After years of trying unsuccessfully to have a biological child, the Enemy often whispered that I was insufficient for motherhood and God had rejected “our application to parenthood” as a result. Yet I knew that God continually works for His glory in my life. As Mother’s Day approached last year, I found myself an expectant mother.

My husband and I had begun the adoption process a few months earlier. Adoption was not our backup plan. It was God’s plan that He weaved into our family through His sovereignty and redemption. Parenting was not about the duplication of our DNA but about being a godly parent to a child. We knew that God had called us to adopt, and we willingly, albeit nervously, obeyed Him. To be honest, though, I still wondered if God had rejected me and questioned if He would see this adoption through to completion. But He remained faithful through every detail.

[caption id="attachment_70" align="alignleft" width="300"] Jenny, Stephen, and Joshua Riddle.
Photo by Amy Whitt,[/caption]

This past March I met my son for the first time as my husband and I traveled across the world to bring him home. This little boy sent us into an extreme parent boot camp, including fevers, doctors, long plane rides, attachment issues, communication barriers, jet lag, and throwing this introvert into a time of being needed and social to a preschooler at a breakneck pace. Although my love for him grew more than I could have imagined, it was a difficult time, and the Enemy tried to tell me that I should have never attempted something so incredibly hard but amazingly beautiful.

Satan’s lies are often effective when they are half-truths. The Enemy was right about me: I was insufficient. The one word that I equate with me being a mom is this one: inadequate. And it’s quite freeing to admit. This process has solidified a truth in my heart about God’s character and power; I have experienced a deepening understanding that He is enough. I am inadequate, and I must depend on Him for all that motherhood requires—and everything else that obeying Him requires. Parents have been commanded to disciple their children and to display the love of God in their lives (Deut. 6:1-9). That is a weighty responsibility—not to mention the amount of patience, strength, wisdom, sacrifice, discipline, and humor that it takes to deal with a child throughout his or her lifetime. There’s no way I am adequate for the task.

Fortunately I am not supposed to be. I am in constant need of God’s grace and the work of His Spirit every day. I need His wisdom and guidance. I need His sufficiency because apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5; 2 Cor. 3:5-6). Motherhood (and discipleship in general) is too difficult a calling with too much at stake to attempt apart from the power of God. And if I can remember that truth throughout the many joyful and trying years of parenthood to come, I am excited to see what power He unleashes on my son through my inadequacies. This day, my first Mother’s Day, I celebrate His sufficiency through my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10).