God is Enough for Me
By Kendrea Dibden, Sydney Labouring Community
As a teacher, I know the importance of intentional reflection and analysis to be aware of strengths and shortcomings. Reflexive practice in order to be constantly improving. As a believer this has been a vital part of my walk with the Lord as well. Because in the middle of life, it is difficult for me to see change and it is easy to get caught in the downward spiral of self-deprecation and condemnation. Those moments where it feels like I will never measure up or successfully “do the things I want to do” as Paul puts it. But when I look back, I can see God’s hand and how He has prepared me for the path He has and is laying out before me.
In fact, if I never looked back and reflected on the things He has already done, I would not be able to remain standing, let alone keep moving forward. As I review, even just the last 10 or so years, I can see in striking detail moments where the Lord was preparing me for today. I can clearly see Him stretching my resilience and reliance on Him. Like a muscle, He strengthened my trust by giving me opportunities to trust Him. To develop that muscle and grow its strength He started with small stretches, working that muscle, and pushing it gradually until it could take more and more weight. To use a different analogy loaded with Christianese, he has repeatedly given me opportunities to transfer head knowledge into heart knowledge, theoretical understanding into experiential understanding, simply by repeatedly asking me one question.
This question has seemed to follow me and will likely continue to follow me for the rest of my days. It reminds me of Jesus’ simple question to Peter, “Peter, do you love me?” Except for me, that is an easy answer to give and forget the implications. So instead He asks me, “Am I enough for you if you never have [fill in the blank]?” And over the last ten-ish years he has filled that blank with the desires of my heart across different stages of my life.
In high school and into university, the question was: “Kendrea, am I enough for you if you never receive the marks and academic recognition you so desperately want? Am I enough if no one ever thinks you are intelligent?” Now in the looking back, this is a seemingly small and insignificant thing. But in the moment, this question pushed me beyond what I thought was bearable. Because I so desperately wanted to say “yes” but my identity was so caught up in my performance, rather than who He said I was. He pushed me to see myself as He sees me and to see my worth and value through Him and His eyes. Psalm 139 to this day is a treasured passage as it reminds me of this journey toward being able to say, “Yes, Lord, you are enough.”
Next, to stretch my trust muscle further, to raise my tolerance and resilience, the question shifted with the desires of my heart and became, “Kendrea, am I enough if I call you to remain single? If you never get married, never get to be a wife, will I still be enough for you?” By His grace, I remembered His faithfulness and this question felt easier to answer. I took time to mourn what might have been, held my mum as I cried, then dusted myself off and confidently said, “yes!” Then the Lord decided to throw me a curveball and gave me what I desired anyway. In fact, He almost made it impossible not to accept that this was His will when my best friend asked to date me and, two short years later, asked to marry me. Owen and I were married in 2019 and since then I have had the joy of continuing to say that whatever the Lord throws at me, He will continue to be enough. The only difference is now that answer is in partnership with my beautiful husband. And, while sometimes that answer is easy, like when we face questions around finances and the directions our careers will take us, our resilience in choosing to trust Him is still being stretched.
And it is not always easy to say yes.
When you stare down the barrel of infertility and wonder whether you will ever have the privilege of being called “Mum.” When your infertility seems to be unexplainable, and you wrestle with why your body won’t do the thing it is supposed to do. When every prayer is returned with at least an answer of “not yet.” It is not always easy to say yes.
In these moments, the question rings loudly, “Kendrea, am I enough for you if you never have a child of your own?” And every time I hear that question echo through my mind, I feel the weight of it, and it is heavy and at times feels like more than I am ready for, more than I can carry. But I am also reminded of His faithfulness, of every time He has stretched and pushed me, every time He has held me and walked with me as He asks me to trust Him, to lay down my desires, to open my hands and place the things I so desperately want on the altar before His throne and to trust Him. And it’s in these moments where I am reminded that I have only made it this far because He is faithful. He has brought me to the end of myself time and time again and carried me through anyway.
I can be resilient and push through, even when it is difficult and painful, because He has proven to be trustworthy. I can rely on Him and be resilient, because in actual fact my resilience does not come from an active effort from myself, rather it comes from a decision to let go of my perception of control, my anxiety and my doubt, and remember who God is, that He has proven Himself time and time again, both through Scripture and through my own experiences of Him and His goodness. All I have to do is listen to the words of Psalm 46:10 and “Be still and know that [He] is God.”
Owen and Kendrea Dibden are part of
the Sydney Labouring Community,
investing in young men and women
in their local church and
through their work communities.