The Verdict on Value – My Thoughts

Each Thursday, we have been talking about breaking free from insecurity, comparison, and shame. We are sharing our raw and messy real life stories. But also, more importantly, we are sharing the truths that set us free. We have bathed this series in prayer and ask now that the Father knit our hearts together and strengthen us to slay this giant called “insecurity” in our hearts. Today, it is my honor to share my dance with this untrustworthy partner called insecurity.

 

 

Insecurity is like an onion. Every layer that is peeled back reveals something stronger and smellier. When peeled all the way to the core, we find Satan lurking there.

Insecurity cloaks itself in many disguises. Sometimes the insecure seem shy and reserved, while others are just the opposite, jealous for attention or envious of other people.

Although insecurity is not mentioned directly, I believe we find some consequences of it in James 3:16 (NCV).

 

Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.

 

Your area of insecurity may be vastly different from mine, but regardless of what insecurity looks like, it all needs to be dealt with. May I share from my battle with insecurity?

The Lord called me into a speaking and writing ministry in 2007. The call couldn’t have been any clearer if the heavens had rolled back and a trumpet-blowing angel announced it. I moved forward, writing a weekly email devotional and speaking wherever the Lord opened doors.

Eventually, I moved my writing platform from email to a blog. Suddenly, I was a small fish in a very big pond. I saw other bloggers who had more followers, and received more comments on their posts. Insecurity crept in. Why didn’t I have more blog followers and comments? I began to compare myself to other bloggers, and the jealousy and insecurity grew.

Other speakers received invitations to speak to larger groups, or had more invitations than I. More insecurity! What was wrong with me? I was a trained speaker who had spoken publically for over a decade. Maybe I was not supposed to be in ministry? I began to doubt my calling.

As insecurity and envy took root, my focus turned inward. I began desperately visiting many blogs and leaving comments, hoping those bloggers would reciprocate, and my comment count would go up. Sometimes it worked, and my mood rose like a thermometer in July. Other times, the comments were few, and I was as low as a snake’s belly. When I had a speaking engagement on my calendar, my mood soared, but when there were no speaking engagements on the horizon, jealousy, envy, and self-pity threatened to engulf me. My eyes were focused inward rather than on Christ, and my worth was based on externals. The more I kept my eyes focused on what the Lord was doing in the lives of others, the more insecure, jealous, and self-centered, I grew. That was a perfect insecurity storm ginned up by Satan.

Eventually, the Lord grew tired of my pity party. For about a year beginning in late 2012, the well of speaking opportunities dried up, as did much of my writing voice. At the same time, the Lord began opening doors for one-on-one, mentoring ministry. It was not what I had asked for, nor was it where I felt my strengths lay. Thankfully, I was wise enough not to fight the Lord on it. I remember one day when, with tears in my eyes, I bent my knees before Him and said, “If I never speak again, if I never write another word, help me accept that plan as good, and as coming from you. Whatever ministry you have for me, help me be pleasing to you.”

My focus turned from myself to college-age women, and I felt the smiling nod of God upon me, once again. The more I sought Jesus in that ministry, the more I was okay with not having speaking engagements. I became content in the circumstance the Lord ordained for me. Insecurity and self-centeredness fled as I fixed my focus on Jesus. Jealousy was replaced by the desire to encourage others in ministry. Interestingly enough, as I bent my knee to God’s plan, my writing voice returned, and the opportunities to speak began presenting themselves again.

Satan’s tools are insecurity, jealousy, and self-centeredness. Your area of insecurity may not be ministry related. It might be finances, marriage, job, children, physical appearance, emotional stability, social status, spiritual maturity, or any one of a bazillion other areas. Whatever it is, by the power of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, you can live above insecurity, if you keep your eyes focused on Him, and your knees bent in submission to His plan. I am living proof that it can be done.

 

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  • Kathy Schwanke

    The devil never ceases the arrows does he? He continually seeks a gap in my armor. My call has been much less clear than yours to speak and write. It’s been more like a slow-cooker, and the doubt arrow has been aimed here and there on this journey. Or the accusation that I haven’t done enough.

    I’m so grateful that His gifts and call are irrevocable or I may have missed His blessings all together. And eternally grateful for the Truth that sets us free!

    God bless your ministry Leah! Glad we’re walking it out together. :)

    • Thank you, Kathy. I, too, am so grateful that God’s gifts and call are irrevocable. What comfort it is to know He didn’t make a mistake when He called me to ministry. Blessings to you, my friend.

  • Arabah Joy

    Thank you for this post, Leah. I appreciate your honesty and know many will be blessed by hearing how the Lord led you to the other side of this issue. Stand firm, my friend!

    • Thank you, AJ. Thank you for including me in this wonderful group of bloggers for this series. I have been blessed.

  • You are a woman of strength and valor, always honoring the Lord with your obedience, Leah. What I find so encouraging is God’s directives in your life and your willingness to follow him wherever he leads. He’s led you to some mighty fine places, and he is honoring your heart’s desire in rich ways. So many of the ways you’ve struggled mirror my own struggles. I’m so tired of my insecurity. It’s Satan’s favorite tool to use against me, and it doesn’t take much for it to creep in. Fortunately, I better understand some of the triggers and am able to ward him off at the path!

    Praying God’s continuing blessing over you as you move forward to bless the world with his love!

    • Elaine, thank you for your words of encouragement. You are truly one of my heroes. Your trust in Jesus and your overcoming spirit are examples to me as I journey down this path of life. I am so blessed to call you my friend. I love you.

  • Karen Hossink

    Oh, how I can relate to the words you’ve left here. As if you were writing my own story.
    But when I fix my eyes on HIM…Yes. This is the solution.
    And even in your new area of ministry – that to your mother dealing with dementia – we can trust God will lead the way. Praying for you, my friend.

    • Karen, thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement. Yes, fixing our eyes on Jesus, rather than the circumstances is absolutely essential! Blessings to you.

  • Jen

    Your story really spoke to me, Leah! It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap, especially as one relatively new to the scene. :) I thank you for the reminder that if our focus is on self, then we’re not submitting to Him! What excellent encouragement to seek a solution at the One and Only Source.

    • Jen, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m thrilled this post encouraged you. HE truly is the One and Only Source.