What Scares Me More Than Being Inadequate

I used to think my greatest fear was inadequacy.

I believed these words for a very long time.

You could never do that.

You aren’t good enough.

You cannot make a difference.

You will fail.

But the day I said yes to something bigger than my capability, I discovered being inadequate -not having all the answers, not being successful, not being enough–these weren’t my deepest fears.

My deepest fear was rooted in the unleashing of my yes. I realized the unbelievable, unspeakable power of that little word would thrust me into an unknown world of faith-walking and desperation for Jesus.

And that terrified me.

Because I’m still inadequate. No matter what I do, what I learn, there’s always something I don’t know.  We cannot rescue or save or even get our kids to listen half the time. How dare we have the audacity to help another human being?

I live in that place.


But when we hush that voice and step out anyway, we aren’t depending on ourselves. We are trusting the God of the Universe to act through us.

And that is where our fear lies. What if He asks me to something that is hard? What if I have to give up something I love? What if He uses failure instead of success to reach others and change me?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -by Marianne Williamson


We were created to shine. We were born to make His glory known. We were fashioned to unleash the power of God.

Being inadequate is scary.

But never saying yes is far more terrifying.


  1. 1


    If I had never said ‘yes’, I would never had met my sponsored child in Mexico and learned that he is living a childhood similar to mine. What an amazing opportunity God provided for me! Stepping out in faith is scary, but wow, we never know the path God has for us if we don’t take that step.

  2. 2

    cheryl says

    Thank you. I agree but need to process this through. I think I am saying yes, but I know I’m not stretching to say yes outside where I’m comfortable.

  3. 3

    Christie says

    Wow! Thank you so much for your post! This describes where God has planted me for this moment and is so empowering to lean in and press on! I said yes and God has done amazing things through my weaknesses and strengths. He is showing me that His grace is sufficient to cover a multitude of inadequacies and that He shines brightest when I get out of the way and let Him lead me into the most uncomfortable places!

  4. 4


    So true! I completely understand this feeling and thought process. Even when I know, that I know, that I know, that God is calling me to do something, I still feel like I’m going to fail! Thanks for the encouragement. Much needed!

  5. 6

    Joanne Peterson says

    My husband and I have said “yes” and have had to give things up. And it is incredibly hard. We said “yes” to adopting two of our grandsons who are 11 months apart and now age 3 and 4. My son, who had been my youngest, is 19. We did not see it coming, certainly could not plan for it. I honestly felt inadequate with starting over, and even though I’ve raised two children into adulthood, feeling lost with what to do for so many things with our two boys.

    I was in a ministry that I loved doing and worked with other people to bring the ministry to our area. I’ve had to step back from being very involved. While I know mothering is important, I love/d the ministry I was more involved with.

    I also am finding starting over with being a mother in my 50’s I am more alone than I was the first round of children. Friends my age have kids who are high school, college aged, children getting married, and having grandchildren and are empty nesters, and aren’t understanding the whole aspect of mothering versus grandmothering. I am not planning outings with my grandchildren, I am the mom full-time. The younger moms I have befriended aren’t balancing between two worlds. This is not comfortable, this is messy, and this is also a stretch I could not ever imagine. When Jesus told us to adopt our sons, He did tell us He would give us everything we need to raise our boys. I believe Him, and I NEED HIM.

    Probably the hardest part is feeling like I am putting my dreams on hold again. The dreams I had were with the ministry I had been involved in, and it was bigger than I am, and it was a challenge I loved. I know the Lord will use our experiences with our boys for Him, but I feel like i am having to let go and I may end up not being able to be part of the dream. Hopefully, it is just a “wait.” Maybe, He will give me a different dream or a new dream.

    I so needed this post today. Thank you!

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