How many of us hide behind a veiled façade of confidence, strong and independent femininity? We are women. We can multitask, are confident in who we are, we play hard to get, never show a man our weaknesses…any of this sounding familiar?
Yet despite all of this bravado, what has become clear to me (and this is myself included or I wouldn’t be writing about it) is that we are often hiding behind all this frontage, all in an effort to hide a deep insecurity.
Something I struggle with only too often.
Yes, there are days where I feel confident and I can walk in knowing who I am in Christ. But like most people who walk this earth, I am not perfect and neither is anyone else- only Jesus can claim that description.
I have days where, despite knowing it’s unhealthy for mind, body and spirit, I end up comparing myself to others. I walk out of the house thinking I look okay, then notice someone else’s outfit and all of sudden feel as if I’m wearing a bag! How are they so good at putting outfits together? How did they pull off that look? I think my hair is just fine until I see someone else with a new style and wish I had the same. I see Mums who walk around like supermodels or Mother Earth- they appear to have it all together, stress free and still manage to do a million and one things in the day- why is it I haven’t managed that yet?
I see women who are incredibly clever, independent and confident in who they are (or appear to be.) I see woman who are naturally funny and have an outrageous fun, free and adventurous spirit- making me feel like a shy mouse at times and wondering why I too couldn’t be the life and soul of the party? Why can’t I make everyone laugh like they can? I see people at church and wonder why I haven’t been gifted with the same talents as them? Why can’t I give as much time to serve as them?
Now if I hadn’t entitled this piece with the word insecurity, I’m sure by now you would have stopped and at least thought to yourself (if not said out loud) ‘how insecure does she sound?!’
And you’d be right. It’s as I encountered a day of feeling insecure, that I felt God prompt me to write about this very subject. I’m confident that I am probably not the only one who feels insecure at times, and while I often like to keep quite a light-hearted approach to my writing, I really felt this was something that needed addressing. If it’s something I’m battling with, then I’m sure someone else is too. So, why not journey together and share how God is encouraging and building me up by reminding me of His promises, truths and love for me?
So yes, there are many times I feel incredibly insecure. I need to remind myself daily that my identity is in Christ, not in the clothes I wear or the latest hairstyle/colour. Not in my personality or how funny I may or may not be. Not by the qualifications I’ve achieved, how clever I am or not- but in Christ.
I write this as it becomes a daily battle at times, to remember this very truth and not be consumed by all the other, stuff. Because it is just that- stuff. You know how I know?…
One, because I believe that God made every hair on my head, I believe that he made all my inner parts and knew me before I was born. I believe he made me on purpose and for a purpose, and he made me in my most natural state. Everything else; makeup, hair dye, clothes- are all just an accessory to accentuate my original beauty. Because, whether we see and believe it or not, we are all Gods BEAUTIFUL children.
Secondly, and lastly, it is all just stuff, because when my Daughters look at me, I see how much they depend on and love me- just for me. For the way I make them giggle, laugh, give comfort and security that only their Dad and I can give. How they see me at my worst and best, and how it makes no difference to their love for me. I see how they throw up on my nicest clothes and how they really don’t care, because to them – they just want my love. The clothes on my back don’t make any difference in my capacity to pour out love on them. Both my girls love me unconditionally, and the person they’ll learn from and want to copy will be their parents. They will watch me. How I do things, how I speak and treat people. How others speak of me, and how I walk my journey through life with God. They will look at my personality, what makes me who I am and how they would describe me as a person- they are the things that will matter the most.
I would rather have my children, family and friends say about me that I was there for them, I loved on them, I’d do anything for them, I prayed for them, I welcomed them in, I forgave them…and the list goes on. Rather than; she was always nicely dressed, her hair was always done nice- always willing to try new styles, she always wore the latest trend, she was clever and had 5 degrees from university.
1 Timothy 2:8-10 and I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.
Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t take pride in your appearance and look after yourself. I’m not saying you can’t have an interest in clothes or indeed never buy any new clothes. I’m not saying you can’t get your hair died or walk around in a plastic bag- unless of course you want to! I’m not saying don’t study or embrace your aptitude. But what I am saying, is that we can get so caught up in these things, and more often than not- it’s all a façade, a veil covering who we are or indeed who we want to be. I feel it’s a massive cover up that hides our vulnerability and insecurity, that to some is incredibly out of control.
I remember even when dating boys- I was told by many- ‘treat em mean, keep em keen!’ Never let a guy know you’re insecure, never let him see your insecurities or you’ve lost them. While I don’t think it’s good for anyone to constantly walk around labelled with insecurity, broadcasting to anyone and everyone, I do think we need to start being a little more vulnerable. Perhaps if that guy (someone who you can trust of course) knew some of your insecurities, he could build you up and make you feel secure instead! He could make you realise that those things that are making you so insecure, really don’t matter.
Particularly as women, we are encouraged to be strong, confident and secure. We can do EVERYTHING- we’ve got this covered! And while I totally advocate that attitude, I also think when we are trying to live up to this status, this level we should be at, we become so frightened of failing.
We end up becoming stressed and having breakdowns because we realise that, just sometimes, we actually can’t do it all. Instead, we actually do have things we’re battling with- like insecurities, pretending that we’ve got it all together and nothing bothers us. All of which, actually ends up breaking us down instead of building us up. And this is something I’m trying to find an intermediate balance with. Where I’m not putting on a front, but I’m not lying down and rolling over for the enemy to use my insecurities as a way of causing me to fall. It’s as I’ve wrote about in the past, a juggling act.
Definitely as a new Mum, I feel a huge pressure and responsibility to show Ava and Rae that they have a confident Mum, walking and knowing who she is in Christ. I feel responsible for teaching them to grow up with values; self respect, confidence, courage, independence, body confidence and developing a kind and caring personality while embracing and encompassing all who God created them to be… what a huge responsibility! Who says being just a Mum has any ‘just’ about it?!
And while I know I need to get my insecurities in check, I also want them to know that sometimes people don’t have it together all the time. There are ways to overcome your insecurities. I would of course never cause her or give reason for them to be insecure in any way shape or form, but I am also aware that we live in a fallen world, with fallen people- even you and I. I am aware that the world we live in promotes size zero than a healthy size, a specified fruit shape as oppose to embracing your own individuality, a ‘caked on’ face as oppose to au natural, boobs and legs rather than beautiful and maintaining self respect. And of course with all of this and more, if you are not any of the above, or don’t conform to those ways- that can cause insecurity.
I am reminding myself daily to look to Jesus, not to the world, others around me or what the world says we should be- but who Jesus says we should be. I am pretty sure it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that we should be bothered about wearing the latest designer gear, looking a certain way or having the life and soul of the party personality, having numerous qualifications in order to prove our level of intelligence. What I am sure about is that he says we are chosen, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are to be filled with peace and joy.
I am reminding myself every time I feel caught up in not looking a certain way or having the same personality as someone else, or even feel unqualified due to my lack of certificated qualifications- that to be chosen, is to be individually and specially selected. God made me unique, and if we were all the same the world would be a pretty boring place. I’m reminding myself that what my efforts, thoughts and concerns should be on is God, my children and husband. Not the clothes I wear, how I wear them or what I wish I could change about myself.
I am reminding myself daily to not only remember my armour, but to PUT IT ON! You wouldn’t just admire the clothes in your wardrobe, you would put them on! What good are they on the hanger? It’s the same with our spiritual armour. What good is it to speak them out, know of them, read about them and know what they can be used for but never put them on? I know of whom they are of use to- the enemy. Without your armour on, I’m convinced the enemy will tear down that veil and expose your insecurity where it knocks you down and causes you to fail, or even, make you feel like you have to live behind this veil of hidden insecurity for the rest of your life. God doesn’t want us to hide. I believe He wants us to come out into the light. Wearing our armour will keep us protected. It will help us to stand strong against battles of the mind and of the spirit. It will help us to confidently remove the veil of hidden insecurity and boldly walking in who we are in Christ. It will help us to walk in strength when we feel weak, speak truth when the enemy tells us lies; you’re ugly, you don’t look nice today, you’ll never finish that degree. Instead, you’ll have the strength to say, No! God tells me I am beautiful, I am chosen, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
I CAN battle my insecurities and any more that come my way, because I walk with Jesus, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He has chosen me and loves all what I consider to be an insecurity. I am confident that what I see within me as insecurity is what He will use to make me feel more secure than ever before!
Sweet sister and brothers in Christ, know that you are beautiful, you are chosen. You can be secure in knowing who you are in Christ, because HE is the only place of security you can totally trust and rely on. Come out of hiding! Hand your insecurities over to Him and let Him remind you just how awesome you are!
1 Samuel 16:7
But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”