By Charaia Callabrass
The Myth That You Are Enough
In today’s Instagram self-help culture, we are constantly surrounded by this empowering narrative that says, “mama, you are enough.” For the longest time, I draped this affirmation over my shoulders. I wore it on my good days and my “alright” days. But it was on the tough days; the days when my motherhood seems to fall short at every instance that this “clock of affirmation” didn’t fit the same.
It’s on those hard days that being enough was a shadow of the truth of the Gospel. As well-intentioned as this saying is, it makes no way for the redeeming power of Grace to work in the midst of my broken displays of motherhood. When we forget to turn in our child’s permission slip or our toddler throws a fit in the middle of Target, we’re told don’t give up, you are strong enough for this thing called motherhood—you can do this.
And as encouraging as these well-intentioned statements can be, are they truly the Gospel’s answers to the trials we face as a mother? My husband has been gone for almost six months now for his job. During this season of solo-parenting, I’ve wanted to believe that I was enough. But at the end of each day, this self-proclaimed title of being enough left no room for Jesus. And Jesus was who I desperately needed.
Boasting in Your Weaknesses
Being weak and inadequate is not a popular way of thinking. We would rather be the “super mom” or the “boss mom” that doesn’t need help and is always enough for her children, whatever season we’re in. While the Bible doesn’t want to take away our worth and who we’ve been created to be as mothers, the Gospel calls us to a deeper understanding of how much we need Jesus in every area of our life. With Christ, we acknowledge where we are flawed, and through Him, we come into the fullness of the mother He’s called us to be.
Paul makes it a point to boast in his weakness. He’s discovered a grace that makes him want to brag about being weak.
When is the last time you bragged about being weak? When is the last time you bragged about not cooking dinner and going through the drive-through? Or letting your laundry pile up on the couch all week? Or using a harsh tone with your kids when they just won’t go to bed? As obscure as these questions may feel, the more significant point is that when we brag about our weakness, we allow the strength of Christ to rest upon us. If not being enough means we can make room for more of Jesus, why wouldn’t we boast in that?
So mama, the next time you feel like you’re not enough, do not try to muster up the strength to be more or do more. In your weakness rest in these truths:
That when you wake up and diligently serve your children, God promises to crown your efforts with success (Proverbs 3:6).
That as you discipline and direct your children, God promises to gently lead you (Isaiah 40:11).
That when your days are full with more to-dos than time, God promises that his power has given you everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
And when you fall short and mess up as a mother, you don’t have to beat yourself up because you can go to the One who redeems your mistakes and grants you the grace to move on (Psalm 103:12).
More Than You Can Handle
Life has a way of giving us more than we can handle. And in these seasons, when you want to muster up the strength to be all that life’s seems to be requiring of you, may you be reminded your need for Him. When you truly understand that in your strength, you are not enough, you position yourself to dig into the riches of His word and pull out truths. And as you whisper, “I can’t do this,” He replies, “I know child, but I can.”
There is freedom in leaning into God. The Gospel doesn’t just save you, mama, it sustains you. And your weakness makes room for the Father to graciously let His power bring your motherhood into fullness. So the next time you find yourself leaning over a sink of dishes, telling yourself that you are enough, throw up your hands. And in that freedom let your spirit rejoice in not being enough, letting the Gospel do its work!
Chararai Callabrass is a mother and wife living in Colorado Springs, Co. She is also a writer, photographer, and host of the Unbow Your Head podcast. This show is a space for those who have felt the need to bow to various standards in life. Charaia’s desire is that the conversations that take place on each episode encourage the freedom to Unbow Your Head. You can find her online at www.charaicallabrass.com or on Instagram.