I’ve been reading “Nothing to Prove” by Jennie Allen for the past month and have felt like I’ve needed to share what I’ve learned so far. Her honesty, vulnerability, and love for Jesus make me feel seen and excited. I wish I could just go ahead and quote half the book to you, but that may be considered plagiarism and would be a SUPER long post. So I’ll just say this…you’re going to want to read this one. Anyway, back to the book.
Jennie begins the book by acknowledging our human desire to feel like we are enough and to be fulfilled, striving in various ways to fill our void. “Here is the thing. The enemy promises water, but every time we go to his wells, they are empty. He gives us a sip of water, enough that we keep believing him. We have believed the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, people – and we wonder all the while, why am I still thirsty?” Yes! How many times have we believed a relationship, accomplishment, weight loss, or likes on our instagram post will quench us? How quickly were you parched again, striving for fulfillment? I’ve gone to those things for fulfillment, which is why I resonate so much with what Jennie is getting at. Jesus tells us to come to Him if we are thirsty and He will give us streams of living water. He tells us, “You will never be thirsty if you drink the water that I have.” He is abundant.
The most freeing quote that I’ve read so far was when Jennie says, “He is enough, so we don’t have to be.” Wow. Now, I knew this, but seeing it written so simply allowed the truth of that statement to sink in, which started to lift some of the stress I put on myself. She goes on to say, “I am not enough…it would be a terribly depressing thought – if it weren’t followed by the most freeing truth in all of eternity. God knew we would never be enough. SO HE BECAME ENOUGH FOR US. Jesus is our enough.” Not being enough is not a self deprecating realization, it’s just a part of being human. You see, I try to be enough and I never am. I’m definitely a striver. I worry about doing enough, being enough. What a weight is lifted when I realize I don’t have to be enough on my own!
In a later chapter Jennie talks about fear. Being the type A, striver that I am, I can relate to fear. I fear failure and often allow that fear to keep me from reaching my potential in different areas of my life. I can relate when Jennie says, “I know what it was for me. Fear. I refused to sacrifice the idol of people’s opinions. I was so afraid of the invisible thoughts of people.” She says this in reference to what it is that keeps us from fully going for whatever it is that God has called us to, using the talents that he has blessed us with. I’m still working on all of this; the fear, inadequacies, striving. Even now I’m questioning my husband after he just read this blog post, asking if it’s worth posting. But I’m pushing past my insecurities and pushing the publish button. Don’t allow fear to let you put limits on God, He can work through you. He tends to work through people that definitely don’t have it all together. You just have to take that step of faith, pushing back the fear and feelings of inadequacy. Because the truth is really this, “You are enough and you have enough because [HE] is enough.”
There is so much richness in this book that I want to share with you, maybe another day. I will leave you with this: “There is no remedy for your striving apart from finding your identity in Christ. He is your enough, and the degree to which you believe that is the degree to which you will stop striving, stop performing, stop trying to prove yourself…It is in our letting go and in our trust that He rescues us.”