Have you ever felt like you weren’t enough or what you had to offer wasn’t enough? What can you do when you feel like you’re never enough?
In this story, I share about a time in my practice where I felt like what I had to offer was not enough.
She sat in front of me, eyes vacant, face expressionless.
Could she really be that devoid of emotion? After all she’d been through?
Hers was the most heart-wrenching story of my 30+ year career.
She’d been sold into the sex-trafficking industry, barely escaping alive.
Her reading and writing skills were basic at best. Her interpersonal skills were minimal.
She trusted no one. Sights and sounds terrified her. Yet, she had survival skills that trumped anyone I knew. And a heart with an impenetrable fortress around it.
What did I have to offer?
What did I have to offer her? I couldn’t relate to her horrific tale. In comparison, I lived a privileged life.
Why should she trust me?
How could I make a difference?
There I sat across from this precious young woman, desperately wanting to be of help to her. Her parents counted on me. Yet I felt as if what I had to offer wasn’t enough.
I could offer her unconditional positive regard, and a safe place to heal. Would it be enough?
Have you ever been there?
I’m so thankful that God has already anticipated our every need and provided for them. His word truly is a light for our path.
I’m not the first one to struggle with feeling like what I have to offer is not enough, and I daresay I won’t be the last.
Even the disciples struggled.
There came a time when they were traveling with Jesus, and they encountered a very large multitude. Scripture says at least 5,000 men, and theologians suggest that this means countless additional women and children needed to be fed. Jesus told them to feed the crowd. All the disciples could focus on was the enormity of the task. They didn’t know how to meet the need. What they had to offer wasn’t enough. Humanly speaking, it was impossible to feed such a crowd with a skimpy five loaves of bread and two fish offered up from a young boy’s lunch.
What they, and you and I, always seem to forget to focus on is the enormity of our God…the very big God living and dwelling among us and inside us.
The One, who according to Philippians 4:13 gives us His strength.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 ESV).
Is it true that God never gives us more than we can handle?
People often say, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” Yet, I respectfully disagree with this statement. I believe God frequently allows us to endure much more than we can handle in our own strength so that we will remain aware of our need to remain dependent on Him.
Yet there is another side to this story. While the disciples were busy fretting over the enormity of the task and the scarcity of their supply, little attention is given to the sacrifice of the young boy who shared everything he had to meet the need.
Scripture doesn’t tell us, but I’m left to wonder. Did he question himself, as I did when faced with the enormity of the need before me, “What do I really have to offer? How could my little offering make a difference?”
I don’t think so.
God blesses our initiative and desire and multiplies it for His glory.
I have a son who is one of the most generous human beings I’ve ever met. He delights in baking cookies and taking them to the neighbors down the street just to meet them and get acquainted. He loves planning welcome home parties after one of the family members has been gone for a day or a week, just to show they are loved and have been missed. He would empty out his piggy bank and give it to the next stranger if he thought it would help.
I imagine the boy in the story much like my son, eager to offer his help: jumping up and sharing whatever he had, believing it would make a difference, and in turn, God blessed it.
What if we all acted in such faith? What if, instead of doubting the significance of our contribution, we believed that God would use it to make an impact for His kingdom?
What we have is never enough.
What you and I have is never enough. If it was, we wouldn’t need a Savior. Yet what we have access to is always enough.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
When have you felt that what you have to offer was not enough? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.