I must admit that I have frequent battles in an on going war with insecurity.
I often find myself anxious, uncertain, unsure, troubled and not confident. Most often for me I find insecurity stealing into my mind and my heart in regards to a specific subject, a specific task or a certain relationship.
My insecurities blur how I interpret circumstances, situations or comments someone has made. I confuse, cloud and muddy what may be really going on with what I think is going on. Even worse, I can blur what is really going on with what I imagine to be going one. Unfortunately, I also have a very vivid and detailed imagination.
Being insecure obfuscates the truth and so easily exacerbates my emotions. I know that obfuscates is a unique word, but I happened upon it when researching the word blur and it seems to fit. To obfuscate means to darken, to make obscure or to be evasive, unclear and confusing. I think insecurity does that for me. It confuses me about what the truth is.
Insecurity obfuscates my interpretation of so many situations in life. Let me share some specific examples from my life.
One of my biggest insecurities is my weight. I’ve gained weight over the last two years and am really struggling to get it off. I battle some very negative feelings about my body size and shape. I will often ask my husband how I look in a given outfit. When his response is fine or ok, my insecurity goes into overdrive reaching a 100 doubts a minute. Why am I not beautiful? Why am I not lovely? Why am I not sexy? It must be because something is wrong. He did not say it looked bad, but it must look bad and he must be trying to be nice.
My insecurity has made a mucky, cloudy, obscure mess out of one little remark. The storm of emotion rolls in. The comment, you look fine, makes me retreat to my bedroom, crying and desperately searching for that outfit that will make me look better. I feel ashamed of myself. I doubt his love for me.
I have insecurities about certain relationships, relationships that have gone through periods of hurt and pain in the past. The smallest remark or action might set my mind reeling. Let’s say one of the these people I have a touchy relationship with says “you should have…” Doubt crashes over my mind like a tsunami. It instantly knocks me off my feet, consumes me and washes me into a sea of anxious and troubled thoughts.
Thoughts that sound something like this. I am not good enough. I really have not changed. I must try harder. I am stupid. I should give up. I should run away. They must hate me. I am a complete failure. They do not believe me. I will not ever live up to their standards so I should just stop trying. Each of these thoughts comes with a gash of pain to my heart and many tears to my eyes.
An unfortunate side effect of these insecurities of mine is that I do not want to be what they tell me that I am. I can quickly go overboard trying to compensate and make up for my interpreted short comings and faults. Or I can begin to intensely chase after something that I think will remedy the situation. What is it that I have to do so that someone will see my heart? Do I need to work harder, be involved in more, achieve more…I will do it. I will try give 110%, even though that is not possible. I will sacrifice a great many things.
So much effort. So much pain. So many tears. So much frustration. So much exhaustion.
All because my insecurity has obfuscated the truth. It set me on unstable ground. It made me uncertain. It brought me trouble. It imprisoned me in changes of doubt and worry.
In John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus is the truth. Truth brings freedom.
1 Peter 1:13 says, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Christ.”
Fix our hopes on Christ. Firmly set our minds upon Him.
“Hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5
Hold fast. Secure ourselves to God. Bond ourselves to Him.
God will bring victory to the battles of insecurity.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4;12
The word of God can bring truth. Truth can bring freedom. It can bring a peace that passes understanding. It will illuminate the darkness. It will cast out the fear.
We need to take our interpretations of events and circumstances in our lives to God. We need to ask Him to help reveal those insecurities, to ask Him to break their strongholds around our hearts and to allow Him to give us a different perspective of the situation.
God is pure. God is peace loving. God is considerate and full of mercy. God will give grace. God sees through eyes of love.
God is love.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
Our insecurities want to punish us, they want to make us suffer for what we have done or what we have not done and they want to keep us in the darkness.
That is not what God wants for us. God wants us to walk in His perfect love. He wants to perfect us in His love.
Have we arrived yet? Absolutely not. We are all a work in progress. We will all sin today. We will sin again tomorrow. We will sin the day after that.
Progress not perfection.
What if bringing a circumstance to God means that what would have consumed us for days now only consumes us for a few hours. We would be better than before.
God’s truth is ever so sweet. God’s grace is an immaculate gift, it requires no striving and no chancing. All we must to is receive. For when we receive God’s love, tenderness and mercy upon us.
When insecurity says I am fat and ugly, God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
When insecurity says I am stupid and worthless, God says I am precious – worth more than diamonds or rubies.
When insecurity says run away, God says walk the second mile out of love.
When insecurity says it will always hurt, God’s love can heal all wounds.
When the interpretation of life’s circumstances seems bleak and hopeless, take it to God. Allow Him and His truth to reveal any insecurity and to shine His loving light into the darkness.
I can not praise You enough for the love that You provide and the grace that You pour over us. Thank You for being so good and so generous to us.
Lord, there are so many things that cause me to doubt. Help me to turn to You. Help me to fix my eyes and my hope upon You.
You are the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and You perfect with Love. Help us to make progress and to walk in that love each day.
In Jesus’ name, amen.