When God {Really} Is Enough

God is enough

“It’s time—hurry up! Be quiet. Stay out of sight, or else.” Carol’s mother forced her and her siblings beneath two single beds. It was stifling hot, humid, and hard to breathe—an awful place to be stuck on a sunny afternoon.

Tucked in the attic, the children didn’t dare allow any sound to escape. That upper room, with sloped ceiling-walls, sat on the creaky second floor of the two-bedroom home at the corner of Magnolia and Cherry Streets. Passers-by couldn’t know that six children sat captive there beneath two tiny beds. Even though two windows in the room offered light, the curtains remained drawn and the door shut when their mother had company. The children, two boys and four girls from four to seventeen years old, were banished to the attic-room most weekends, and isolated for days, sometimes months.

In order to keep her boyfriends around, the overwhelmed single mother denied having the  children. Trying to keep them secret, she forced the children to remain hidden any time she had a date in the house. With an abusive, alcoholic father who had long ago abandoned them, the children were accustomed to fending for themselves.

Taught early how to lie, and about the importance of family secrets, Carol was silenced for years. But worse was the invisible silence—the one that built an unrelenting pressure, nurtured a bitter rage.

Abandoned and desperate for acceptance, Carol fell prey to waiting predators. Scars from rapes, an abortion, and multiple affairs (just like her mother) marked her, claiming her heart.

“Longing to be loved, I would do anything to please people. I compromised myself, having sex simply to gain favor and acceptance. In the name of love, I settled for even more abuse while mentally escaping through drugs and alcohol. I didn’t want to feel anything—feeling worthless was bad enough,” Carol said.

 The more you nurture a negative memory, the stronger it becomes—testing you, mocking you, freezing you to a pain you may repeat, in spite of vowing otherwise.

After years of  an addictive cycle, Carol broke. “God, help me,” she begged.

At twenty-three years old, those simple words changed her life. Through a caring elderly stranger, Carol met and fell in love with Jesus. When she learned how much God loved her, how much he valued her, the soul-corroding shame lost its power.

How can we cultivate a healthy confident heart in the midst of complete chaos?

Outside of Jesus, everything that enters our lives re-encounters any hurts we have experienced, the trauma once again  piercing our heart with unfathomable rejection and pain. When we’re desperate for acceptance, needy for a love we never experienced, we discount the real person inside, damaging our heart and wounding our souls.

Has your neediness ever caused you to manipulate circumstances, or worse, to accept less than God’s best? Maybe that’s just me?

Just today, I was talking with the ladies of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs and I admitted how very much I want and need people to love me—or at the very least, like me. And I shared how, in pursuit of that acceptance, I have exhausted myself many times.

While an original need for love and connection is valid—God created us that way—we have to be careful not to substitute, not to waste our time on things to try to fill our need for love. When life’s not working, when we feel we have nowhere or no one to turn to, we tend to look for an experience that will somehow fix things, our heart wrestling truth until we eventually default to lies. Our heart cries out we will never be enough, never do enough.

Yet the promise we have is this: God is enough. We don’t have to be. Our job is to restore our hearts to God, line up with this powerful work He is doing daily in our lives.

Deeper Still: I wonder, do you have an activity you use to substitute for a lack of acceptance, friendship, or love?


This week we are celebrating the official release of When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. Join us? Leave a comment below and be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy. Meanwhile be sure to head over here and sign up for our FREE Book Study. And if you can’t wait and want to go ahead and pick up the book, we have some awesome FREE gifts we are giving you this week only with your purchase. {Oh yea, if you get the book and then win the giveaway, we will refund the cost of your book or send you an extra copy, whichever you desire!}



19 thoughts on “When God {Really} Is Enough

  1. This is so convicting. I am so guilty of seeking to feel loved and important to people, often without even realizing what I am seeking. Thanks for this post.

    • Mandy, I believe most of us have struggled with this, do struggle with this. Oh that together we would uncover our true worth as God has designed us. Thanks for being in community with us, here. Great to see you.

  2. Jo Ann you encourage us and convict us all in the same sentence. You reach right to the heart of things as only someone who has been wounded and bears the scars can. Being invisible, and having lower than low expectations of those whom I wish would love me, is a habit I am prayerfully working on breaking.

    For those reading this, please visit the posts here and on past link-ups. You’ll get a rare chance to see an amazing group of women growing, sharing and discovering their voices together!

    This is sacred ground where we tread seeking our Lord and ministering to our sisters. Bless you all for being here.

  3. Oh how I know about this need for acceptance, trying to become whoever anyone wants me to be, instead of learning to be who God created me to be was my truth for many years and it is still a struggle to resist falling into these people pleasing tendencies.

    • Deana,
      I appreciate your tender truths . . . it takes courage to hold to truth, no? I’ll join you in praying against these lies. <3

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