I woke up at 3:45 this morning. Yes – the first number was still a three. Now, I’m an early riser, but that’s early even for me. I’d like to say it was because the Lord woke me up to pray or something super spiritual like that. But no – it was because of something I thought I’d overcome many moons ago.
I thought I was past all that.
And…I was super hungry. I snacked my way through the day yesterday and I woke up starving. And self-deprecating. I had cried myself to sleep and woke up with the same I-feel-sorry-for-myself attitude.
I really thought I was past all that.
Sleep was gone, so I got up, made a cup of tea, grabbed a protein bar and headed out to the front porch to feel sorry for myself some more and cry to the Lord about something that’s plagued me for years.
I’ve dealt with insecurities for as long as I can remember. Fought with them. Lost many a battle to them. Thought I overcame them. The struggle was real and apparently still is.
I think everyone fights with them to some degree, but I had them on so many levels. My safe home didn’t feel quite as safe after my parents divorced when I was 8 years old and my mom had a nervous breakdown. My dad’s new wife didn’t much care for us. We changed locations, and not really for the better. New house. New school. No friends. I became even more of a loner. My mom became an alcoholic. I was made fun of. A lot. For my looks. For so many things.
Can anyone say baggage? This wasn’t exactly the recipe for a healthy soul. The conditions were ripe for a tornado of insecurities to constantly wreck my life. You know, I even had a family member tell me one time I was way too insecure to have a relationship with. Way too high maintenance. Ouch! So….that didn’t help much.
It only added to the lies I already believed about myself. I’m not likeable. I’m not loveable. I’m not wantable. I’m not worth it.
Then everything came to a head one day and lies became exposed in the truth of Psalm 139. In His presence. When He showed me how I really look. He knows everything about me and still wants me. Still loves me. I am valuable. And likeable. And loveable. And worth it.
And I decided enough was enough.
Insecurities are not from God and I was ready to send them back to the pit of hell from whence they came. They were no longer welcome in my mind and I methodically set about getting rid of them.
Changing those midnsets was not easy but it was so worth it. You really don’t know how bound you are until you’re free. And it’s so good to be free.
So, back to last night. I was perusing Facebook and came across something that triggered those old insecurities and it had to do with writing. And I mean it triggered them BIG TIME.
One minute I was as secure and confident as could be and the next I was buying into the lies all over again. I actually couldn’t believe how easy it was to fall into old thought patterns I hadn’t had for years.
I went from being on top of the mountain to being swept away in an avalanche of lies and insecurities, rolling down the slope of discouragement and self-pity until I landed at the bottom in a giant snowball of “I’ll nevers” and “why bothers” and “I’m not good enoughs” until all that was left was to cry myself to sleep.
When I got up, I picked it all up exactly where I left off. Instead of heading straight to my Bible like I always do in the morning, I headed straight to the porch to boo-hoo to the Lord.
“I’m done, Lord. I really don’t know why you bother with me. I thought I was done with insecurities, but they’re as strong as ever. There are so many people more qualified to write. Who would do a better job. Say it better. Who would be more successful and reach more people than I do. So many more people who aren’t too insecure to use. Can I please just be done?”
When you feel insecure, you don’t feel safe. You feel vulnerable. Open to hurt and rejection and pain. And all you want is to feel safe and protected. And the easiest way to do that is to run away from what’s causing the pain. For me, today, it was writing. So quitting seemed like a great option.
I’ll feel safe again and not have to worry about the fear of failure and the fear of rejection and the discouragement that comes with comparison. It’s too hard to overcome so let’s just run away.
But backing away from what you fear doesn’t really bring everlasting peace. There will always be something else that comes along to make you feel insecure. Running away from the fears only shrinks your life down to a tiny shell of what He really intends it to be. And you’ll never be satisfied.
I know all of this, so it’s no wonder I wasn’t surprised by His response. He asked me the question He asks me every time I want to run away and quit. It’s the same question my husband asks me when I cry to him about wanting to quit.
Why do you write?
Why do I write? To be the best? To be perfect? Because I’m soooo successful that thousands of people anticipate with bated breath the next words I’ll post on my blog? Ummmm….no and no and not even no! I’m not the best. I’ll never be perfect. And thousands of people don’t read what I write.
The conversation is always the same.God: Why do you write?Me: Because You asked me to.God: Have I asked you to stop?Me: No.God: So, keep writing.
I love how He always brings it back to Him. It’s all because of Him and for Him. The rest doesn’t matter. He really is enough.
I write because He asked. I’m free because He loves me. Because He plucks out the weeds of insecurity and replaces them with seeds of truth that help me grow into who He’s called me to be.
I thought I was past all that….and really I am.
I was discouraged because I fell back into the old patterns of insecurity. And because it was easy to fall. I felt like all that hard work of uprooting those stinkin’ insecurities was wasted, but it wasn’t. I’m still free. I just need to walk in that freedom.
The only way to stay free – to stay past something – is to keep walking forward, and that’s a choice we all can make. Don’t quit. Keep moving ahead.
So….shall we? Onward we go – deeper into freedom. Deeper into Him. He won’t ever let us down.