I’m not the woman I was last Friday. And hopefully never will be again. I was lucky enough to attend a Beth Moore simulcast (a live broadcast over satellite) at my church on Saturday. It was a talk based on her new book “So Long Insecurity.” I, like millions of other women struggle with a number of different insecurities. But because of the message God gave Beth to help her overcome it, I get to live differently. I get to raise my daughters differently! So let me back up, and start my story, some of it anyway. I’m just not ready to share the particulars.
Many years ago, I was hurt very deeply and profoundly by some young girls. They gathered in a circle around me on the playground and told me never to speak to them again. I was taunted, told that I was ugly, not welcome, (I had just moved to this town that year), stupid for not liking the music they like and a number of other things. My heart is racing just saying that out loud -so to speak. Now, chances are they are not the hurtful children they were then, today. However, the reprecussions of their actions lasted all the way through middle school, high school and eventually right into my adult years. I couldn’t enter a new classroom all those years, or go to a football game, dance, pep rally without looking around me, ready to have an anxiety attack.
Now, I did have very special friendships with others in middle school and high school. Some of which I still keep in contact with today. But there has not been one moment, of one day that I have ever been secure in a relationship. Any friendship. For the first few years of my marriage I was plagued by nightmares of my husband leaving me for another, more desireable woman. My family and husband have been solid rocks of love. But no person, even family can take that kind of pressure. I’ve learned this last weekend, that no amount of love from them can fill that hole that was so painfully carved out of me like a jackhammer, straight through my heart, so long ago. Only one person can. But I’ll get to that.
Fast forward fifteen years and you will come to a woman who seems to be joyful. Seems to have everything. A gorgeous, loving husband who dotes on me and provides well for us, wonderful healthy children, a house, a nice neighborhood. Lets just say my blessings are abundant. But over the last year I have become that shell of a girl again. I’m not going to go into the details here, because I just can’t. All I can say is that I was looking to friendships for more security than I should have given any human. And no human is infallible. I was not the victim of cruelty again. No one hurt me on purpose. But because I am the product of hurts I never overcame, the damage from lost friendships was extensive this last year. Even recently I became obsessed with this silly blog. I crazily kept track of any visitors or comments several times a day, looking to complete STRANGERS to fill up my cup, to want me, to like me, to desire my friendship. I lived like this every day. Every day until Saturday.
The lessons I learned changed my life. I’m like cake batter that has been finally baked and I’ll never be able to be batter again. Now when someone looks at me and thinks “She’s got it all!” it will be the truth. Its not the “all” they will think it is, they will assume my all is purely material, all that is purely related to my kids and husband, all that is my home. But they will be wrong. I have it all because I finally let God be my all. I’ve been a Christian almost my entire life. I asked Jesus to live in my heart and be my Saviour when I was 6. But I never once let him be- All. I had a lot of “if only’s” in my life.
If only Alex made more money, then I would be happy.
If only I lived near my family, then I would be happy.
If only I could lose this baby weight, then I would be happy.
If only I had a friendship like theirs, then I would be happy.
If only I had a cute purse like her’s, then I would be happy.
But I’m here to tell you today that none of that ever would have made me feel ok, let alone happy. I was searching for someone to fill up my hole and seal my cracks, searching everywhere. And I had Him all along. The crying puddle my husband had to scrape up off the floor countless times, never had to be there in the first place. I have been telling myself lies my entire life. And my future only holds truth. I’ve been lying to myself about my worth to people and I will lie no longer. If I don’t ever have a storybook relationship, a Donald to my Mickey, a Thelma to my Louise, a Laurel for my Hardy, that will be okay. I will be okay. Because I have the one friend that will last forever. He made me to be a woman of worth when I was born. So without further ado,
Beth Moore’s 6 Characteristics of a Secure Woman: Inspired by Ephesians 4:17-24
*Insecurity is unbelief (Beth)- Unbelief that I am not the woman God created me to be. I will not have unbelief in my heart and mind any longer.
*”You must not live like the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking….22-Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
1. A Secure woman is saved from herself
~our minds have an idolotrous self interest and we have been saved from it. I am in bondage to my own narcissism. I have been saved, cleansed. I do not have to be obsessed with myself and my relationships any longer. I am not in bondage any longer to things from my past that I cannot change.
~Eph. 4:19- “…so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” My obsession and insecurity was making me think only of myself. Now picture your mother standing over you waving her finger saying, “You’ve been taught better than that!” I have been taught better. I’ve been studying the Bible my whole life. I have been given Truth. The Truth is my power to quit, be it obsessions with people or food, alcohol, cleanliness, weight, beauty, whatever.
3. A secure woman is clothed with intention
~Proverbs 21 states that we are to be clothed in strength and dignity. I have been clothing myself in anything it takes for someone to like me. I need to be clothed in strength- When I don’t FEEL secure, I need to be strong enough to be secure in my mind first, then take the first step, then I will feel. Mind-Feet-Emotions. “I am not the woman I was yesterday. I am going to put the new me back on and try this again.” -Beth Moore (and my new anthem) .
~Eph. 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”
~”Secure women forgive more easily because they are not so easily offended.” Take a second, read that again.
~God made us new by grace and we need to finally be convinced of it. As Beth said “You have not out-sinned me! And I am forgiven!” We have been forgiven by God’s grace and in order to be secure we have to be able to give that grace and forgiveness to others as well as forgive ourselves, then move on!
~Insecurity is a huge, massive monster that overtakes us, it consumes us. And we cannot afford to let it do it any more. I cannot afford for it to be what my three daughters watch in me, learn from me, live because of me. I will no longer let it consume me.
~Eph. 5:1-2: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
~I will not be secure until I live like the loved child I am!
~We are to be imitators of God
~If a heart does not heal and forgive it builds up the scar tissue of bitterness and hardens. I cannot give love to anyone if my heart is hard. This means letting go of hurts caused me by other people. I am not responsible for anyone’s heart but my own.
I will live differently today than I did last week. I will live differently tomorrow, next week, next year. I am not so naive to think that I will not have hard days, or not ever be hurt again, or slip into old insecurities. But I certainly will respond differently. I won’t wallow any longer. I will put the new me back on and try again. Because God made me. Knew me inside my mother, formed me, planned more love for me than I can ever get from anyone else. Sent His Son to die for me out of his love. I’m not about to let my son die for me or anyone else! Can you imagine that kind of love that made that kind of sacrifice possible? I can at least take the love that has been offered and let that be enough in my life from now on.