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A Word of Hope for the Inadequate

Since being hired to be a Spanish teacher, I have begun a weekly routine of having a small panic attack every Sunday night, in which I verbalize to Matt all the ways I don’t feel like I’m a good teacher. I tell him on the couch. I tell him in the kitchen. I tell him when he kisses me goodnight. (Doesn’t that sound like the middle of a Dr. Seuss book?)

I feel inadequate to be a teacher, but that’s not where it stops.

Last night when I was grading papers, I felt like a bad wife for not snuggling on the couch with my man. But if I had snuggled on the couch I would have been staring at that stack of papers, feeling my inadequacy as a teacher.

Always there is this lacking.

My husband will say to me, I heard that big sigh. What’s the matter? 

The answer is that I’m not feeling good enough, and I rotate through a list of roles depending on the moment. Not a good enough mom. Or teacher. Or friend. Or housewife. Or pastor’s wife. Or writer. Or Christian.

A kind friend gave me Jesus Calling, a unique devotional book written by Sarah Young. Sarah writes from the viewpoint of Jesus, as though he is talking to you. The truth in this one sentence is transforming my life:

“Your inadequacy presents you with a continual choice…deep dependence on me or despair.”

I see that the choice is not between inadequacy and something else. There aren’t some people who are adequate and some who are failures. Inadequacy is the human condition -a truth our prideful hearts war against.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NIV)

We fall short, and we try to mask it by working really, really hard not to fall short anymore.

But we do.

Which leaves a struggle of how to manage that miserable feeling that we’re always failing in something. Thank you, Sarah Young, for making the choice so simple.

Deep dependency on Jesus or despair?

What action do you choose when you sense you are inadequate?  -christyfitzwater.com

Despair: To be overcome by a sense of futility.

I’m weary of despairing.

Now, I’m practicing standing at the fork in the road and saying loudly, for all the forest to hear, I am inadequate! Then I choose the less-traveled path of completely depending on God to make up for my lacking. I turn to The Great Compensator.

It’s kind of weird, declaring my shortcoming and then smiling with hope. This will take some getting used to.


  1. Christy I love your articles they help me often.

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