Surrendering your “not enough”

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Something shifted in me when October rolled around. My heart feels settled in Utah. I would even say my heart has fallen in love with this place. Transition feels like it’s finally leveled out, and I think in my head I thought that would look like going from crashing waves to smooth waters. I wanted to feel like I was sailing into the sunset when the chaos of major transition finally ended.

Instead it feels a little more like raising a white flag after a long, ugly war.

In some ways I feel like I’ve turned around and realized the last six months have left a wake of destruction and loss behind me. Innocence buried beneath piles of rubble called disappointment. Hope dragging behind me like a severed limb. Joy somewhere back in the trenches, left behind in a moment of crisis, because who has the arms to carry that in a time like this?

This isn’t the way I wanted to look when we planted a church. Wounds still healing, bones still aching. Heartbroken over innocent life lost. Exhausted from fighting a losing fight. My friend Erika would say I’m “out on a limb and looking haggard” in this moment of my life.

We’re running really hard in our ministry, and honestly it’s been incredible. I’m constantly amazed at the way there’s just always enough grace for us to keep going. God is growing His church, and He’s been kind enough to carry us through it.

But I still feel broken. Most days I feel like not enough.

I wish I was better at giving the best of myself to my husband, instead of some days feeling like he just gets whatever is left of me when the day’s over.

I wish I wasn’t still so overcome by grief on some days that I don’t want to do anything at all. I wish I could lay my head down at night, just once, and not see the face of the son I thought I’d be raising right now.

We didn’t even get to meet him, but I swear I know his face. Perfect caramel skin. The most charming smile and tight curls. Green eyes & awesome cheeks. I see him every night when I close my eyes, and I wish I could go back to those trenches we fought in back in May, and do something to change the outcome.

Instead I’m back on the old, familiar shore of uncertainty — raising a white flag.

Oh, Lord. I do surrender. I wish you’d taken this cup… but I want to be a woman who, like Jesus, is familiar with suffering and acquainted with grief. Pressing in instead of running from pain. Your will be done.

I feel like He’s reminded me often of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in this season. You know, that moment of impossibility when He looks at the disciples and says, “You feed them. You have what you need. Bring it to me.”

It’s almost offensive, you know? Standing there, looking at something that you know you can’t do, and He just tells you to do it anyway. So you bring Him those loaves and fish, and He blesses it, and then it multiplies.

He blesses our not enough, and it multiplies.

Friends, this is why we keep showing up. Even when it hurts. Even when we know we don’t have enough. Because when we keep showing up, we just might see a miracle.

But there’s a surrender that has to take place. There’s a crossing over from “I’m going to make this happen” to “God, I don’t have what it takes, but you do, so here’s what I have. Do with it whatever you see fit.”

And then all of a sudden, even with our buried innocence and our limb-severed hope and our joy that was lost in the trenches, He restores all things. He restores them because He is them.

He’s the anchor of hope. It’s in His presence that there’s fullness of joy. When all seems lost, He restores all because He is all.

All we have to do is raise our white flag.

I’m so certain that I am not done grieving what we lost this year. I can sense God still doing a deep work in my heart in grief and sorrow and suffering. And honestly, I want to press in to those places because I know they’re places of authority He’s forging in me.

But in the same breath, I want to be a woman who keeps showing up, blessing and handing Him my not enough, and watching Him multiply it. Because when God’s people need to be fed, He shows up and makes it happen. We get to release ourselves of carrying the weight of that. All we have to do is show up with what we have.

At the end of the day, those 5,000 people were fed when the bread and the fish were broken.

So, here I am. Broken. And He just keeps multiplying things every time there’s a need.

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5 thoughts on “Surrendering your “not enough”

  1. Sara – thank you for sharing your grief, and your brokenness.
    Depression has been my constant companion for five years now, and the past season of really struggling to reach out for help, for the first time, has been one of more disappointment than I could ever have imagined. It’s been a season of sinkholes and crushing doubt and I’ve been struggling to figure out how one could hope – and fight – for joy in the face of the lie that suffering is the only guarantee in this life.
    Reading an article on DG some weeks ago left me this: “God never promises a reason. He rarely offers an answer. He will always offer himself.” That made sense, but it remained a cold, distant truth. Your story made that truth somehow more real to me. Thank you for that. Thank you for sharing your hope – for sharing the Reason for that hope. Your words have been a real blessing to me.

  2. Pingback: Surrendering your “not enough” | withwonder

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