01112016_Emily Freeman_LetJesus EDIT

This morning I’m the first one up and I shuffle down the stairs to the kitchen to make coffee. Just before scooping the first black grounds into the filter, I realize John prepared the coffee the night before, so all I have to do is push the button.

Bless that man.

I head to the fridge for the creamer, but it’s lighter than usual and I realize there’s only a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the container. A voice in my mind shouts two words — not enough!

I do love cream in my coffee, but those words come too fast, as if they are waiting on the threshold of my subconscious to declare themselves and reveal a belief I don’t even realize I’m holding on to — there will never be enough.

Do you ever have your theology come up to greet you in the midst of everyday moments like this?

Maybe you’re just waiting for the coffee to brew and thinking about the day to come and then, seemingly out of the blue, a thought comes up you didn’t even know you’ve been carrying.

The kind of theology that counts isn’t the kind you profess, it’s the kind you live. 

Today, those words — there isn’t enough. There will never be enough — they haunt.

But of course, they don’t come out of the clear blue. I know this now.

I’ve actually been feeding that thought for a while now, a fear I’ve kept hidden like a child who finds a rat and wants to keep it in her room.

Rats don’t belong in children’s rooms.

And lies don’t belong in the souls of men and women.

Seeing that empty creamer carton brought that phrase up from the depths.

There isn’t enough time.

There isn’t enough peace.

There isn’t enough success to go around.

And ultimately it comes down to this — I’m not enough.

It’s a jarring thought to have here at the beginning of the year, when all things are supposed to seem possible. But the whispers can grow into a mantra and maybe it sounds something like this.

If you work faster, then you will be more successful.

If you had more time, then you would be a better mom.

 If you were thinner, then you would be enough.

If _____, then you will be ______.

It’s the “if-then” theology, and I’m all too familiar with how it works. It started way back in the beginning, in the garden with a liar who said that one statement, If you eat this fruit, then you will be like God {from Genesis 3:5}.

It says we have to do something in order to be something. And we’ve been buying it ever since, trying to be the one exception to those twisted up rules.

We all have our own if-thens, don’t we?

After pouring my coffee, I spend a little time in my chair by the window, allowing my own statements to float to the surface.

In the silence, another voice moves inviting me to “come in out of the wind” as C.S. Lewis once said, to admit all the if-thens I’m believing and to let Jesus still the voices and be enough on my behalf.

He has redeemed all things, including those false if-then statements. And he replaces them with new ones that depend not on me being enough of something, but on God himself. 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” {Colossians 3:1-4}

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God replaces the lie of “not enough” with the truth that He is always enough. {Tweet this!}

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Emily,
    I’ve been awake since 3:45…it’s now 4:17. I couldn’t sleep because my mind was spinning with If I just work harder to make this 501c3 non profit application, that is thicker than the Bible, just perfect then it will be approved. I want to answer all of the IRS’s questions, dispel any doubts, leave no question un answered so that they have no reason to deny our petition for tax exempt status. Innocent young lives in the Middle East…in the jaws of evil…are depending on me. My lie is “It’s all up to me.” When really all I can do is the best I can do and then I have to (gulp) let it go into God’s hands. These children I am working for are ultimately God’s children. I can’t control this. I have no choice but to let it go…Thank you for the reminder to set my mind on things that are above…not what I see here on this earth.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • chris

      praying for you now and the amazing school. trusting that God is in control. may you have peace and complete trust as you complete this application for the school.

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Chris,
        Thank you so much for the prayers…they are greatly appreciated!! B

    • emily p freeman

      Oh, those 3:45 am thoughts run wild, don’t they? I’m glad these words were a bit of comfort.

    • Joanne Peterson

      Praying for Jesus to put His hands over your hands while you are filling out the IRS forms. Praying for Him to show you this is His battle, and He will accomplish His purposes for the precious children and the teachers. These people ARE Jesus’ just the same as you are Jesus’ and He loves you and will guide You with His eye upon you. He cares about all of these mind boggling details with the IRS 501c3 questions on the forms you’re filling out, those forms are His battle too. (Hugs) Joanne

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Joanne,
        You are such a gift and you have such wisdom…from the last time you blessed my heart by helping me to ask the right questions about how I can help my son…to this post and your encouragement that the battle belongs to the Lord and that He will accomplish His purposes for ALL His children. You are a great prayer warrior. Thank you for giving me my battle cry, “The battle belongs to the Lord…He will fight for me if only I will be still!”. Needed this, sweet friend!!
        Love and hugs,
        Bev

    • Beth Williams

      Bev,
      I hear you loud and clear! I’m praying for you and the work ahead! Just do the best you can and leave the rest to God! If He brought you to this He will see you through all this! Praying for you and your family!
      Blessings :)

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Thanks Beth!! xx

  • http://lovellegerthmyers.com/ Lovelle Gerth- Myers

    This was so good and a reminder I really needed today. Thanks Emily :-)

  • Anna Jones

    Emily, thank you for reminding me that there is enough – because He is enough for me.

  • http://www.farfromflawlesslife.blogspot.com Missy Robinson

    Oh, how I love the truth you shared! If-then thinking is so deceptive because sometimes it works…but it revolves around me and I can’t sustain things indefinitely. I’m so grateful our Lord has already made the way and need only follow. Please help us, Lord, and thank you, Emily, for the reminder!

  • Kathleen

    Emily, you spoke to my heart today. I am praying for you and all your readers that we all can be encouraged that with Jesus we ARE enough.

  • http://www.welcomeheart.com Sue Donaldson

    wow – thanks for this. I get my “live on” theology in the shower like you do over coffee – which is a challenge in a drought (my showers can be too long) I am pressed in but I’m the one pressing — your words helps me release a little of that pressing this morning (but I needed a longer shower!) I’m not enough and that’s a good thing. I speak on the God Who Is Enough tomorrow near SF. Funny how God does that. Thanks so much, emily, for your fine writing and great encouragemnen to lean in to the One Who Is.

  • http://freedtofly.me Trudy Den Hoed

    I really identify with this, Emily. That “not enough” seems to be my default mode and pops up so persistently. Thank you for this comforting reminder to open the ears of our hearts to the whispers from God that we are always enough in Him.

  • http://jordanforty.me Jordan Fortenboher

    Oh, thank you for this post. Sometimes, my own feeling of not-enough-ness is overwhelming. So many of my worries seem to stem from the fear that there won’t be enough, that I won’t be enough. But God is. Thank you for sharing this truth so gracefully. God is so patiently teaching me that He is enough for all my needs. He is enough for all of my weakness. And I just simply need to receive that truth. Amen!

  • http://www.aringingbell.com Kate @ A Ringing Bell

    Such a great post. Sweet reminder for me today.

    And I love this: “Do you ever have your theology come up to greet you in the midst of everyday moments like this?”

    Yes! Yes!

    Thanks for sharing. Many blessings!

  • Erin

    These are sweet words of truth. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Joy Martin

    Oh Emily … I love this — partly b/c I LOVE cream in my coffee and partly b/c it reminded me of something I’ve said often in the middle of a “moment” like this. During times like when you sweep up all the dirt in the dustpan and then you trip on something and all the dirt falls back onto the floor, my phrase has been, “Why is always so hard? ! Why is life so hard!? Why does EVERYTHING have to be so hard?! ” :-) Anyway, I relate and now I know it’s something inside of me coming out that might need some more thought ! Also , the rat in the room — scary but what a great way to call it what it is !

  • Beth Williams

    Emily,
    I’ve been awake a while today! So much running through my mind today! My aging dad isn’t doing well and there is so much to remember and do (paperwork, phone calls) for him. I must remember that all I can do is my best and leave the rest to God!!
    I am often filled with “not enough” thoughts. I hear “not good enough, smart enough, talented, etc.” running through my mind. I know they are just lies, but to often I tend to hear and believe them. It is only when God sends someone my way to tell me differently that I can breathe again and fell less stress!!
    Blessings :)

  • Erin Baker

    Thank you Emily.