If you missed my previous post about Insecurity, you can read it here…
I promised you some answers on how to beat Insecurity and here you go.
In Joyce Meyer’s words: “Do it afraid”
It is one of my “core memories” (in “Inside Out” lingo). It was a sweltering day in Zandspruit township, but I can still feel the chill on my skin, my cheeks hot and flushed and I was sure they could see my heart beating under my blouse. 53 little brown faces looked at me intently as the translator scolded them to keep quiet. I tried to start the Bible story, but I could see them fidget. All the thoughts screamed through my head again: “They don’t understand you! You’re boring them. They’re laughing at you“. I rambled and they lost concentration. Even the translator struggled to keep up with me. Children can smell fear, I tell you. I had never been more embarrassed in my life. Despite the cold shivers, I was sweating circles.
I stuttered and stumbled my way through that morning somehow. And I vowed not to go back. But I did. Because I love children. And those expectant little people, some sat immaculately dressed under what can only loosely be described as a “tent”, had my heart. I wish I could say it went better the next week. The voice in my head told me that I was terrible at it. It kept asking me who I thought I was to come into their world and pretend to love them. And I really was not good at it. The moment I sensed that they were bored I would go into overdrive trying to get through the story and would end up overcomplicating it. And the crafts… let’s just say I am not a “crafty” person so there were many “draw your face on a paper plate” days.
But- and here’s the secret: I kept going back. There were successes and there were failures. There were children who were rude to me but there were so many, many more who would wait for me at the gate when I arrived and jump into my arms.
It was the most humiliating, most uncomfortable thing I had ever done. But I did it. And I kept doing it- afraid. And then I started to notice that the more I “let go” and acted like a child, the more they interacted with me. The less I worried about what they were thinking, the more they responded. Somewhere along the line, I’d decided that feeling like a fool and being one were two different things.
And it carried over into my work. I used to be the quiet one, but I started to give my opinion and even see clients one on one, which never would have happened before.
Know who God says you REALLY area and who He REALLY is
In my last post, we looked at some of the “symptoms” of Insecurity. I told you that though insecurity can often mean a person seems shy and introverted, you also have people who are insecure who appear to be gregarious, loud or angry.
I have always tried to be a good girl. A happy-maker. Perfect. But that was on the outside. My insecurity stemmed from the fact that inside, I was deeply ashamed and felt “wrong” about myself from an early age.
My freedom came when our small group did a study and I had to read Romans 8:1:
Romans 8:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Free from Indwelling Sin
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a]who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Did you read that? “no condemnation”. I read it over and over.
Soon after, I was cooking one Sunday while listening to a sermon by Joyce Meyer and the topic was: “God is not angry with you.” I listened to it over and over until I believed it.
John 8:32 New King James Version (NKJV)
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
And here is the truth that set me free: The voices, the accusations, the shame, the condemnation that ran my thought life? They were all lies. And from that day I started to replace those thoughts with the truth. “I am the righteousness in Christ Jesus (I need not be ashamed). I have the mind of Christ (I am not an idiot). There is no Condemnation for me in Christ Jesus (He died for it ALL).”
You can find more of your own verses about your identity in Christ Jesus, here.
This is a journey and if you follow Dr. Caroline Leaf’s teachings you will know that some of the toxic thoughts you believe about yourself are so deeply ingrained that you have to be intentional about replacing it with the truth. And it will take time. Take them one by one. God will help you if you let him.
Even while writing this, I was again confronted by some insecurities and half-truths and straight-out lies I thought were long left behind. It’s tempting to feel discouraged, but I am glad God doesn’t download all my “stuff” on me at once.
Join me tomorrow for the last post in this series on Insecurity.