips me for that day. Our raltionship is the my most valued possession. He never dispoints. Your servant, Geory Frieden

  8. Carol Werkema April 3, 2018 at 6:51 am #

    Dear Sharon,. My sister doesn’t feel she is enough and has tried to take her life. This has really hit home for me today.

  9. Kristy April 3, 2018 at 6:56 am #

    Thank you so much for these posts. I have been working on these feelings for decades. I can’t wait for your book!

  10. Sandra Beasley April 3, 2018 at 7:08 am #

    I struggle with depression and now realize that I am an introvert. In a group setting I feel that I am not enough to enter in conversations or fit in. It makes for an uncomfortable situation for me. I haven’t given given up but keep plugging along but clearly I’m unhappy with these feelings.

  11. Tabitha myers April 3, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    I am enough! I am a child of God, the daughter of The King! Thank you so much with the help to identify the lies! I have even been blessed with the opportunity to show my daughter the lies attacking her! #breaking the cycle

  12. Diane Wilser April 3, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    I tell myself I’m not enough in my appearance. My dad used to make me “weigh in” when I was in high school. I was not “fat” it was just his way of demeaning me and controlling me.

    I’m now 54 and I still struggle with my size. I’ve been a size zero and up to a 6::..I still feel fat.

    I just continue to pray the Lord will remove this thorn in my flesh.

  13. Debbie Bradley April 3, 2018 at 7:51 am #

    I have been so blessed by being able to be a part of the launch team for the new book by Sharon Jaynes, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal your Confidence! I’m so excited to share this with everyone! There is so much practical information to help us in this book. One thing truly stuck me in my reading. Sharon wrote, “Once we come to Christ, we can no longer truthfully say, “I can’t help myself. This is just the way I am.” You can do All things God calls you to do through Christ, who strengthens you. You are no longer a slave to sin. You now have a choice. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to turn “I can’t” into “with God’s help, I can.”” WOW! How powerful is that! I do not have that excuse any longer. She even writes about forgiveness in her book and how to forgive someone who really has done the unforgiveable to you! I have struggled for many years with unforgiveness toward a person and this section of her new book has really helped me to be able to start working on forgiving. Sharon writes in her book, “We cannot get better if we remain bitter and as long as we don’t forgive, we are held in Satan’s vise grip. So if there is someone in your life you need to forgive, don’t miss this opportunity to get this book and put it into practice. Think about this – Sharon wrote, “Unforgiveness is how we securely bind ourselves to what we hate most.” If that doesn’t strike a nerve to want to forgive that person, I don’t know what would. I highly recommend this book because this is one that actually gives you practical ways to change your life! I know it has changed mine! Get your copy today!

  14. Marcia April 3, 2018 at 7:59 am #

    The question for me is which areas of my life do I NOT tell myself that I’m not enough? I’ve struggled all my life with negative thinking about myself, whether physical, personal, professional, or spiritual. I know in my head that comparing myself negatively to other women is bondage, but breaking that is a constant battle for me, and it’s an exhausting way to live.

  15. Lisa Huber April 3, 2018 at 8:15 am #

    I always feel like I’m not a good enough Christian.

  16. Paige Needler April 3, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    Through his Truth and Love…..I AM ENOUGH. ALL OF ME!!!! I am Worthy~

  17. Joyce kaiser April 3, 2018 at 8:21 am #

    I BELIEVE in saying I Am as with the Lord’s help…I AM capable, AM wise enough, and on and on. It feels great to do something which has been in my heart for a long time— just like a flower beginning to bloom–. I AM
    a Great Piano Player. Praise God.

  18. Staci Anderson April 3, 2018 at 8:21 am #

    God is telling me that in Him I can do all that He has called me to do. I am good enough and I am not dumb. He made me to do the work He set before me to do and He will equip me. I need to trust in Him with all my heart and not lean in myself. Thank you for this post today. I’m excited to read your new book. It just got delivered to my kindle today.

  19. Carin Orth April 3, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    Thank you! I too struggled in school with being a slow reader, which led me to say I hate reading & books! But God has given me the love of words & the gift of writing! Funny how He works, isn’t it???

  20. Brenda April 3, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Thank you for reminding me that the creator of the universe, Almighty God completes me!! He fills in the gaps between what I feel I’ve accomplished & what I feel I should have accomplished by this point in my life. He tells me that doesn’t matter. I just have to keep my focus on Him & His awesome power! He is enough.

  21. Kelli April 3, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    I AM ENOUGH!

  22. Renee P April 3, 2018 at 9:25 am #

    Thank you for this devotion! I constantly struggle with the feeling of not enough. And this has helped me today already.

  23. Mandy Pennington April 3, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    I went through a terrible divorce this past year. The fact that he chose to be unfaithful made me feel like I wasn’t enough for him or anyone else in the future. And now that I’m a single mother, I question if I’m enough for my daughter. Thank you for reminding me that I am! I needed to hear this this morning more than you know. Have a great week!

  24. Kim Dove April 3, 2018 at 9:45 am #

    I am enough! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Michele April 3, 2018 at 10:05 am #

    I’ve been divorced for 12 years, and have not dated. I’ve asked God that if it’s His will for my life, to let me love again, and to send a Godly man to be my husband. The years keep rolling by, and sometimes I feel so alone even though I have loving friends and I talk to God all throughout my days. I struggle with feeling that I’m not good enough for a Godly husband, that I’m not pretty enough to attract the right man, that I’m not patient enough to wait on what God has in store for me. Thanks for this reminder, and I do take this to heart, but it’s still hard for me to believe that I am enough.

  26. Nancy Johnson April 3, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    Boy, does that ever speak to me. As a teacher and mom, I feel like I spend my whole day going from ‘not good enough’ teacher to ‘not good enough ‘ mom. I am so down right now, especially since my mom died last November. I can’t talk to her and share my disappointments. I know God is all-sufficient, but it sure is hard to feel that way at the end of the day.

  27. Sam April 3, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    Eloquent in speech……God reminded me that He is ‘I AM’ when my words fail me.

  28. Sam April 3, 2018 at 10:34 am #

    thank you for sharing your story; however, I can’t help but to think how cruel the teacher was on her teaching exercise.

  29. Linda Ryan April 3, 2018 at 11:04 am #

    I was blessed to be on the pre-launch team and “Enough” really opened my mind and my heart that I truly am “Enough”. I’ll be going back to re-read the book in the next few days but had to share what an awesome book this is!

  30. Laura Forbus April 3, 2018 at 11:19 am #

    I have just finished Enough and it is incredible! I have struggled all my life with not being enough. Thank you Sharon! I see me reading this book over and over. I just can’t get ENOUGH!

  31. Teena Smith April 3, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    As people say I am not good enough for a man to love me unconditionally
    I do know God loves me unconditional
    I am praying for the right man to come into my life from God.
    God willing

  32. Barbara April 3, 2018 at 12:35 pm #

    Thank you for this devotional. I am a single parent of two teenagers and I often hear that lie that I am not enough for them. I have to remind myself that God will fill in the gaps and that He will equip me to do all I need to do.

  33. Maribeth Kooiman April 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm #

    I struggle with self worth and what others are saying about me.

  34. TINA ELLIOTT-LONGACRE April 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm #

    I am praying to be able to take that next step to obey The Lord. Sometimes I am so scared to walk out on that limb and believe God is there. I feel like no one will be listening to the things swirling around in my mind to say to encourage them in the Lord. I have been a Christ Follower-Image bearer since 1982..at a Billy Graham Crusade. Your devotions on GIG have always hit home with me…Praise-The-Lord for you and your faithfulness!!! 🙂

  35. Mary Michel April 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    I loved this. My husband and I are part of a group of people that teach Children’s Church. In all the years we have done this, I have never felt good/smart enough to do this. I did not go to college to become a teacher, I went I volunteer because my husband wants to do this and we are a team. I feel very insecure. Especially when our Pastors children were in our class 20 years ago. You would think that now, 20 years later, I would feel more equipped/capable. I don’t. I need to reflect on what you said about God being enough to do the job. I have to let go of my insecurities and let God do His thing through me. Thank you very much for opening my eyes to this.

    • Sharon Jaynes April 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

      Amen. If you felt like you had it all under control, then I’d be worried. We always need to depend on Him!

  36. Rhonda Geiger April 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

    I am good enough. Worthy. Strong .& courageous. Need to work on slow to anger part. Which I know takes time .sometimes you just need to go out of the box and do something different for a change.

  37. Angela Pritchard April 3, 2018 at 4:52 pm #

    Sharon, I needed this so badly today. I woke up to an overdrawn bank account and just felt like a huge loser who isn’t good enough or worth it. This email brightened my day and is making me realize that I am good enough and that this doesn’t define me.

    • Sharon Jaynes April 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

      You are worth more than your bank account!!!!

      • Njeri April 24, 2018 at 9:47 am #

        Sure but if there’s so little money in it, how shall I finance my kids education? I’m trying to dispose of a property in order to diversify my investments but seems to be taking long. But I do know God has my back.

  38. Rebecca Jones April 3, 2018 at 5:21 pm #

    I think the name tag was humiliating. I had a high school teacher do that to me as a writer, even as a Christian. Jesus will not do that to us, He bore our shame. Love is my mother passing me money to get a haircut with her, when I didn’t have it, so the lady would see me take it from purse.

  39. Sandra April 3, 2018 at 7:18 pm #

    I have faced so many health problems the past five or six years that I have told myself I don’t have enough of this or enough of that to get to where I need to be. I keep trying to tell myself that God is enough to get me through these obstacles. It is hard sometimes to step out and have the faith that God will give what I need or have to do to get back He wants me to be. I pray that this study will help me to start getting back to where “I am good enough” to do whatever I need to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  40. Shannon Chowning April 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    I am loving the book! Here’s my very word-y review. 😉

    I chose to read this book after taking a part in a My One Word study at my church. My word for this year is “enough”. While I will always be a work in imperfect progress, I am enough for Jesus, my audience of one, which can be a challenge for “people pleasers” like myself. He, my God, is enough for me. Looking to the approval of others as my “yardstick” of being all that God created me to be is a sure way to never measure up in the eyes of man or ourselves. And, lastly, ENOUGH! of over-analyzing, over-thinking and trying to “figure it all out”. I need to be obedient in growing my relationship with Christ, spending time with Him, spending time daily in His Word and leave all of the outcomes in my life to Him. This is hard, on my own. Sharon Jaynes’ new book, Enough: Silencing The Lies That Steal Your Confidence, has been the perfect introduction to the focus for me this year, Enough. This book is full of applicable scripture to highlight every point she makes about how we can fight the daily war for our minds the enemy attempts to wage on us. And the Word of God is a powerful weapon. While reading, I was even able to use content from the book to work through confidence issues my son was having at the time. Coincidence? I think not. This book is primarily geared toward women but also excellent for older teens as well. My copy, which I received in advance for my honest review, is full of notes, quotes and favorite scripture verses. There is a quick reference guide in the back that will also come in handy. This is not a “one time read”, it will be useful in many years to come. I will be buying copies for my family and friends because we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty at different times in our lives. And God, our Creator and Redeemer, wants us to live with a complete awareness of His great love for us. He wants us to live filled with His Spirit, forgiven and free all to be used fully for Him. This book equips us with tools to apply His Word and Truth to our daily lives.

  41. Lianne April 3, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

    My abilities are not dependent upon me, rather, any strength I have is because I Am is holding me up, which is awesome, because on my own I will fall.

  42. Debbie April 3, 2018 at 10:54 pm #

    For years I wouldn’t try to do anything for fear of failing because I knew I wasn’t able/good enough. Slowly God has been helping me see these are lies, but I still have a ways to go. Through Him I am able & good enough!

  43. Debbie Vail April 4, 2018 at 7:34 am #

    Dealing with an adult child living back at home ( age 25). Feeling like I have not done enough as a mom.I have two other birth children that had the same upbringing.
    He’s an angry person and choosing not to yield to God. This breaks my momma heart .

  44. Kathie Getz April 4, 2018 at 9:32 am #

    OH manthere is many areas of my life where I feel I’m not enough, at work I feel I have to be more, do more say more, the truth is that every part of my life. But God is changing me day by day.

  45. Monica A. April 4, 2018 at 10:22 am #

    I struggle all the time with thinking I’m not thin enough, smart enough, a good enough mom, etc.

  46. Janelle Volkers April 4, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    I feel like I have felt like I am not enough my whole life

    I want it to end!

    Thanks for the encouragement!!

  47. Suzette McFarlane April 4, 2018 at 11:34 am #

    I feel so belittled at work by my boss, he speaks down to me as if he is better. But I prayer to God to humble him and that he will fall at my feet as the devil should and also to speak to me with respect. I command it in Jesus’ name..Amen.

  48. Mollie April 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm #

    Not smart enough…

  49. Yvonne Benavides April 5, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    Through the years I have felt I have messed up as a mother to my kids. I have 2 older girls from a previous marriage and I couldn’t make it work so I had to leave. Then I rushed into a relationship and messed it up some more. Later married again and I feel I messed it up even more. I feel as if I have failed them. I know they love me but I can’t seem to forgive myself. I struggle with this on a daily basis but the Lord is helping me and showing me how to forgive myself because he already has.

  50. Norma J Falk April 5, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    I am not experienced enough to lead a small group. But God said I Am!

  51. Dora April 6, 2018 at 2:42 am #

    When I get really depressed I feel like I’m not worthy enough to keep living on anymore. And for that reason I ordered the book enough in search of something more than what I feel. Because I’m truly hungry and thirsty for something real, honest, and true.. And honestly, I’m tired of being tired, I want to live for once and for all in the freedom that Christ offer’s me. I want to be complete in knowing who I am and where my identity truly comes from as a daughter of God. I want God’s truth over the lies of the enemy so that I can live in freedom in Christ. I want Christ to be the Only One who defines and completes me.

  52. Paula April 6, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

    Somehow I need to tattoo this study to my heart and head. I have read and heard it more than once and every time I walk away knowing I AM good enough. But the doubts come back at some point and I find myself questioning my worth. It’s been the song that has played in my heart since I was young. I was adopted into a very broken family. My parent divorced within 3 years of my adoption. My mother was full of anger and made sure I always knew my lack of worth. I know now as an adult that her anger was not truly because of me, but it’s where she went to dump her frustrations, fears, and anger. We all have it in some form or another. If it wasn’t in the home, school would be the second breeding ground for learning how you are not enough. But I know if I listen, really “be still and know I am God”, I do hear Him remind me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” – we ALL are. I appreciate what Dora says that I want Christ to be the Only One who defines and completes me.

  53. Janice May 16, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    Nice teaching parallel – from the caboose to the engine;). I also had a teacher my very 1st year of school do a questionable choice of action that was negating; when I came with excitement to tell her what I learned in a short amount of time, she scornfully told me that I was inferior to the rest of the class and that I should have known that already. But I listened to the encouraging voice of the Lord loudest, placing all my trust and reliance in Him because He loved/loves me. I graduated with a 4.0 my senior year in victory of who I am in Christ by God’s Grace, Love and Faithfulness – to Him I owe it all!
    Stay humble & cast you’re cares on Him because He’s got you! & has claimed many victories in my life; as I have submitted my life to Him obediently. He is unflawed (as people are) and I know that I know by faith and the Grace he’s extended me, I can definitely put all my trust in the Lord who fulfills His Word!

  54. Janice May 16, 2018 at 10:07 am #

    Thank you Sharon Jaynes, for your encouraging word.

  55. Rachel Boni August 11, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your post today- it’s exactly what I needed to hear! God bless you as your words bless others!

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