Every Wednesday Zack and I pack up our car and head “into town” for his weekly indoor soccer games. As a supportive wife, I love to watch his games—win or lose. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that my cousin (and best friend) plays on the team with him.
Last week after their game, the team and I went out to a local bar to celebrate their victory. (Ok, they might have lost 5 to 1…but they put up a good effort anyways. :) The team was planning for their next season, when 2 of the girls on their team mentioned they wouldn’t be able to play. The attention then shifted to me, everyone wondered why I never played with them—they offered me a spot on the team.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no soccer star. In fact, I haven’t played soccer since 6th grade…and even then I was never that great. But the thing is, it’s a casual league. There is no pressure to be some soccer stud, as long as you’re trying. I know that the team would be supportive, and it would be a lot of fun…
So then why when they asked me did I politely decline?
The more I started thinking about this, the more I have realized the bigger issue—not only in this soccer scenario, but in my life overall…
I strive to be an excellent wife, as I’m sure every married woman does. But one constant struggle in my head and in my heart is that I’m not good enough.
I am not an excellent cook (yet!), I hate putting away laundry, and the bathroom I get ready in is a wreck daily. Does any of this really matter? No, of course not. Zack loves me. He loves who I am, and my heart. Are these stereotypical wife duties essential to being an excellent wife? Absolutely not… so then why do I struggle so much with them?
When Zack and I moved we started a new career together, one that we hope to continue for a long time in the future. As our time there grows, and as we gain more and more responsibility, I have become gradually overwhelmed. I have started to have nightmares about the pressures and stress we will one day have. I genuinely know that this is where God wants us, I can feel that in my heart… so then why am I having these feelings of inability?
When I started this blog I wanted to tell all my out of town relatives about it so that they could keep up to date with what Zack and I were up to… The only thing is, I never shared with them the link! At first this was just a matter of forgetting, but then as I continued to write and share my heart on this little space, the idea of opening it up to everyone in my life was scary. What would people think about these thoughts and feelings I rarely express out loud?
A few weeks ago I finally sent the link to these family members—those whom this blog was originally created for… but since then, I have failed to write any genuine posts, ones like these, which I have been so proud of because they truly express my heart, and the lessons God has been teaching me.
What do all of these scenarios have in common?
Feelings of inadequacy.
Not believing that I am good enough,
and able enough to handle
the situations that God has lead me to.
Not too long ago I started a Bible reading plan via my YouVersion app to read the Bible in chronological order. The past couple days I have been studying Exodus, and to be completely honest… I don’t think this was any coincidence.
One thing that is clear in the beginning of Exodus is that God chose Moses, this ordinary guy, to do some pretty extraordinary things… but Moses, like myself, struggled with some serious feelings of inadequacy.
Here are the lessons that have resonated with me thus far in my Exodus reading. (Courtesy of my Life Application Study Bible)
- God does not ask us to go where he has not provided the means to help. (via Exodus 4:1) I know that God has lead me to where I am now for a purpose. He won’t lead me to anything I am not prepared to handle—it’s just up to me to trust this.
- God sometimes takes joy in using ordinary things for extraordinary purposes. (via 4:2-4) A relationship, a career, a blog? I am learning to trust that God has a bigger plan for every scenario in my life.
- It is easy for us to focus on our weaknesses, but if God asks you to do something, he will get the job done. We can trust he will provide the words, strength, courage, and ability where needed. (via 4:10-13)
- We must be willing to let God help us. (via 4:14) Moses’ feeling of inadequacy were so strong that he could not trust even God’s ability to help him. Sometimes I do feel so paralyzed by fear and anxiety that it blurs my ability to see God at work in my life. I want to recognize this fear when I have it, and move on—trusting that God is at work in every situation.
- God sees us in terms of what we will become and not just what we are right now. (via 11:7) His plan for us are greater than we will ever know—his time tables are lifelong where a lot of times we get distracted by our plans right now. We don’t know what he is up to—but we can be confident in knowing it will be something great, because it is his plan for us.
Studying Exodus and reading these words is doing a number on my heart. I don’t want these feelings of inadequacy to cripple my ability to get out and DO. I want to take advantage of these opportunities God has given me so that I may show others his glory through my life.
God took Moses’ characteristics and molded them until they were suited to his purposes. I have been reflecting lately on how should I use my own abilities and strengths to do God’s will in my life.
As a wife, a working woman, and even as a blogger, I want to live up to my full, God-given, potential. In every situation I am adequately equipped to succeed because my creator, the One who created my inmost being, will be with me.
I am learning to remind myself, and recognize daily that in every situation…
I am enough.
How do you cope with feelings of inadequacy?