Made Good Enough

Throughout my life, I have struggled with the belief I am just not good enough.

I felt if I worked really hard, maybe I could be.

These lies have permeated multiple areas of my life: school, work, relationships. When I was in high school, college, and even graduate school, I had an incessant need to be my best at everything. I had to receive the highest grade and be the best student. I worked myself to the bone, trying to achieve my goals. While I don’t necessarily believe it is wrong to strive to do your best, I took it to the extreme and missed out on so many family get-togethers, special events, even church. I sacrificed nonreturnable moments to achieve the highest grade in each course I took. I am proud of myself for graduating with honors, but I wish I hadn’t worked so hard and missed out on so much.

words + photographs AMBER ENNIS

Sadly, my relationships have reinforced the lie of not being good enough. I married at a very young age and strived to be the best wife. My husband ended up cheating on me multiple times and eventually decided to leave. I was so determined to make things work and not fail at marriage, I lost myself in trying to make him happy. I felt all my hard work of being what was needed was futile and meant nothing.

I was heartbroken.  

I doubted I would ever be good enough for anyone to love.

It seemed like the worst part of my life; however, what was meant for evil, God meant for good. I will never say divorce is the answer, but it was the best outcome for me. I took an entire year, growing closer to the Lord, learning who I was in Him. I realized I would never truly be good enough on my own. Christ makes me good enough. He has made me unique, capable, equipped, loved. He has used my many failures and attempts for His glory. A year after my divorce, I met a wonderful man, Casey, and we have been married for 13 years. He has shown me I don’t have to be perfect. He loves my imperfections, just as Christ loves the complex system of heart, soul, and quirks that makes me a unique creation of God.

Amber and Casey Ennis on their wedding day in 2009.

Casey and I have two beautiful children: an imaginative daughter and an inquisitive son. Motherhood has brought a whole new level of not feeling good enough. I believe all moms feel like a failure at one point or another, but I sense this occurs more often in moms of children with special needs. My son has a rare genetic condition known as “Tetrasomy 18p.” This means he has four copies of Chromosome 18, when the rest of us only have two copies.

When we learned of our son’s diagnosis, I instantly thought, “What did I do wrong?” After a lot of research, I realized there was nothing I could have done to change or prevent the condition. It is a random mutation occurring in utero. I have frequently thought I am not good enough to be his mom. He requires a lot of different therapies, including speech, physical, occupational, and feeding therapy. It is overwhelming at times. Over this past year, our son has made such great strides with speech, eating and walking. It is amazing to see, and his progress makes all the hard work worth it.

I have recently realized God has also created our son to be unique, with a plan and purpose for him no matter what I do. It’s amazing how many lives our son has touched in his short four years of life. God has given him to us for a reason, and it is through Christ we are made good enough to be this amazing child’s parents.

Where we may fall short, our creator is able to fill in gaps. He is able to use what we perceive as failures for His purpose and glory. Know you are good enough in Christ. AE

Dr. Amber Ennis is a follower of Christ, wife to Casey, mother to a daughter and to a son who has special needs. She is also a family nurse practitioner who teaches online at Herzing University. Amber and her family live in Nixa, Missouri.

COVER Amber and Casey Ennis with their children.


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