I’m in a Bible Study every other Sunday night. It meets in Hudsonville at someone’s house, and women from all over the Grand Rapids area crawl out of their lives and into this basement to connect with God and each other. What’s so interesting about this group of women is the diversity. I was invited by Stacy many months ago, and I originally pictured the group to consist of women like her: women who love Target, who love old movies, and who host craft nights. This, naturally, seemed like it would be a great fit for me. Immediately, though, I was surprised. These young women truly have one greater thing in common over any hobby or interest, and that’s Jesus. I couldn’t tell you from the months I’ve been attending who is close with who, who shops with who, who lunches with who. Usually this is pretty clear with groups of women; even when we have no intention of being divisive, we still manage to hang with our own kind. But, this group has truly been designed by a God who is ultimately creative. Some of us are moms, some are single, some divorced, some dating…but everyone who comes is struggling, in some varietal way, with herself.
The book that was chosen most recently for our study was Beth Moore’s “So Long Insecurity; You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us”. When I found out this was our book, I was thrilled. Mainly because Beth Moore had earned my trust as a teacher with her Believing God series.* I need to re-do the Believing God series each year in order to pound in the Truths that my stubbornness and humanity don’t always let in. My heart is much more open and accepting than my head seems to be. I even get frustrated with Beth Moore, but in a backwards way. Some of her points and her word choices are so pround, so beautiful, so largely impacting, that I don’t know how to respond! And it seems she brushes over them. It’s an odd thing to be frustrated that a writer or teacher is TOO right. I only hope that she, as as well as her other readers, have the patience, intelligence, and wisdom to soak in the validity and direction of her advice and observations.
Within my first read, I began searching for a highlighter, fearful that I might lose a thought that is so central to my life right now. (I lose things easily, even my spot in a book). But these thoughts are so True, so helpful and so honest, I needed to make a greater note of them. Some stand still by themselves, steady as rocks, without any commentary needed. Others I felt are better if is elaborated on.
1. “I realized that maybe I don’t just doubt myself. Maybe I subconsciously doubt God for using me.”
2. “Insecurity’s best cover is perfectionism. That’s where it becomes an art form.”
3. “Loss of favor and approval and harmony is excruciating to people with insecurity.”
4. “Never think for a moment that pride and self-centeredness have no role in insecurity.”
5. “We can be so blessed in certain relationships that our unrealistic expectations often seem met and, therefore, reasonable.”
#1–It’s difficult to face as a Christian the potential you have as a human being when you’re open to all of God’s capabilities. Through people, God parted seas and performed healings. (In fact, He still does. All the time.) People are His greatest vessel for contact with brokenness and dysfunction. But I’m constantly doubting my own capabilities. I just don’t realize how offensive that has to be to God, who not only created me, but who’s hands I put my life into. To say that I’m not good enough is to say He isn’t. It’s totally backward thinking, but I get stuck in it everyday.
2#–I’ve always seen the pursuit of perfectionism as ambitious and respectable. That is, until I’ve seen the people in my life who aim for perfection completely crumble under this pursuit (including myself). But I’ve never realized the correlation between perfectionism and insecurity. They are close family. I never realized that trying to be perfect is actually a method of compensation.
#3–If you know me at all, then it will be no surprise to you that this statement hurt. But it’s something I need to hear, and I need to be secure enough not to cave under conflict or consider it to be my personal responsibility to resolve conflict, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with me.I
#5–I believe that I’ve experienced this truth more than any other mentioned. I’m so blessed in my relationships I don’t know what to do with myself! Without realizing it, I become spoiled and even more insecure because these blessings are overly abundant and entirely undeserved. (Josh, by the way, is the greatest example here. To say he is a blessing to me is a sick understatement).
I will continue to wrestle with what other roles insecurity has in my life; and I think this book will cover most relationships and identities that are present in my life right now. And if you’ve been a victim of my insecurity before, please accept this apology. And pray for me to keep working on it.
*I’m finding out that my spiritual skepticism, in itself, is an enemy to my faith. Often disguised as discernment, this skepticism keeps me locked up and tucked away. I’ve been exposed to so many authors and teachers over the years, and I spent a portion of my life disgusted by any book that would have the author’s portrait, plastic-like and polished, on the front cover. When I went to Family Christian Stores to purchase the book, I felt embarrassed carrying it up to the front, as if it was a Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen book. (Both, I’m sure, offer many people hope and guidance in their walk with and search for God). I’m learning to swallow this, because ultimately it’s my own insecurity (ironically) that bears these feelings. And I’m incredibly proud to say that I own a copy of the glossy book that has a horribly written..and unbearably long…title