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I am not enough…..

I am not enough.  I feel it so many days, so many times.  My kids need so much more than I can give them.  I’m not talking about possessions or food.  I’m talking about meaning, assurance, explanations.  I am not enough and I will never be enough.  I am reminded of that everyday.

Chris is struggling with focusing in class.  He can’t keep up with the work because he constantly distracted.  I can’t get him to complete any work at home.  So much of his homework is simply copying a verse or most recently, states and capitals.  How can I possibly help him with that?  It’s not a matter of not knowing or understanding.  It’s a battle of wills.  What is keeping him from completing his work?  Is it a bad attitude?  Laziness?  Raging ADD?

We are in the process of evaluating Chris for ADHD and I want so badly to get him the help he needs to do his best at school and at home.  He is so bright and curious.  I know that he has what it takes to be successful.  We just need to find what he needs to help him reach his potential.

Of course, my fears are that he is so damaged from losing his dad and from my inadequate parenting that there is so much more going on than ADD.  I have a fear that I am ruining him.  It sounds so crazy when I see it written here but I really do fear that I am the cause of his unhappiness.  Can a parent damage a child that deeply?

David is struggling with learning to read and that is keeping him from being able to spell.  He is so easily discouraged and tries so hard to please the adults in his life.  He seems to feel inadequate so much of the time.

I confess that I do not read with him everyday.  I don’t know how to make a quiet time for us each and every day.  The chaos of life steals most of our precious moments together.  It steals them from all of us.
I confess that discipline and order are not my strengths.  I am a softie and a lover.  I hate being the tough guy, rule enforcer.  I get no satisfaction from punishing my children.  I hate going head to head with them.

I find myself at a total loss on an almost daily basis.  What can I do to keep the boys from fighting?  Why are they so mean to each other?  How do I get them to listen to me and treat me with respect?  It seems that there are no effective consequences.  Nothing seems to matter to them when the chaos is raging.  When the whirlwind is all around us, no amount of advice or “you shoulds” can get through.  If I was capable of doing the things well meaning people have told me I should do, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.  I am so clearly not cut out for this and yet I am the one that God has chosen for this job.  For such a time as this.

The imbalance in our family is becoming clearer and clearer and it is breaking my heart.  I am not enough for my boys.  I am not enough for me.  I know that is the way God made us all.  I know that in my weakness I can cry out to Abba, Father.  He is enough for me.  But do my kids know that?  Do they draw any comfort from a God they can’t see or touch?  How can I connect them to a God who is so real and so in love with them?

I know that these concerns come from my own sense of abandonment in my youth.  I often wondered where God could be when all around me I saw only pain and brokenness.  I was convinced that if there was a God, He most certainly didn’t care for me or anyone close to me.

But with all the loss and uncertainty my kids have already experienced, do they have the same fear deep down inside?  Have they experienced the peace of God?  Do they know Him intimately like I do?  My faith has been stongest in the times that have been the hardest.  During Sean’s battle with cancer and when I thought I was losing David at 31 weeks gestation.  Those were the most painful and uncertain moments of my life.  I wrestled with God and myself and then settled in to the comfort of God.  I knew without a doubt that God was near and that His ways were perfect.  I knew that even if I hated the results that He would get me through the pain and bring me to a place of peace.

It’s in the daily grind that I draw back from that peace.  Maybe I think I need to be able to handle the small stuff and only get God involved in the big things.  I long for God’s presence in our daily lives.  But in our daily life, how do I live in the kingdom?  How do I bring peace to our broken, hurting home?

I am not enough for these kids.  I often wonder what God was thinking. I know that He has all this covered but I hate the pain that my boys are feeling.  I hate that I am failing them.  I want to tap out and let a better replacement come in and fix them.  But there isn’t a better replacement.  I’m the one God picked.  He knew that I wouldn’t be enough and He picked me anyway.  I don’t think He did it to punish the boys, He must have a beautiful plan for them.  But what if they don’t turn to Him?  What if they walk away from Him?  What if they feel abandoned by Him?

They have two choices: They can see all the ways God has blessed them and taken care of them or they can focus on the fact that God let their dad die and that life is hard without him.  It kills me to think of them suffering the feeling of being abandoned by God.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you Samantha for letting us in on a small part of your struggle.

  2. Wow, I feel this SO much of the time & I am parenting with a spouse. Just this weekend we had some great family bonding time that I long for & then I felt depressed on Sunday. Just today i was wondering why I couldn’t just give more, be more. I share this because both Aaron & I wanna tap out too–sometimes at the same time–& we have to keep going. Parenting is awesome & humbling. How could we ever be enough? The fighting, the not going to bed quietly, the resistance to working, the complaints that things aren’t fair, the school struggles, the financial stressors, the world they’re dealing with…all too much. I’m not enough either. You’re not alone. Let’s pray for each other & keep pushing into our given roles, trusting that God can fill all those holes. Xoxo

  3. Samantha it’s really important you start telling yourself, “I am enough.” Telling yourself you are not is the result of your own childhood programming and never being taught you are worthy. You have experienced a lot of pain in your life and that can immobilize us, we just don’t know if we have the strength to keep going. Don’t let history repeat itself. Get out of your own way – by believing in God and believing in yourself. Nobody will ever love your child more than you. Let that be your starting point for finding solutions to the problems you face. Ask yourself how you would feel reading the same letter composed by your son twenty years from now. Sometimes to change things we have to “act as if.” We act as if God is always with us, we act as if we value ourselves, and we find the inner strength to seek solutions. It doesn’t matter if these solutions are right 100% of the time, and there may be times when you make mistakes. Every parent makes mistakes. You learn not to make the same mistakes and keep going, finding new solutions. The point is that you tried. When you find something that works, and you will, you begin to build self-esteem, self-confidence and self worth. Show your child that you are a person who seeks solutions and doesn’t give up. I once told myself, “I am not enough” for my children and that some other parent could do it better. I thought I would do a service to my children by being in their lives less often. I had no self-worth. Looking back I realized I WAS enough. The only thing I lacked was self-confidence and a belief in God. Believe in yourself and believe in God and anything is possible.

  4. Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
    -Proverbs 22:6

    Continue to do your part, and trust that God will do His.

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