You are not enough.
If you were, you would never feel dried up or used up like a wrung out sponge.
You aren’t enough to satisfy yourself, to sustain yourself, to motivate yourself, to grow yourself, to keep yourself.
Let alone to do that for anyone else.
Instagram posts saying that you are enough are inspirational, but isn’t that really code for “accept me for who I am”? Because there isn’t really anyone who could be enough to do all that for themselves. Is there?
You Are Not Enough
If you are enough to sustain yourself, then we could take it a step further: you must be enough to sustain your family. To be everything they need. They need a maid? You can do it. They need a counselor? You can do it. They need their emotional needs met? You can do it. Your husband needs his sexual needs met? Your babies need more breastmilk? Your older kids need hugs and touch? They all need their physical needs met? You can do it. They need to know God? You can facilitate that relationship. They need a provider? You can do it. You must do it.
Extend it to work and you must be enough there. The boss wants 110%? Need to step up your game? Your business needs that competitive edge which means you need to work late again tonight?
Just do it. [Wait, haven’t we been told over and over by Nike that this is the way to success?]
If You Were Enough, You Wouldn’t Have Unmet Needs
If you were enough, you wouldn’t have unmet needs, because you would have already met them.
If that offends, pause. Consider.
Because when the truth of this hits, it should cause you to grieve.
Grieve a lifetime of digging deeper to find more energy, more love, more willpower to eat right, get rest, exercise, and work harder. Whatever it is you have needed more of, chances are, you’ve been told to find it within yourself, because you are enough. Just dig deeper.
Why Digging Deeper Isn’t the Answer
Have you found the end of yourself yet?
You’ll know when you do. Because EVERYTHING feels impossibly hard. Everything feels impossible. Hopelessness sets in. Despair. When you have been digging deeper your entire life and you get to the bottom of your well, and it’s dry: that’s the end of yourself. When you dig deeper and it’s still dry, the ground cracked, parched, hardened, no sign of water in sight. Your well is dry and you’ve reached the end of yourself.
Here’s when you’ll want to cry. But if the well is dry, you won’t even have water for tears. That, my friend, is truly the end of yourself. When you are so used up and so dried out, that there isn’t even water for tears.
You are not enough.
If you’ve been digging deeper and more wells within yourself all these years, looking for more to give… both to yourself and to everyone who needs you… coming to the end has… ramifications.
You have nothing left to give.
The Five Stages Of Grief
Are you angry? Are you angry at yourself that you’ve run out? Then be angry. Are you sad? Then be sad. Are you frustrated? Then allow yourself to feel frustration. Feel it all and let it rage within you. That’s the only way to fully grieve.
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a trail blazer in near-death studies, actually noted five stages of grief as she worked with people who were terminally ill. She wrote about them in her now famous book On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss . [If you’d like to order this book, please consider using my affiliate link to Amazon. It’s how I pay some of the expenses for this website.] The five stages of grief that she observed over and over again are:
They don’t always have to be chronological. And you can bounce back and forth between stages. Read more on the five stages of grief here. But the biggest thing I want to point out is the fifth and final stage of grief: acceptance.
Grief Leads to Acceptance
Get through the other four stages so you can get to the final stage! Acceptance. When you are fully able to accept that you are not enough is when you can find the other source of water within you. That source is the living water from the well that won’t run dry. Until you’ve fully accepted that you aren’t enough, you will continuously be digging deeper in the wrong area. You’ll only find dryness. You’ll only come up feeling more used, abused, hopeless and helpless.
Give it up.
Jesus Has Said That You Are Not Enough
Jesus tells us straight up in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (italics mine)
Back to the beginning here: apart from Jesus, you won’t be able to satisfy yourself, to sustain yourself, to motivate yourself, to grow yourself, to keep yourself. Or do that for anyone else.
What does ENOUGH mean?
Let’s unpack “enough.”
When we put a magnet on our fridge saying “You are enough,” we’re essentially saying that we are sufficient. Merriam Webster defines enough as “occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations.” Ouch.
I’ve spent a lifetime operating under the premise that I am enough to meet everyone’s expectations of me. How about you?
The Bible uses the word ἀρκέω which carries the definition: “to be possessed of unfailing strength, to be strong, to suffice, to be enough.”
This reminds me of another place where this Greek word is used. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient [ἀρκέω] for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
You are not enough. I am not enough. But the good news is, HE IS ENOUGH. When we come to the bottom of our well and it’s bone dry, that’s when the living water can begin to flow, bubbling up, soaking the caked ground and soon surging and filling up the well. So much water in fact, that others can draw from our well also.
The Living Water that Won’t Run Dry
I’m reminded of the Samaritan woman at the well. You’ll remember from the story that she had been with five husbands and the man she was currently with she was not married to. Let’s be honest: she had catered to a few men’s needs. She had drawn water for each of their households. Drawing water was a woman’s daily chore, and very heavy work.
When Jesus offered her living water, the woman eagerly replied, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” That sounds like a woman who recognized her need.
When she realized that Jesus was the Messiah, she became the link to her entire town. Jesus stayed in her town for two days ministering to Samaritans who believed because of her testimony. The living water that she received began to flow out and quench the thirst of her entire town.
You Are Enough to Warrant the Love of the Father and His Grace
You ARE enough to have warranted a large price, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Think about how this scripture translates to physical health. His purchase of us, and His gift of Living Water should outflow into our body glorifying God.
In the modern world of households relying on well water, one of the worst things a homeowner can do is run a well dry. Continuing to pump water after the water level is below the pump will severely damage the pump. This leads to more issues than just a dry well. *Sigh.* Now you have pump (distribution) issues.
For women, our pump is our health, it’s what allows us to give and to love with the water that we have within us. When our pump is damaged, we won’t have the energy to get what’s in us out to the people we love.
The best thing we can do to avoid this is to never run our well dry, meaning we must ALWAYS draw from the Living Water within us, not from our finite source.
APPLICATION: How To Draw From the Living Water
Drawing from the eternal Living Water, instead of our finite source, refers to abiding in the Grace (divine empowerment) that Jesus bestows upon us.
This is a moment-by-moment practical need we have to CHOOSE peace and divine empowerment over stress, over-working, over-thinking, and poor boundaries.
Here’s a simple exercise to help on a moment by moment basis: Remember: Stop. Drop. Roll. Just like putting out an actual fire on your body, putting out the fire that devours your peace and dries up your well requires: Stop. Drop. Roll.
- Stop. Be aware. Be present. By learning to present on a moment by moment basis, you can learn to monitor your baseline of peace. Simple moments of closing your eyes and becoming aware of your breathing can help ground you. Are you breathing shallow? Take some slow deep breaths. Are you breathing too quickly? Aim to slow and regulate your breathing. Acknowledge your weakness in the moment and the Lord as being able to be your sufficiency.
- Drop. Drop down into your spirit being and seek peace. “For, Whoever would love life and see good days… must seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:10-11. Honor the Lord in this moment of being present with your breath and your being and ask Him for Wisdom. Wisdom to know what is disrupting your peace. Dropping down is a term coined by Dennis and Dr. Jen Clark. They explain more how to do this in their book: The Supernatural Power of Peace. [If you’d like to order this book, please consider using my affiliate link to Amazon. It’s how I pay some of the expenses for this website.]
- Roll. Act upon the Wisdom that God will bestow as you ask. Do you need to remove yourself from a situation? Do you need to say “no” to something? Do you need to cast off care and worry? Thank God for the grace that empowers you in this moment to act upon His Wisdom. Remember 2 Corinthians 12:9: ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient [ἀρκέω] for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’
Do you know someone who would benefit from this post? Please share it with her. Also, let us know your own techniques for drawing upon the Living Water on a regular basis. How do you avoid drawing from your own finite sources and running your well dry?