I Was, I Am, I Will Be

Blog Series

John 15: 4-5 NIV “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Megan and I realize that we are not enough. We share similar struggles but unique testimonies. The whole premise of this website is to be authentic with you, we know we are not enough and we won’t pretend to be.

Our tagline is: God is Enough When I Am Not.

Frankly, I am never enough. And neither are you.

So join us as we shed this notion of being enough for ourselves and turning to the One who is truly Enough for us.

Laura

I was not enough:

All my life I have fought the battle of feeling that I am not enough. Not just that I am not enough, but that I am not good enough. I was not pretty enough, thin enough, fast enough, smart enough, or tall enough. I wasn’t a good enough friend, obedient enough daughter, a loving enough sister, or smart enough student. The list continued, I felt that in most areas of life I failed.

The older I got the more I found places in which I wasn’t enough. I struggled to read and therefore I did not do well in school. We didn’t learn until I was in 5th grade that I was dyslexic so I just thought I wasn’t smart enough. In middle school, I was incredibly awkward and failed to fit in with any specific crowd and even though I had friends I felt as though I was completely alone and wasn’t special enough. Image issues started very early on, but by High school I had full-fledged body dysmorphia and was not thin enough. These were all things that paved my way to my life of not enough.

In college, this battle continued. Since I never excelled at school college was a battle of constant fear of failing. I had many sleepless nights and though I passed my classes it was just barely and with many tears. In college, I also had a desire to fit in no matter the cost, so, I entered abusive after abusive relationship just to find someone to tell me I was enough. All I got were words of confirmation in my status as not good enough.

I did find and marry a wonderful, godly man. However, the not good enough battle did not come to an end. In marriage, I found that I wasn’t a good enough wife, I didn’t do well cleaning house, I was not very nice to my husband and due to my horrible body image, I found intimacy nearly impossible. Later in marriage I found out that I had fertility issues and again was not enough.

When we did have our first child after months of fertility treatments, I failed to be the brilliant, loving, smart, kind and amazing mother I so wanted to be. I was not enough even as a mom. So many days I just wanted to lay in bed and give up. I couldn’t succeed and everyone would be better off without me around.

As I have talked to many women I have found that I am not alone in these feelings. As a matter of fact I hear so many similar stories that I believe there is an epidemic of women that feel as though there is no hope for them. They feel as though they will get through life just scarping by, and they pray that just maybe they won’t ruin everything and everyone else in the process.

However, I believe there is hope. I believe that the enough battle is not won by us, I believe it is won by being in the vine.

Go in God knowing He is Enough for you.

With Love, Laura

John 15: 4-5 NIV “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Laura and I realize that we are not enough. We share similar struggles but unique testimonies. The whole premise of this website is to be authentic with you, we know we are not enough and we won’t pretend to be.

Our tagline is: God is Enough When I Am Not.

Frankly, I am never enough. And neither are you.

So join us as we shed this notion of being enough for ourselves and turning to the One who is truly Enough for us.

Megan

I Was in Bondage.

I was the girl that looked like she had it all together. I was the girl with A’s lacing her school transcript. I was the girl that ate healthy and exercised. I was the girl that didn’t do drugs or drink alcohol.

I also was the girl that binged on food when no one was looking. The girl that threw up said food in the toilet or shower when her roommates went to sleep. I was the girl that tormented herself with hateful self-talk, laxative abuse, and compulsive exercise.

You see I had this whole thing figured out. Put on my façade to get through the day, then binge and purge myself into oblivion when I got home.

Any emotion I felt that day which often cycled between stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and guilt, would build up until I couldn’t tolerate the burden any longer. I had found my solution to this heavy weight. When no one was looking, I would turn to the “good-girl” drug, an eating disorder, to numb it all. The stress, the anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and guilt would melt away with each flush of the toilet or spray of the shower. Only it was mere seconds of relief, the guilt and shame of hiding this dirty secret expanded as I struggled with the post-purge stomach bloat. The hopelessness of feeling controlled by bulimia sunk me into a deep depression. The stress and anxiety of choosing bulimia over studying caused panic to riddle my body. My mind was in a fog, the high had worn off, I couldn’t think clearly. My body hurt, my mind ached, my soul cried out for healing.

Now at this point, you would expect me to tell you this beautiful testimony of how I found God at this rock-bottom portion of my life. How I had never heard of God and the Gospel before, and through divine intervention I came to know the wonderful work of Jesus on the cross and how the grace of God envelops me.

That would have been a nice story. The catch is, I grew up in a Christian home. I knew this God. I went to church. I even suffered the awkwardness of high school youth group. But at this point in my life, I was at university. I was busy – busy studying and busying throwing up. God had no place in my life. I identified with being His follower, but my daily life was not a reflection of it.

I thought my accomplishments and hard work was enough to heal me. I thought if I just read another book or saw a counselor, I could free myself from this bondage.

One night, I cried out to this God I heard about, but had little relationship with. I cried out for immediate healing. Just about six years later, I write this blog post to you. Four of those years involved multiple counselors, an intensive outpatient treatment program, and lots of books. But healing definitely was not immediate, and oftentimes, that is the case with eating disorders. Because the eating disorder is a symptom of a much deeper, root issue – a broken relationship with God. The books, the counselors, the treatment program didn’t heal me – they were utilized by God to guide me toward healing. In fact, I did not heal me. God healed me. He pulled me out of darkness and into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9 NIV).

Go in God knowing He is Enough for you.

With Love, Megan

I Am Not Enough on my own.

Many times, in my life I have found myself on my knees crying out to the One who gave me life. Crying out to God. Asking him to help me be enough. Asking him to help me to do better, to be better, and to stop screwing everything up. So many days I could only hear and remember His words "be still." But those words did not bring me comfort. I didn't know how to be still.

Truthfully, I am ADHD and being still just sounded terrible to me. However, one day while crying out to God I heard His words "be still" and I stopped talking and began to listen, and the rest came. "Be Still and know that I am God," Psalms 46:10. Of course, I knew that verse, I had heard it all my life, however, the "know I am God" part hadn't completely penetrated my heart. I knew He was God, but I was missing a major key in that part of my relationship with Him. I knew who He was, but in my life, I wasn't letting Him operate as God. I went to Him in my need. I cried out to Him in my pain. I longed for Him in my loneliness, but I wasn't allowing Him to truly be God in my life. He was my rescuer, but not my constant companion. Verse 11 of Psalm 46 says, "The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress." I didn't know though how to let Him be my fortress.

The day I listened to the rest of what He had to say changed my life. It didn't happen immediately, however, over time everything changed.

John 15:5 says, "apart from me you can do nothing." Here is the beauty of what I have learned from the Lord. He does not intend for us to do anything on our own! As a matter of fact, he says that apart from Him we cannot do anything. He is the vine, which feeds the branches. We cannot accomplish the Enough life without Him. He doesn't intend us to be enough without Him. He wants us to be the enough for us. John 15:5 says, "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them will produce much fruit."

I am still not enough. I make mistakes, I still am not the perfect wife, and I often fail as a mother. However, I can see my failures as what they truly are - evidence that I'm not allowing God to work through me in everything I do. I am not enough, but He is more than enough.

Go in God knowing He is Enough for you.

With Love, Laura

I Am Free.

A broken relationship with God. That's how I left off on my last blog post (I Was: Megan). The eating disorder isolated me, it left me empty and reckless - left to my own selfishness. I wanted the perfect body, the cleanest diet, and a personality that turned heads. Instead, I was battling cycles of bingeing and purging, a yo-yo-diet, and social anxiety.

I yearned for the strong godly relationship I, ironically, envied in other ladies my age. They seemed to just "get it." They figured out this whole Christian life thing, I was standing in their overshadowing dust.

Then I met a very strong woman. A pastor's wife and a pastor herself. She was dainty in stature, but blunt in personality. In our first session together she stated to her what was obvious, "Megan, you need to find freedom in Christ."

She inspired me right then and there. I even called Ben, "Guess what? I'm going to be free in Christ!"

I skipped all the way home - our apartment was right across the church parking lot.

I opened my Bible to start this freedom thing and immediately felt lost. So I ran back across the parking lot.

“Excuse me, How do I find this freedom you speak of?”

Through weekly Friday coffee dates, she patiently guided me, encouraging me to start at the Gospels with the intent of learning about this Jesus.

It was kind of like dating, I read about what Jesus did, what He said, and who He hung out with. I needed to know more about this guy before I found freedom in Him.

To be honest, nothing monumental happened, instantaneously at least. The heavens didn’t open up as a choir of heavenly hosts celebrated my miraculous 180 turn from the eating disorder. In fact, the change was so minute I didn't even recognize it myself.

It was slow and gradual, reading the Gospels turned into reading Paul’s epistles, which turned into a passion for Bible literacy.

Although more reading led to more questions, I noticed that when I shifted the focus off of me and onto the person of Christ, I felt awkwardly free.

By awkward, I mean that eating disorders are inherently selfish. They are messy with immediate self-gratification. So essentially, I was feeding (pun intended) my selfish nature by putting my struggle with an eating disorder on a pedestal. It consumed me, but I knew nothing apart from constantly criticizing my body, obsessing over calories, and being entrenched in daily cycles of over-eating then purging. So feeling free and genuinely acting free felt quite uncomfortable after years in the comfort zone of bondage.

Granted, I did relapse often during that time. But the slow change in focus from inward to upward resulted in more time between episodes. A day between episodes became a week, then two, then a month, now it's been so long I don't even remember.

So where am I now? I Am Free. Well, still awkwardly free. I still struggle with body image and confidence. Choosing to look upward instead of inward is a constant tug-of-war between my bent sinful nature and my heavenly focus. But I would take awkwardly free instead of captive in bondage anyday!

Go in God knowing He is Enough to free you.

With Love, Megan

I Will Be: I will be clinging to the vine that is the enough.

John 15:4 says “remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

What I am capable of does not change unless I change the one on whom I rely. Before I cried out to God only when I was in pain, or longed for Him only when I was lonely. Something changes in your life when you remain in Him.

In the Message Bible Psalm 11: 1 says “I’ve already run for dear life straight to the arms of God. So why would I run away now…” Before when I failed to be enough I would search and search for the answer to be better. I still have days where I pray for God to help me to be better, to be good enough, but His constant voice and presence tells me “remain in me and I will remain in you,” “be still and know that I am God,” so as David says, why would I run somewhere else when I am already in God’s arms?

I cannot and will not be enough without Him, I will continue to fail without Him. For years I struggled with an eating disorder, I would starve myself and exercise just to get to that “perfect weight.” Yet no matter how hard I tried that perfect weight never came. The number was never satisfying, I still was not enough. When I finally stopped starving myself I turned to the other extreme and punished myself with food. I told myself since I could never be thin enough, I was worthless and would over eat to solidify that thought in my mind. I then became very large. Many people were proud of me for not starving myself but I just felt miserable. I saw no way out of the vicious cycle I was in and I just wanted to give up.

When we decided to try to have another baby I struggled even more to get pregnant, the fertility treatments that had gotten me pregnant the first time didn’t work. My doctor told me that before they could proceed with any more treatments I had to lose 50 pounds. I broke down, I cried out to God, how can I possibly lose weight. I could not diet because of my history with an eating disorder, diets just turned into starvation fests. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, you will never love yourself thin if you cannot love yourself now as you are. A lower number on the scale will never be enough, if you cannot find love for yourself at 80 pounds overweight. It was the battle I had struggled with all my life. I could not love myself as I was not enough, but through His word and through His hand upon me I began a journey to being enough connected to His branch. Love for myself didn’t come over night, I still struggle to feel as though I am enough.

I did lose weight, over the next 5 years I lost 80 pounds, 30 of which I gained and re-lost during my 2nd pregnancy. See what I found was when I am connected to the branch what I weigh is just a number, a small part of who I am, I wanted to lose weight to be healthy, but I could only do it the right way when I was connected to God, the vine, the enough.

I will never be the enough in my own life, I will however remain connected to the enough. I will not run looking for shelter when I sheltered in the arms of my never changing creator. The one who holds it all in the palm of His hand. The vine to which I cling, God.

Go in God knowing He is Enough for you.

With Love, Laura

I Will Be Fruitful.

Our theme verse for God’s Enough – Women’s Ministry resides in John 15: 4-5, however, I want to take a moment to focus on verses 1-2. There you’ll find, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Let’s hone in on “….he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

The word “prune” has two connotations. One, is the noun version, a dried plum. Funny story, in fourth grade I went on a field trip. The adult in charge of our group brought prunes as part of her lunch. She offered us some. I liked them so much I kept sneaking handfuls of prunes when she wasn’t looking. I ended up eating at least ten of them. She eventually looked at the bag and realized it was empty. “Megan! Did you eat the rest of the bag?”

“Yes, they were so good.”

She cautioned, “You might be needing to go to the bathroom soon.” And sure enough I did.

So not that kind of prune.

Obviously, the true connotation uses “prune” as a verb. This means to trim by cutting away dead branches to increase fruitfulness and growth.

While I’m no gardener, I can relate this to haircuts. I only get my hair cut twice a year and usually I know it’s time for a haircut when my hair stops growing. I can tell when the ends of my hair are unhealthy and therefore the length is at a standstill. When I get a trim, I ask the hairdresser to remove all the unhealthy ends. By ridding myself of the unhealthy ends, my hair as a consequence is shorter, but over the next three months it dramatically grows by increasing in length.

I, sometimes, wish that God’s pruning was easy and painless like a haircut.

Sometimes pruning involves revealing the “dead branches” that we didn’t know exist in our lives.

Sometimes pruning involves struggling through difficult situations.

Sometimes pruning involves simply being still when you have the itch to run.

Did you catch what God does to the branches that aren’t fruitful? He cuts off that branch! So pruning is an indication that you are producing fruit but are capable of so much more.

Then check out verse 3, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

At first, this verse seems to be out of place, it feels like it doesn’t belong between verse 2 and 4.

Instead read it like a reassurance. Unlike a haircut, the pruning process is difficult, challenging, and lengthy. But guess what? You are already clean because of the Gospel, the Good News. You are already enough for God, the Gardener. The pruning is not a means of cleaning you. You are already cleansed by the work of Jesus on the cross. Instead, the pruning process is a vehicle allowing you to reach your heavenly potential.

How motivating! Who we are is enough for God, the Gardener. Like a parent, in love, he disciplines and guides us so we are fruitful to carry out his work here on Earth.

You were created with intention for a purpose. So allow the pruning process to encompass you, resting in the assurance that you are already fruitful and are being pruned to reach your maximum fruitfulness.

Go in God knowing He is Enough for you.

With Love, Megan