I’ve been struggling with insecurity lately, how about you? I mean, does it just ever seem like a dark cloud looming over your head? You just don’t feel like yourself, like its sapping your joy. I hate it, I hate those times when it happens. I don’t like not feeling like myself, and it makes me look more at myself, then my focus is off of Christ. That is an ugly thing, people. I miss so much of what God wants me to do, when I’m so worried about what others think of me, what they think of my kids, or if people even really like me in the first place. I can’t be the only one, I know I’m not. That’s why I’m writing about this. I’m hoping by bringing some light onto a dark place for me, God will shine His light on it, and it can be used for His glory.
Ever notice how those insecure thoughts pop into your head? They always start with something sort of true about you, maybe a flaw that you have. Then, you accept that thought, and the next one is kind of true, but a bit more exaggerated. Each thought that you dwell on feeds the next, and by the end of this thought process, I’m thinking that no one likes me or that I’m a horrible mother. These are exaggerations, because at least my husband likes me, so that’s not “no one”, and I’m not a horrible mother, my kids are well taken care of and loved even on our worst days. It all seems so obvious when I type it out here, we can see it, we can touch these thoughts that pass through our minds. With these thoughts described above, the problem is, they don’t come one at a time, there are usually so many, that we can barely keep up! It’s just so much negative noise, that our brains can barely even think, or even think many logical thoughts. I was at a moms conference this weekend, and it was wonderful and encouraging. I was waiting for my lunch the second day, and watched the lady hand them out. There was a bag and a salad. I was like, “I wonder if there’s a fork, or dressing. What if I don’t have everything I need to eat my lunch?”. Then I thought, “They know what they are doing, I’m sure it’s all in there.” and I didn’t ask the lady handing out our lunches. Could you imagine if all 5,000 ladies at the conference asked her their questions, worrying about their lunches? That’s what all of that noise feels like to me, with all of those insecure thoughts, just simply overwhelming. I know the example may seem a little silly, but I overheard another woman in front of me with the same worry about her lunch. As women, we just have so many passing thoughts going through our heads, fearful and sometimes just things we need to get done. I would hate it if we could hear each other’s thoughts! I’m already stressed out by my own!
So, I was thinking, then, as I was once again trapped in this insecure thought cycle, how did I get here? I was feeling like a pretty awful person, wondering how I went from my normally focused on God self, to worrying about everything and everyone around me. Well, I’m pretty sure it happened with one little thought that knocked on my mind’s door. I’m not sure which one it was at this point. Probably something I felt like I messed up, and then became overly critical of myself for it. Any of you out there like that? Do you just beat yourself up over something you missed, or just didn’t think about doing. Well, you are not alone, I’m right here with you sister. Even if there’s just one other out there like me, well, we are together!
Here is my mistake, which I bet you smart people already know. I let that first thought in, and before you knew it, I was thinking all kinds of crazy thoughts that were essentially believing lies. I needed to “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5). I’m not sure why I didn’t, I’m not sure why that wasn’t my first response. I’m sad that it wasn’t, I know better. What’s next then? Should I wallow in guilt and shame, and fall into another cycle of insecure thoughts? No. God does not work in guilt and shame, that is from Satan. How does God speak to our hearts? Conviction. Good, simple, honest conviction. It’s a quiet knowledge that you strayed from Him, that you let things get between you two. It’s feeling sorry about that, but having the faith and hope that God will help you move forward, while asking His forgiveness. That you do not have to go back, ever, just forward. I want to go forward with you, let’s do it together.
When you hear one of those thoughts that starts to make you feel insecure, pray and ask God to take it captive. Quote the verse above from 2 Corinthians, pray it. There is so much power in praying God’s word! I have learned that over and over again, so many times He brings it to my mind, even when I may not even have it memorized. That’s how amazing the Holy Spirit is!
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
God is so truly amazing! He gives us everything we need to fight against thoughts of insecurity. We start with handing those thoughts over to Christ as soon as they come. We state the truth of God’s word, and who we are in Christ. I have an earlier post about this, here is the link: http://www.thisshannonlife.com/uncategorized/knowing-who-you-are/
We pray that God would be in complete control of our thoughts and lives, that we allow Christ to live in us. We pray against the foothold we have given Satan, so that he can not have a place to speak to us. Pray that we hear God’s voice louder than any others, that His truth will be obvious to us at all times. Will you pray these things with me, the next time an ugly, insecure thought comes your way? Will you remember the steps we talked about here? I pray we both will, and we will be better prepared for the next attack on our thought lives so that we “can take your (our) stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph. 6:11).