I had never been on the receiving end of insecurity until about two months ago. Obviously, I’ve struggled with my own insecurities over the years, but this time I was approached with another person’s insecurities. It was overwhelming because I didn’t know how to respond, never having been in this particular situation before, and I think I bumbled a bit before I got my footing. Thankfully, with some wise counsel, I was able to take a firm stand (which was appropriate and necessary, I might add). However, in the time that has passed, my eyes have been opened to a weakness I have: loving the insecure.
I should mention that while I have struggled with certain insecurities, I don’t generally consider myself an insecure person, nor have I ever. In fact, for the most part, I like being who I am, and there’s not a whole lot I want to change about my body or personality. (Spiritually, there is always room for me to grow, lest anyone thinks I’m saying I’ve arrived). I err on the side of contentment. Additionally, for the most part, I’m not concerned about others’ opinions of me, because why in the world would I trust another person’s opinion above what I know about myself? I’m not validated or affirmed by anyone but God: He has made clear who I am and what I am supposed to be doing. I’m secure in my Father’s hands, and while I don’t always trust Him implicitly as I should, I don’t look anywhere else. I don’t need to: He’s my Maker, He’s got me covered.
So. Insecure people drive me a little nuts, probably because I mostly just don’t get them, and I try to give them a wide berth. Insecurity can be catching. I don’t want to be a part of the obsession with statistics, and evaluations, and trivial facts, and what everyone else must think. I don’t want to rely on these things validate who I am or affirm what I’ve been called to do.
And frankly, it frustrated and angered me when I was forced to reckon with another person’s insecurities because this person insisted they were my own. It grew even worse as it became apparent (to me and others observing the situation) that was exactly what this person was doing. Nothing – and I mean nothing – brings out the fight in me quicker than dishonesty. As I prayed about it (often in July), God showed me some things about this person, not just insecurity, but very specific insecurities. (Not Divine revelation or anything, just discernment). I went back and forth between feeling bad for getting so frustrated and angry and thinking this person should really just get over these insecurities and embrace confident living. (Easier said than done, I know, I know).
This verse in Ephesians 4 caught my attention (catches it every time really): “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” The word bearing in this verse literally means tolerating. I am to put up with my insecure brothers and sisters in Christ. I am to deal with them patiently, humbly, and gently. There have been many words spoken over the past few months concerning this situation that have not been patient, humble, or gentle – both to the instigator and to the people who have prayerfully supported and advised me through it. For those words – the impatient, the prideful, the harsh – I am sorry. I am still very much in training for how to communicate the truth in love.
However (and this is important), while I am called to embrace the insecure, I do not, and will not embrace their insecurities – not for them, and not for me. I will counter insecurity with truth as lovingly, patiently, humbly, and gently as possible, but I will counter it. I’m not interested in feeding an insatiable monster. Also, I’m not competing with anyone, so those statistics, evaluations, factoids, and opinions – ugh, they just don’t matter to me. Please understand, I don’t owe or offer explanations or defenses for why I do what I do – my life is not some argumentative paper in college or a pros and cons list.
I read a great post by Ann Voskamp weeks ago, and it made me realize the burdens we place on other people, when really we should be calling them to freedom. (Isn’t that what Christ came for? Died for? Lives for?) That’s what I want to do going forward when people come to me with insecurity: I want to remind them of who they are (according to God, because let’s face it, nobody else matters) and encourage them in their calling. I want to tell them they are fiercely loved, not only by me, but by a Maker who gave them their purpose.
I also want to inspire confidence by example: I am who I am for God’s purposes, and I find great joy in that.
I’m Lydia. I’m a follower of Jesus and a minister to the people He has placed in my path between home, working two jobs, social media, and church. I exist for Jesus first, and people second. (Always). Writing is my path as ordained by God. Because God has called me to write, I talk about the projects He has given me without shame, and research the best ways to publish and market my work. I have a healthy respect for the fact that what I am called to do is not what everyone else is called to do; in fact, I think it is good.
Who are YOU?