Monday, January 09, 2012
"Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else..." Galations 6:4
Frankly, insecurity is exhausting.
Trust me, I know. Let's see... while a teenager, I felt insecure about my clothes, my height, my weight (sometimes), my family (who usually I felt at odds with), the way I didn't appreciate the same books or activities my friends did, smart kids, my extreme 'averageness' and the fact that I enjoyed time by myself (people hinted that was strange).
During my one and only year at college, well, that was the peak of my Insecure Years. Let's not even go there.
In my 20's I was married and had a baby. I felt insecure about our homes, our furniture, our finances (though I tried to see saving money as a fun challenge) and how I couldn't seem to find one close woman friend (believing a Lucy-and-Ethel friendship would fix everything). The way women in my church liked different books, music and tv shows than I did made me feel insecure about my own likes. I felt insecure when Tom sang duets with other women, oh, and when everybody else at church went on to have two or three babies while I could only have one.
In my early 30's I felt insecure about just about everything. We attended a church which--looking back--seemed to have a competitive spirit and I became as competitive as the best of them. That led to volunteering for tasks I should have left alone, some failures and some bad feelings between me and others. Things got better, but let's draw a curtain over those years, too.
But in my mid-30's! That's when God got a hold of me. Or I finally allowed Him to. Or whatever. Finally (long story) He became real to me, the friend I'd always wanted (better than an Ethel, even), the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Basically, I fell head over heels in love with God and nothing has ever been the same.
And wow, over the last 17 years I've watched the insecurities shrink away almost into nothingness. The awfulness of "comparing themselves amongst themselves" has lost its agonizing power over me and now, if there's any comparing to be done, I compare my own laziness to Jesus' excellence and hang my head over that. But only for a moment--then I ask for forgiveness and help from Him to move on.
Of course, some of the falling away of insecurities comes from aging and becoming acquainted with your real self. Of becoming okay about how you're just on a different track than the people you once envied--and learning to truly rejoice when others prosper. Of deciphering what's important and what certainly is not and allowing people to inspire us rather than intimidate. Each of those can work together to increase our confidence.
But for me? Mostly it's that good old-fashioned love of God which so flooded my heart that it pushed out the ugly insecurities. The foolish comparisons. His love switched me over to a different track altogether, one which is taking me--by way of His overwhelming, always-here acceptance--to a place where I'm (albeit slowly) becoming who He created me to be. That's what matters now. That's the kind of security I want.
Now, occasionally an 'insecurity ball' does hit me from left field, but I always say, "Debra! That was so ten years ago. Get over it." :)
"...wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)
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Arm & Hammer cat litter (20 lb. 'Ultra Last') rebate form. Up to $8.99.
Save .75 cents on Newman's Own Lite Dressing. You'll find other coupons there, as well.
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