Sometimes there are things that God nudges me to share that I don't want to. We have discussed this blog for two days now and He has been persistent! I have learned through the years not to continue digging my heels in when God nudges me to do something. Now, if I could only learn not to dig my heels in at all! Did you hear that? That was my husband saying Amen!
There are a few reasons why I don't want to write about insecurity. First, it's deeply personal and second, I am still in the process of understanding it and working through it. I would much rather write when I feel I can be helpful because I have finished going through something. So, here is my disclaimer: I am a work in progress and I don't have this problem of insecurity figured out. What I share today will only be my journey and the conclusions that I have reached so far. I haven't met a person yet who doesn't have some level of insecurity. Most likely you have some of your own. Be thankful that God isn't asking you to blog about them!
There are all kinds of insecurities. We can feel insecure about ourselves in a general sense. We can feel insecure about our finances, our abilities, or our futures. Insecurity can even effect some parts of our lives and not others. There are some people whose whole lives are marked by insecurity. I thought that I had gotten past some of my insecurities until about a month ago. God used a book I was reading to bring an area of insecurity to my attention. It made me really uncomfortable. I learned that I was still allowing some of the hurts from the past to make me feel insecure and to hinder me in the present. As uncomfortable as the realization initially was, after a while it felt a little bit like a relief. I now understood the REAL reason why I am the way I am in certain situations, instead of buying the excuses that I had made for myself. Let me explain...
I was bullied all through junior high school. You name it, I was made fun of for it. My parents had just moved us from New Jersey to Pennsylvania the summer before seventh grade. I was the new kid so I was bullied. I didn't have the latest name brand clothing, so I was bullied. Once they figured out I was a Christian, I was bullied. In fact, the girl who bullied me the most, had a locker right next to mine and she was a Satanist. My parents solution was to tell me to "kill them with kindness". How do you kill a Satanist with kindness? I was bullied for being too chubby, too ugly. I was bullied for not having a boyfriend. I was bullied for being terrible at sports. I was bullied for having a giant red duffle bag instead of a backpack, that my mother wouldn't let me return to the store! When they ran out of options they started rumors that I was gay, of course I wasn't really gay. Being gay was unacceptable then, so when I went to lunch I sat alone because everyone else moved to the other end of our assigned tables. It became so upsetting that I didn't eat and my parents called the guidance counselor, who called me into his office and said, "toughen up kid it's a cruel world". You would think that I could find refuge at my church youth group, but I did not. The kids there either ignored me or made it known that they disliked me. I learned quickly to accept any token of friendship I could get, and most of them came from the other kids that were being bullied. These are all of the things that God has shown me, still effect me.
I thought I was passed it. I certainly hadn't thought about it in years. In fact, I have often credited God with using it to mold me into who I am today. Being bullied taught me to listen with compassion. It taught me to put myself in other people's shoes. Being bullied, taught me that we are all broken and we waste time pretending that we have it all together. No one has it all together. We are all a work in progress. Yet, God has shown me that there is this other part of me that He needs to make whole. There is a way in which being bullied has left me with lasting insecurity that only He can get rid of. Being bullied still effects me in social situations, specifically when I have to meet new people or find myself in a large group. I am only surprised that I wasn't able to connect the dots with these things before. I now know that I have made excuses instead. Excuses like, "That's just my personality, I'm not as out going as my husband" or " I don't like making small talk" and " I don't speak unless I have something to say".
God has shown me that I don't like introducing myself to new people or having conversations with people I don't know well because I am insecure. I don't consciously do it, but I somehow assume that I won't have anything interesting to say. God has shown me that I don't like spending time in large group settings like wedding receptions or potluck dinners because I don't want to make conversation. Somewhere along the line I have accepted the idea that I don't have anything worth saying, they won't like what I have to say, or they may talk to me for a little while but will soon get bored. So, I avoid these things if I can. If I can't avoid them, then I tend to make sure that I have someone with me who is the life of the party so that I can just tag along and hover in the background. God is in the process of showing me how this can be a hindrance. See, I may feel insecure about myself in some ways, but I feel very secure about myself in others.
I know who I am in Christ. I know the things that He has gifted me with. I know that anything He asks me to do, He equips me to do it. I know that He loves me just as I am. I am secure in using the gifts that He has given me. I am secure in sharing Christ with others. Wait....there is the hindrance. I can share Christ with others and I have done it, but this insecurity in large groups and in meeting new people...it slows the process. There may be people that God wants me to share His love with and I may miss the opportunity because of my own insecurity. I may miss the opportunity because I have become too comfortable hovering in the background and making excuses for myself. So what do I do?
This is the question that I keep asking God and this is the part not yet finished. You see, before now I didn't know I had a problem and so it didn't bother me. Now, I want it fixed...like yesterday! Yet, it's been my experience that God is all about the journey....and journeys are long! Right now, I am asking God to heal my broken places because I don't want my insecurities to cause me any more missed opportunities. I have no idea what that healing will look like, and I don't care. I just want to be whole...to be completely who God is making me to be and I don't want this to stand in the way.
There it is! I did it. God can't bug me anymore today to blog about this! All joking aside, we all have insecurities. The question is do we want to continue in them or do we want to be set free and made whole? You may never have to share yours with anyone the way that I just shared mine, but what good does it do to keep it to yourself? Remember, no one really has it all together! Can we do this together? Will you journey with me and ask God to expose your insecurities and how they are hindering you? After He exposes them, will you invite Him to heal your broken places and set you free? Free, free to be who He says we are, to do what He calls us to do, and to go where He calls us to go.