Insecurity rules my life, more than I’d care to admit. Probably more than 50 percent if I got honest. Probably more than 50 percent of my life is spent in rabbit holes of destructive thinking or reacting. And you know what, I am so tired of it.
There is a belief I have, one that reaches deep down into my soul, that I am not worthy or good enough. And being in a relationship with someone who speaks my love languages of words and physical affection and shares my central love for God hasn’t erased these insecurities. In fact, it’s magnified them. Having a person “to lose” has made me even more fearful, especially in situations in which my partner has to interact closely with another female, such as at work. My mind can go down rabbit holes of fear of the potential intimacy occurring behind those walls and how I should just give up now before I inevitably get hurt.
What a waste of my time to think these thoughts. And yes, they are embarrassing to admit on the page.
But you see, in my defense (not excusing the fears or my entertaining them), my last long-term boyfriend left me for a classmate, “an unattractive friend who had a boyfriend,” that he started spending extra time with after class, and he dismissed any concerns I had until my fear became reality. Then, there’s the fact that there’s a lot of divorce in my family and a number of second wives and husbands that came from workplace friendships while the spouse was still in a marriage. And there’s the fact that I’ve worked from home for years and so have gotten a little batty, forgetting about real-life, harmless work relationships. Ultimately, however, I believe these deep-rooted fears that I am not worthy of commitment come from the parental abandonment in my childhood. While my mother and I now have a steady relationship and I have learned what I can reasonably expect in this relationship, from age five onward, she was in and out of our lives for years at a time, and her comings and goings weren’t planned. My deep well of unworthiness or belief that I am worthy of being abandoned are playing out hardcore in my romantic relationship. But the truth is, they’ve been playing out in my friendships and other relationships as well and since I was a preteen. While it’s gotten a little better, I have spent most of my life feeling like I am too much and a burden to others.
I think I have gotten to the point where I am tired of the enemy stealing my joy, my gifts, and who God created me to be. I am tired of choosing fear time and time again. I am tired of rabbit-hole thinking. Of not being able to enjoy the gifts in front of me for fear of losing them. Of not living my best life. I do believe that my very-real anxiety makes it that much easier to go down rabbit holes, and I am working on managing that issue (hello heart-racing and runaway brain), but I also know there is hope for me in this flawed thinking that runs deep to the core. I believe, at least with the faith of a mustard seed, that I can get to a place of healing and wholeness in Christ, even if there is a part of me that may be scared of such healing and wholeness.
This past Sunday in church, our pastor asked us two questions for homework for next week:
- What defines you?
- Where did that thing get the authority to define you?
He said, for some it might be their job or their physique. For others, it might be their victimhood.
For me, I think it’s my unworthiness. Even before the pastor asked these questions, I sobbed during worship as I felt the Holy Spirit ministering to my heart. And I realized, perhaps, that there is a part of me fearful of walking in wholeness. I have lived so much of my life feeling less-than. And this goes SO beyond my romantic relationship and its related insecurities. It goes back to childhood and things like standing to the far side of a group photo so as to not take up space. Of comparing myself to my college roommate, especially our first year, because she had nicer clothes and a bubbly personality, and I felt second-hand and full of sadness and issues. I have cried so many tears feeling less-than, putting myself side by side against others, especially groups of women. I have even bowed out of potential female friendships, ones that could have deeply enriched my life, because of insecurity of the two of us “side by side.” Or struggled through a friendship I felt was of the Lord, crying behind closed doors after spending time with her in a group setting because she shined and I felt like a dim comparison. One time, and this is probably gonna get too Pentecostal on you, I got so tired of the comparison struggles between me and this friend that I cried out aloud (in my empty apartment, mind you) that the Lord show me my beauty!!! In my mind’s eye, at that very moment, I saw a demon expel from my mouth as I cried out with all my might for release from this. And things improved with my friend and those struggles. We’re still friends to this day. As I write this, and some may think the story a little cuckoo (and that’s okay), I see it as God reminding me right now to be bold. To stand tall against the enemy’s lies over my life.
I don’t exactly have my word for the year yet (this is when instead of a bunch of resolutions you pray for a word to focus your year upon, like hope or grace), but I do feel God is calling me to stay close to Him and let Him teach me His love for me. But I also feel He is calling me to take a step of action toward my recovery and learn (and start to put into practice through scripture) His words toward my true identity and worth in Him. I can so easily spot the enemy’s hand in a situation and even his full tactics from start to finish, but I haven’t been able to replace those lies with truth and not just take the defeat without even a fight.
There’s a part of me who’s lazy when it comes to scripture and part of me, I know, who just loves to overcomplicate things because she is analytical (I actually copy edit for a living!), so I reached out to a friend who is solid in scripture and awesome if she wouldn’t mind investing in me a little. I realized I needed someone in my corner who would be willing to invest a coffee date a few times a month where I could safely share some of these struggles and be challenged and accountable to take the next step in my recovery: seeking God’s truth as to my identity and worth and declaring this truth over my fears and struggles.
I also (thanks Christmas gifts!) ordered a handful of books I have wanted for a while now and one I had never heard of from Beth Moore (So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us) to soak my mind in good, positive stuff. I feel like the Lord keeps allowing me to have these same struggles time and time again, even allowing the heat to turn up, so I will finally get tired enough to get the help I need and so He can finally lavish the love on me that He wants to. I pray as I walk this road step by step my heart will begin to let down some of its walls enough to receive that love that I really need: His. I want to be able to rest in that love so that no matter what happens in my life, even if my heart gets broken by an earthly man, I am secure that my worth is untouched. I want my worth and security to come from that deep well.
This is a bit of a vulnerable post (um, yes), but I think I’m getting braver in sharing if I knew it may help someone. And this is my story and testimony.
In the next post, I think I’ll share 5 or so ways we can seek freedom from our insecurities. I like to write from a place of what I’m learning, so I’ll never claim to have found all the answers. But I’ll always be honest.
Have a wonderful week. We can be free. Let’s believe this!
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”