Category: Encouragement

To the Girl Who Feels Inadequate

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt inadequate.

I think if every girl reading this were all sitting in a room together, we would be sitting in a sea of raised hands.

I mean really, haven’t we all:

Felt inadequate in our relationships.

Felt inadequate at our job.

Felt inadequate in school.

Felt inadequate in ministry.

Felt inadequate as a person.

It’s crazy how the slightest hitch in our lives: a word that feeds into insecurities, an unplanned event, or an “off” day can drastically impact our feelings of inadequacy.

Even a thing as small as burning a batch of brownies.

I work at a coffee shop, and part of my weekly responsibilities include baking the brownies we sell in the store. A few weeks ago, I put a batch of brownies in the oven, set a timer, and walked to the front of the store to continue serving customers. About half an hour later, my manager walked up to me and asked, “Brittany, does the oven usually start smoking when you bake brownies?”

After running to the kitchen and turning off the oven that was, in fact, smoking, I removed the batch of brownies, realizing I had set the oven to 400 degrees instead of 300 degrees.

The brownies weren’t just burnt, they were scorched. Yikes.

Burning the brownies was not a big deal. All I had to do was whip up another batch, throw them in the oven, and take the extra two seconds to verify that the oven was set to 300 degrees. However, it was the way burning the brownies made me feel that was the issue. Feelings of:

“I am a terrible employee.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

“I’m just not good at what I do.”

All those ugly thoughts…. from one batch of brownies.

I think our problem is this: Our feelings of inadequacy come from hyper-focusing on situational things. We come to the conclusion that because we’ve done one thing wrong, we suddenly have become inadequate in that general area of life.

I am inadequate in my relationship BECAUSE I said something hurtful that I can’t take back.

I must be a failure at relationships and undeserving of love.

I am inadequate in my job BECAUSE I didn’t hit my sales quota this month

I must be awful at my job and the weak link of the team.

I am inadequate in school BECAUSE I failed this exam I studied really hard for.

I must be stupid and incapable of pursuing this degree.

I am inadequate in ministry BECAUSE nothing impactful happened in the small group I was leading this week.

I must be incapable of pouring into the lives of those around me and leading people to Christ.

Therefore, I must be inadequate.

See the common theme?

When we tie our circumstances to our character, we will continue to feel inadequate every time we make a mistake.

The truth is, we will always feel inadequate in something if we equate our worth to what we do instead of who we are.

There will always be someone prettier, smarter, more energetic, more caring, and more enthusiastic than us.

But they can never be you.

The reason we feel inadequate is because we focus on WHAT makes us adequate instead of WHO makes us adequate.

Instead, we should say:

I am adequate in my relationships BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am deserving of love.

I am adequate in my job BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am not the weak link.

I am adequate in school BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am smart and capable.

I am adequate in ministry BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am capable of loving others and leading them to Christ.

Therefore, I am adequate.

You are adequate. Today, start believing it.. then start living it.

Hopes vs. Hope… Is There a Difference?

This Christmas season, I’ve been thinking a lot about hope.

I hope for a lot of things in just a single day.

I hope to pass my accounting quiz.

I hope to make it to work on time in rush hour traffic.

I hope to help run a successful Wyldlife club every Thursday.

I hope for a lot of long-term things, as well.

I hope to be successful in whatever I choose to pursue.

I hope to have a husband and a family.

I hope to travel through Europe.

I know I hope for a lot of things, and I’m sure you do too. This time of year especially, the world is hoping for something… whether that be good news, a family member to return home, or simply for Christmas itself. We spend a lot of time consumed by waiting, praying, and hoping for things to happen in our lives, and often become disappointed when they don’t happen just the way we plan.

After thinking about hope, I’ve come to this conclusion:

I think that we blur the lines between our HOPES and our HOPE, meaning what we are hoping for, versus who we are hoping in.

So, first things first… what is hope?

The dictionary says that:

1.) hope (n.) “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”

2.) hope (n.) “a person or thing in which expectations are centered”

Definition 1 depicts hope as a desire, or a want for the best case scenario to occur.

Definition 2 depicts hope as a placement of trust for the outcome of all circumstances in one, single thing.

Both definitions explain hope, yes, but which hope is Biblical, fruitful, and fulfilling?

The Bible says that:

“His [Jesus’s] name will be the HOPE of all the world” (Matt. 12:21)

“And the Scriptures give us HOPE and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Rom. 15:4)

“We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the HOPE that lies before us. This HOPE is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (Heb. 6:18-19).

Hope is not a thing. It’s not a wish, it’s not a magic genie, and it’s not something that should be sought after frivolously.

Hope is person, and that person is Jesus. It is  found when we seek Him, pursue Him, and tether ourselves to His love and goodness.

When we are walking side by side with Jesus, our hopes begin to align with His plan for us.

We realize that many of our personal hopes have become obsolete, and our goals and desires are more closely aligned not with what we thought we once wanted, but with who God created us to be.

I still hope for things (like I listed above) and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. We all hope for things. In fact, the Bible is filled with people who hoped for things.

Abraham and Sarah hoped for a child.

Moses hoped Pharaoh would let his people go.

Ruth hoped for Boaz to be her kinsman redeemer.

David hoped for better, less desolate circumstances.

Mary and Martha hoped Jesus would heal Lazarus.

Paul hoped to be released from prison to continue sharing the Gospel.

Each person on planet earth has hopes and dreams and things they want out of life. But very few people have hope placed in something beyond these goals.

The difference between HOPES and HOPE is this: Our HOPES become possible when our HOPE is in Jesus.

The stories we read in the Bible are about REAL people who had real hopes and dreams, not much different from us. Even though some took time and unlikely circumstances, their hopes became reality because they placed their hope in Christ, and not the things they were hoping for. When the things we hope for align with the One who our hope is in, incredible things begin to happen. Eyes are opened, miracles occur, and lives are changed.

I know that this Christmas season, you are hoping for something, and I want to assure you that that’s okay. But maybe it’s time to shift your focus from what your hoping for, to Who your hoping in. Perhaps your hope will be affirmed, or maybe your focus will be re-directed and your heart will be fulfilled once again.

But one thing is for certain…

True HOPE in Jesus will never leave us dry or unsatisfied, because God can be trusted to keep His promises.

He is good.

<3, Britt