Story: Never enough

Bs for all her subjects, she was an average student.

“Why can’t you be like your good friend who scored all As?”

“But there are people who did worse“, she retorted her mother.

Don’t compare yourself with those worse off but with those better than you“, her mother rebutted.

She took in the advice fully, and this meant that she will never be contented. She regrets every decision made. Hindsight always tells her she is not wise enough to make the right choices. Perfection tells her she’s a failure for not making a better choice.

Her decisions were never good enough. Turns out, she was never smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, successful enough, loveable enough, or good enough.

Whatever she had,

Whatever she did,

Whoever she was,

She was never enough for her parents.

“I would be enough when I grow up. I would make them proud,” she said to herself.

She took on many things. She had no room for failure. She craved perfection in an imperfect world.

Soon, she auto shut down like an overloaded device. She would reboot to bursts of energy, but the cycle to function became shorter and shorter.

She became more than never enough.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1 Timothy 6:6-7

A Christian friend mentioned a verse about contentment to her, and she meditated on this foreign concept. Soon, it set her free bit by bit. Yet, contentment seems to always beer craving for her parents’ affirmation kept throwing her back into the claws of comparison.

Listen to us, her parents said, after you graduate well, you are free to fly and do whatever you want. So she did, stepping into their desired choices and graduating with results to finally hear “We are proud of you”.

I am free now, she thought. She should have known that it’s not easy for one to break a decades-long habit. Her parents were not letting go so easily. She had to fight hard for freedom at each turn.

Her choice of life path was shot down hard. Don’t be stupid, look at the money your peers are making, they said.

Her choice of life partner was doubted and even suspected to be made under a spell. Don’t be stupid, look at the partners your peers are marrying, they said.

Her house was not renovated well enough as the same block neighbour her mother knew.

Her house was not sold at a price good enough as the same block neighbour her mother knew.

She finally understood,

She was never going to be enough.

They were not going to be happy for her enough.

They were not going to be proud of her enough.

I am not going to compare my child, I am not, she tried to brainwash herself. Why are you not like your friend, Lisa? She screamed out the words and shocked herself. She was stepping in her mother’s footsteps, on to that familiar path.

“You got to take care of yourself before you can take care of your children well. You got to be loved to love.” Quotes from the internet flickered in her mind. Sitting in a cross-legged position on her bed, she closed her eyes to practice the mindfulness made famous by famous people. Visualise…

and a wooden cross appeared at her forehead’s level. She knew it was the cross of Jesus, the god she vaguely heard of from her friend. Why was he hijacking her visualisation? Water gushed out from the cross and poured over her, washing away all the black bugs clinging to her. The bugs of worry, anxieties and fear got removed and flushed out of her.

She opened her eyes and felt lighter.

She closed her eyes and a warm sensation wrapped around her.

“Beloved, I love you. I love you for who you are,” a voice whispered in my heart, “You are enough for me.”

She sobbed at the love pouring unto her. “No, no,” she shook her head. “You wouldn’t if you really know me,” her thinking brain kicked in after a while.

“I am Your Father in heaven. I know you inside out, perhaps even more than you know yourself. You see your imperfections, I see your potential. You see your failures, I see them as your lessons. You see your never enough, I see my grace and my strength making you more than enough.”

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

“Come to me through Jesus.”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

Both her hands gripped her chest, where the heart is. The void and longing in her heart had been covered up in love. Tears and snot covered her face, and in between sobs, she declared, “Yes Jesus, I want to receive you into my heart and life. I want to be with You. You are more than enough for me.”

If you too have received Jesus in your heart and life, let a Christian friend know. If you don’t know any, you can head to your nearest church, or reach out to me using the contact form. God bless! 🙂

If you are struggling emotionally or mentally, do get help from the following:


  1. SOS 24-hour hotline: 1-800-221-444
  2. Care Corner Counselling Centre: 6353-1180
  3. Care Corner Parenting Support: 6235-4705
  4. IMH Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)


  1. Mental Connect
  2. Care & Counselling Centre
  3. Email: [email protected]
  4. Focus on the Family Singapore
  5. Grace Counselling Centre
  6. Wesley Counselling
    Call Caroline Ong for an appointment: 6837-9214. (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm)
  7. Haven Counselling Centre: 6559-1528 or email: [email protected]
  8. Bethel Family Life & Counselling: 6741-2741 (Ps Jean Ong)

(Source: Helplines)

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Disclaimer: The events depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. and/or the author shall not be held responsible for any injury, loss, expense or damage of any kind whatsoever suffered or incurred by any person who accesses or uses the information and external websites stated above. Full disclaimer here.