Sunday, April 15, 2018

for days you feel fat, ugly, and bad

Yesterday I felt ugly. 
I used to think insecurity was only for 14 year-old girls, but I've learned that it finds its way to all of us, no matter our age or occupation or body fat percentage. 

Some friends looked at old pictures of me. I was 20, bleach blonde, all my front teeth were the originals, and I didn't have any scars on my face. They were surprised and said nice things about how pretty I was. "Was." 

"Insecurity breeds insecurity. It is a formidable saboteur of love’s potential to heal. Whether you are the insecure person in a relationship or the one who is trying to rein in that demon, it is imperative that the battle is won."
-Randi Gunther, Ph.D., 

I'm familiar with insecurity showing up, not just what my face looks like, but in my interactions with people. Am I caring enough? Am I spending enough time investing in this relationship? Am I a good daughter? Am I a good friend? 

Insecurity shows up in ministry. Am I a "good missionary?" Am I "doing enough?" Am I showing people who Jesus is? Do all the people supporting me think I'm doing a good job?

Insecurity leads me through a series of questions all revolving around one big question; "Am I good?" The series of questions always leads to the same place: insecurity. 

God is suggesting that I stop the series of questions altogether. He's digging the insecurity out of my heart and planting in its place the really beautiful life-bearing seeds called "confidence."
As He plants new seeds, He sings, "You're good, you're good, you're good. You're good because I say you're good."
I love that song. 

I know you know what insecurity feels like, too. I'm sorry. I wish we could all stay confident 4 year-olds who assume that we're wonderful and everybody wants our company and never once wonder if we're good.

We don't have to wonder if we're good enough, not when we belong to Jesus. He died to take all that wondering away, all that fear away, all that insecurity away. We get to live like 4 year-olds again.

After my feeling ugly day, I turned my attention to Jesus, 
"Do you think I'm beautiful?"
My heart heard Him assure me that He does. 
Then my heart heard Him tell me He likes my scars and fake teeth and less-glamorous-than-my-20-year-old-self appearance.

When we turn our attention to what Jesus is thinking about us, He turns insecurity into confidence. He turns fear into courage. He turns lies into truth. 

If your stomach has rolls instead of abs, your marriage has a divorce date instead of an anniversary, your kids give you cold shoulders instead of hugs, if you're a missionary wondering if you're actually helping anybody at all, turn your attention to Jesus. Ask Him what He thinks about you. 

I've really screwed up a lot. "Perfect" is a long way from what I've got going on here in my life. But He says I'm good and that's the end of it. 

I hope you let Him talk to you about what He thinks of you. If you're not used to talking to Him, or if you're not sure what His voice to your heart sounds like, you can start like this, 
"Hi Jesus. I want to hear you. Help me, please."
And read Luke 12. I've been liking that chapter a lot.  

I'm awesome. And so are you.