These are Susie Larson’s words.
They came crashing into my heart and held me at gunpoint the day I randomly picked up her book: YOUR BEAUTIFUL PURPOSE–Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You
Okay. I struggle with insecurity…it’s like a bad habit I can’t shake or camouflage very effectively.
I often interpret silence as rejection and then determine that I’m not wanted. I can tend to count the days since anyone has phoned me. I notice too easily how many times someone hasn’t responded to my texts or emails or acknowledged my gifts.
The other day I got a call from my darling neighbor who said my front door was wide open and offered to check around to see if anything had been disturbed. I was a couple hours away and very grateful that she had noticed. She checked around inside while on the phone with me. “Oh my, it looks like…” She caught herself and then added, “You must have just unloaded your motorhome.” Suddenly I remembered the state of my house. And cringed!
I had decided last minute to take my grandsons to an out-of-town waterpark. We took off in a hurry. I left behind a pile of stuff on the living room floor that needed to be returned to the RV. Pile number two was the stuff we hurriedly unloaded from my car to make room for the cooler and things we needed for the day. There was a third pile: things I hadn’t taken to the Goodwill yet.
For days all I could think about was the impression my messy house must have left on my and neat and tidy neighbor. (Did I mention beautiful and super fit as well?) I stewed over it, chastised myself, curled my toes, cringed but finally I had to say, “Oh well!”
I’m not alone in the insecurity pit.
I was recently having coffee with a friend. She’s an octogenarian that can run circles around me. In fact, she just this year retired from her position at our local college! She’s trim, energetic, joyful, beautiful and takes great care with her appearance. She’s model in many ways and I often tell her that I want to be just like her when I grow up. (I’m 57!)
Yet even she, this woman who for decades has walked with Christ, poured over scripture and pushed her knees into the carpet of intercession admits that she still battles insecurity.
This past year a budding friendship of mine seemed to fizzle and vaporize. I was left with the perception that I failed to meet her expectations and the take-away for me was that I wasn’t enough. She was a business woman, I am a stay at home grandmother.
I decided to give friendship another try so I invited her out. What was revealed in that evening dumfounded me–I literally sat there in shocked silence as I tried to connect the dots she threw out onto the table. Her unchallenged misperceptions of me fed her insecurities so she pulled away feeling not enough. Each of us had our reasons why our perceptions were accurate.
Insecurity issues recently popped up again. I was invited to see a friend’s new home. I walked in the door and the beauty of it made me audibly sigh. I said, Oh my, how beautiful! Everything was perfect, like a magazine spread. As I toured each room I commented on the lovely furnishings, colors, accents and art. Beauty and newness flowed flawlessly through the house.
My admiration and appreciation for her gorgeous home was apparent in my vocal demonstrations! (I tend to gush a little but with authenticity of course!) Inside I was thinking, Wow, I really need to go home and step it up a notch.
Later in the evening we stood in the foyer as I prepared to leave. She said, “I’m so glad you like it, it’s intimidating to invite Sherrie St. Hilaire to see your house.”
What??? Are you kidding me?
I said this inside but I almost snorted.
I said instead, “You wanna know somethin’? I was just thinkin’ how shabby my house and decor seem after seeing your house!”
We women–we’re so insecure! I didn’t tell her that I wanted to go home and break out my feng shui and get all HGTV on myself.
Misperceptions are dangerous. They feed emotions that then lie to us and cause us to pull away and shrivel up. Of course, the enemy of our soul wastes no time in throwing his wrench into the twisted works of deception.
Women can be beautiful gems dangling from gold chains. We’re varied and unique in our design but throw us into a jewelry box and we can get helplessly tangled in knots. Sometimes the harder we try to sort things out, the worse they become.
We women also talk to ourselves! Scientists tell us that we have an inner dialogue that consists of 150-300 words per minute or 51,000 thoughts a day.
What are we telling ourselves?
She’s much prettier, smarter, popular, fit, talented, successful and perfect than I am.
I’m not as good at that as she is.
When I start giving too much thought to other’s opinions of me then I know I need to address insecurity in my life.
In her book, Susie admonishes us:
Confront the bullies of fear, insecurity and inferiority!
Ephesians reminds us that we are His workmanship. He created us EXACTLY as He purposed to accomplish His will and bring Him glory.
Philippians confidently assures that God, who began the good work within us, will complete it.
Corinthians warns that when we compare ourselves with ourselves we prove to be unwise!
When we reject ourselves, when we strive to be like someone else, when we don’t confidently trust and accept God’s design and plan for us–we are in essence rebelling.
We are also refusing His invitation to a glorious and joy-filled dance with Him.