What does INSECURITY look like?

What does insecurity look like? 

We typically assume that insecurity appears shy, introverted, fearful and anxious, with a weak voice and perhaps a stutter.

Not true. In fact, insecurity looks like many people who appear to "have it all together". It looks like me, and perhaps it looks like you.

Following is an actual conversation that took place about 30 years ago that struck me deeply enough to remember it after all these years. I was 23 years old.


“You’re so lucky.” 
My pen froze as I looked up at the young convenience store clerk now leaning into my personal space as I wrote my check for fuel. (This was before pay at the pump)
“Excuse me?” I inquired. 

“What’s it like to be pretty?” 
Embarrassed, I looked around to see if anyone else was close enough to hear. It was just her and me.
“Are you serious?” I replied. 
She nodded her sincerity, but how does one answer a question like that? 
“Your life seems so perfect,” she added.
"Seems" was the key word. 

Suddenly I felt a little guilty. I knew she gathered her perception by appearance only. I was dressed to the nines that afternoon—fox coat, nice jewelry, big hair, perfect makeup, nice car. (This was the 80s by the way) “If she only knew”, I thought. But, I appeased her sincerity. 
“To be honest”, I told her; “it is both good and bad. It has opened a lot of doors, but closed a lot of doors as well”. 

“And if you really want to know the truth, I am extremely insecure, and do not believe or trust most compliments.  But yours, I do accept. So, thank you.” 
I left, and chalked it up to the strangest convenience store encounter I’d ever had.

I look back on that encounter today, nearly 30 years later. I am no longer the fit “hard body” I once was at age 23. Gray has replaced the sun streaked hair of my youth. Time has etched its indelible tracks in the skin once so firm and smooth. The spring in my step creaks when I first get out of bed, feeling more like a tangled Slinky in the mornings; one that takes a little while to loosen. 

But not everything has changed. I still occasionally struggle with insecurity. Certainly not as much as I used to, but it still peaks around the corner at times, reminding me that I will never be good enough, listing every reason why I should throw in the towel.

I am not who I was at age 23 physically, emotionally, and praise God, spiritually. But even though my faith journey is more than 20 years old, insecurity is a battle I’ve yet to completely conquer. And like I once distrusted compliments, I find myself now distrusting God’s ability to use someone like me. Someone so broken and bruised. So undependable and untrustworthy.

I want to trust Him. I say that I trust Him, but my actions prove otherwise. I tend to measure myself against the skill and accomplishments of others rather than trusting God's work in me, giving me His desires and power to do what pleases Him (Phil. 2:13), and in His timing.

Recently, I revisited a favorite childhood Bible story of David and Goliath, but now through the eyes and heart of a maturing faith that hungers for God. 

David was the youngest son of Jesse, and still just a youth. But God had already chosen him to be king of Israel; a position he would not fill for many years. However, God chose him above all his older and much stronger brothers, especially his oldest brother, Eliab, an experienced and accomplished stud-warrior in the army of Israel. 
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his (Eliab’s) appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)
God saw something of great value in David. He saw a heart after His own. David trusted in the Lord, fully confident that his strength came from God and not from his own might. (1 Sam. 17:45) 

Our greatest facades are often fashioned not to conceal our greatest sins, but rather, our vast emptiness. The hardest thing to conceal is that which is not even there. (crafted from an Eric Hoffer quote)

People are impressed with our strengths, but they connect with us in our weaknesses. (Craig Groeschel) 

Often, our insecurities come from an unhealthy preoccupation with “self”, with an “it’s all about me” mentality. Self-absorption and pride make for a lethal cocktail in relationships, and can hinder God’s work as well, as we often get in the way of what God is doing. 
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3)
True security comes when we recognize that God is the true source of our joy, peace, and righteousness (Romans 14:17), as well as the strength and work of our hands (Is. 30:15, Prov. 31:31, Ps. 90:17). God  promises that He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him, because our trust is in Him. (Isaiah 26:3)  God will supply all our needs, not according to our assets, abilities, or resources, but according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19) 

Jer. 17:7 says, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord." Placing our trust in our strengths, abilities, physical appearance, or wealth only increases our insecurity for fear of losing it.

Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), and not of our own creation. God saw something of great value in David; He sees the same in you. With open arms and a willing spirit, receive all that God has set aside for you. Polish it, practice and perfect it, using what God has given you for His glory!

Your thoughts?

Have you ever struggled with insecurity? 

Have you ever assumed someone else had it all together simply by their appearance? 

Divine Appointments

He loves His children so much and gives us each day just what we need for that day. 

One afternoon, a young man came to our home to install a new “high-tech” thermostat. Little did I know, or he, it would turn into one of those precious “God moments”. 

As soon as the contractor entered our home, I felt an instant connection with him, and he confirmed that connection within only a few minutes. He was a brother-in Christ. So we enjoyed our faith discussion on and off as he worked. 

After about an hour, he wrapped things up and prepared to leave, and with a deep sigh he added he still had a long trip ahead of him to another customer. He was tired. I felt I needed to ask if I could pray for him before he left. He eagerly accepted and removed his hat. 

I will admit to you that asking to pray for someone is still a bit difficult for me, and it truly is an act of obedience. However, it does seem the more I do it, the easier it becomes, and the more I also begin to see that it’s not so much about my words, but about God speaking through me if I allow Him. He can’t speak through a closed mouth. 
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) 
The words began to flow out of my mouth with ease, and it actually shocked me a little. I continued until I felt it was time to stop. 

“Amen and amen.”  So it is, and so it shall be. 

I looked up and the young man was wiping his face. He went on to share that the prayer confirmed what he felt the Lord was calling him to do. In addition, it gave him a peace and comfort regarding his life right now. He revealed that he had just lost his wife, the mother of their young children, two months ago to an aneurism, and times were very difficult for them. Now the prayer made sense. Once again, I stood in awe of the goodness and faithfulness of God and how He can use someone as flawed as me to bring a word of encouragement to someone in need.

Making yourself available to God can align you with some of the most awesome experiences.  With God, there are always hidden blessings. Just when I had begun to wonder if I was doing anything, or if I was making any difference at all, God assigned an appointment, giving me a booster shot, so to speak. Glory to God!

Give God permission to use you to comfort others and I promise you, He will provide the opportunities. Ask Him for the desires of His heart and He will give you those desires for your heart. And when He brings it, be obedient, and allow the Spirit of God to minister through you, and you will be blessed indeed. 
"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." (Col. 4:2-4, KJV)
Stay alert. Keep your eyes open. Watch with eagerness for those opportunities which the Lord brings into your day and often right into your path, even when you least expect it. Fine tune your spirit with prayer and a hunger to fulfill God's will for that day. There is an appointment coming with your name on it.

Lord of Glory, God of all comfort, thank you for Your goodness and lovingkindness. Thank you for the Prince of Peace who guards our hearts and our minds in difficult times. Help us Lord, to receive all that is ours in Christ today, for our specific needs. Use me, Lord, to comfort others as You lead. I give You permission now, in Jesus’ name, Amen and amen.

Just One Word

New Year’s resolutions don’t work! 

I don’t know about you, but New Year’s resolutions were always pretty much an epic fail for me year after year.

After all, it was tough for a perfectionist to actually make a list of needed corrections, but I had no problem making someone else's list. (I am now a new creature in Christ, under His construction) :)

Then a few years ago, I learned through a sweet sister-in-Christ of a simple discipline that simplifies what was once so mind boggling, and this time, summoning the Lord's counsel.  

God's Mysterious Ways

It’s been said, “We live forward but understand backwards.” 

For many of us, that means we can look back over our lives and see all the stupid things we’ve done, knowing there is nothing we can do to change history. 

It also gives you the opportunity to look back and see God’s protection, His providence, and His promises specifically and purposefully woven throughout your life even when you were completely unaware. 

I have assigned labels to the seasons of my life, divided by decades. It gives me a snapshot of my life and demonstrates the sovereignty of God regardless of the stupid decisions I made. 

God won’t give us more than we can handle…really?

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Cor. 10:13

Have you ever found yourself stumbling over your search for the “right words” to say to someone after tragedy, loss, or devastating news of any kind?  I know I do, and I’m not sure there truly are the “right words” to even search for. However, none of us are comfortable in that awkward silent moment, so we say things like: 

“This too shall pass.”