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!
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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
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- 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.
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So often I hit that wall: “What could I possible have to offer . . .??” And every time I have to come back to the truth that you have shared so beautifully today. And it’s so sweet to see such a spirit of giving in the heart of a child. I love it when my own children encourage me with their generosity!
Michele, those thoughts are never our own. We were given the mind of Christ, the very mind that IS enough. With His help, we are enough, because HE is enough to meet every need. All He is looking for is a surrendered heart, to come as one with child-like faith. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I have spent my entire life thinking one of two things: Either that I was “too much” or “not enough.” It’s a self-judgment that wears on the soul. I love when you said that truly we are not enough because we need our Savior, but through Him, we have access to what is always enough. That was so encouraging…and true!
Our God is enough – and though we might deem ourselves unworthy, He considered us worth dying for.
Let us give to others what He has so generously bestowed on us – grace.
Sharon, your conclusion is beautiful. Let us give to others what He has so generously bestowed on us – grace. Where would we be without it? I’m so grateful! He gives so much more than we deserve! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Ah … He is enough, He is sufficient, He knows exactly what we need.
And how very good to meet you today …
Linda, He IS, just as God proclaimed, “I AM”. What a comfort that brings to my heart when I get caught up in thinking I have to be and then find that I always come up short. With Him, I am enough. So happy you stopped by today. I hope our paths will cross again! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I love the way you see that little boy in light of your own son’s sweet and giving spirit. I will never read that passage the same way again!
I was thinking kind of along those lines earlier this morning, about how it is so common to discount what we have and who we are. We all do it to one degree or another, it seems. Yet the answer to standing tall and joyously offering all we have is truly rooted in that child-like faith that our God is enough!
I pray for that young woman in your office, that God will use you to help her learn lessons like these as she recovers from such horrific abuse.
Mary Lee, isn’t it a comfort to know our God is enough?! The problem always seems to come when we take our eyes off Him. We would do well to pray to keep that child-like faith.
Your prayers are most appreciated. My desire is always that no matter who the patient, or what their circumstance, that they would leave my office having been changed in some way by a touch of His love.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
So glad you are there for people in need! When I was excommunicated from an abusive church, and shortly after divorced, I found that most people couldn’t relate to what I’d experienced. But if they were kind, that was all that mattered. I didn’t need great wisdom or complete empathy. I just needed friends who cared. Those who touched me and helped me the most were people who genuinely and deeply cared.
Columba, I am so sorry this was your experience. Having a friend who cares makes ALL the difference. Know that with me, I care! Because of Him, #HopePrevails.
I am so thankful for God’s love. I am so thankful that I am His child. Michelle, you truly help me every day. I am so thankful God has placed you in my life. 🙂
Melissa, I don’t think it’s possible for you to touch my heart or encourage me more than your sweet, genuine words here. Thank you for taking the time to do that. Sending you virtual hugs. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thanks Michelle, for these insights. And, I pray that the young woman in that you were helping is healing and going to be OK.
Thanks Kathleen. The comfort I take is that just as God continued and continues to pursue my heart, He will do so for her as well. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Another great post, Michelle! The older I get, the more I realize that I have nothing to offer but Jesus.
Love this line from your post, “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.”
So thankful for the access!
Found your post today on Raising Homemakers.
Hope you have a blessed day~
I always love seeing you here! It’s like a flower bouquet popping up in my day!! When we have “nothing to offer but Jesus,” we have offered the only thing that matters! Keep offering your nothing, and He will multiply it to be something miraculous. Because of of Him, #HopePrevails
Yes, yes! I just gave a witness this past weekend and I shared how God wants to smash our feelings of not being enough. We are enough, because we are willed, called, and chosen by the Lord. What more could we need? Our hope in Him prevails!
YES Mary! We are enough because we are willed, called, and chosen by the Lord. And I’m so very grateful. He is who makes us enough. Because of Him, #HopePevails!
As a teacher, I have asked myself the question whether I was enough for a child in need many times. Sometimes I was and sadly sometimes I wasn’t. I’m very thankful that “God blesses our desires”. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!
How often in ministry have I offered my humble loaves and fishes and seen Him bless and break and multiply them. It’s all grace.
I cling to this: “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.” And I agree. If only I realized this as “it” were happening, I imagine my life would’ve been bearable and I wouldn’t have lost my way. Thank you for sharing such raw honesty!
Great post! I struggle with depression and anxiety and sometimes I feel like I just can’t dig out. God is bigger than my struggles! I hope you can stop by:
Hi Michelle! Your words minister to me today. I participated in this years #Dressember campaign to raise awareness for human trafficking and didn’t meet my goal. I released the disappoint about it with truth- as you’ve shared here. “God blesses our initiative and desire and multiplies it for His glory.” You’re the #GiveMeGrace Wordsmith of the Week.
Oh wow, I really have been there where I felt I wasn’t enough. Not enough wife, or mom or friend or nurse. This message really resonated but I finally drew closer to the Lord, read His Word, studied His Word and realized in my own strength, I will never be enough. I need HIM!! With Him all things are possible!! What a blessing to finally realize it and walk in it. There are times I will still feel inadequate but thankfully I will remember that I am not alone. Thank you so much for sharing this message! I sure did need reminding!! So love and appreciate you!
Karen, there is such freedom in knowing that IN HIM, we are enough because Christ in us is enough!
Loved this post. Growing up in my family I always felt I came up short. Nothing but perfection was seen and I was not perfect. I loved reading about your generous son. My son is sensitive to God’s leading too. One time he felt God wanted him to give some of his clothes away. He was a young man at the time. At first, Mike was leery because Nathan felt he was supposed to go into Chicago to do this, about an hour away. Mike and I prayed and Nathan left. There was a requirement, Nathan needed to find someone his size. So he saw one guy, and treated him to lunch but he didn’t feel he was the one. And then he saw another. After buying him a sandwich he told the guy he had something for him. When the man followed him to Nathan’s trunk he opened it and gave him the two bags of clothes. The guy had tears in his eyes and told Nathan that tomorrow he was going on a job interview and didn’t have anything decent to wear. I love it when God moves our children.
oh Anne, I agree with you and can relate to your experience. Growing up, I never felt like enough because I was imperfect. Thankfully our Heavenly Father says we are enough and that is so freeing.
Not being enough can be a good thing when it causes us to lean on the Lord. Thanks for this perspective, Michelle. It can make us uncomfortable when we don’t think it through all the way, but it’s reassuring when we do!
I agree with you wholeheartedly Lisa. It’s freeing to know He doesn’t call us to be everything and everything but rather to lean on Him to be all that He designed us to be. Hugs!
So glad we serve a King who is enough and fills in our lacks. Sometimes I look around and think I could be more this or that. And then I remember that God called me to be me. To do what he has gifted me to do. To be obedient and faithful and he will make my efforts enough. Thanks for this encouragement today.
Theresa, oh yes, my friend…He called each of us to be uniquely us. But I’m so grateful He doesn’t expect us to be anything other than ourselves. The enemy would love to trap us in comparison to others whom God never called us to be.
What we have is never enough. So true without him. Thanks, Michelle. laurensparks.net
Aren’t we grateful that He makes us enough because Him in us is enough? Blessings!