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.