“Are you saying no because of your weight?”
Those words caught me off guard and stung. I’m always amazed at the freedom some feel to say what they do.
Rather than respond with a full-frontal attack, I used gentle words so I could hide the hurt. “No, I just don’t want ice cream right now. Thanks, though.”
In that moment—at a dinner with old friends that should have been filled with joy and celebration—I found myself in a very tangling situation. I put on a brave face and pushed through. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin the evening for everyone else. But honestly, I’m so tired of just pushing through. Even more, I’m frustrated that my self-worth is still so easily tangled.
Isn’t there a point in our lives when insecurity shouldn’t knot us up anymore?
The shaming voice inside tells me I should be able to overcome it. And so often I agree:
The struggle to see the truth of our worth isn’t new. Chances are you’re intimately aware of the places you don’t feel like you “measure up.” And dare I say it’s a battle we’ll most likely carry to the grave because part of the human condition is wondering if we’re good enough.
Those insecurities cause us to take a sobering look at our life to see if we’ve been a success. We want to know we made a difference—our lives, our words, our actions—during our time here. We need to know we matter.
So we wonder… Am I raising my kids the right way? Have I been the kind of wife my husband needed? Am I doing enough to create healthy community and love on others well? Am I a good friend? Have I volunteered enough hours? Am I nurturing my relationship with Jesus enough? Do I handle our finances like I should? Am I as encouraging and affirming with my words as she is? Do my opinions and ideas matter?
We want to know we’ve contributed to the world in significant ways. Our hope is to know we’re beautiful in our own way, and others see it too. And we need to know that no matter what, we are valuable.
So when a careless comment tightens the tangle of worthlessness, it hurts so deep.
In my naivety, I thought I’d eventually grow out of insecurities. I assumed being an adult meant the craving for worldly acceptance and approval would stop. But for many of us, we are still getting tangled by the same ole people and the same stupid situations.
But here is what I’ve learned. Victory doesn’t mean we’ll never struggle with insecurity again. Victory means that when we feel the knot begin to tighten, we are quicker to see it and faster to take our tangle to God.
And even more, God never measures our value by the way we look, what we’ve accomplished, the money we have made, the health of our body, or any other worldly measuring stick. God values us simply because we’re His.
“You are the ones who make yourselves look right in other people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For the things that are considered of great value by people are worth nothing in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:15 GNT)
What a beautiful reminder that God’s scales are not the same as the world's. And this scripture offers a powerful warning not to allow the world’s definition of success and beauty be the judge of our value and worth.
So how can we learn to see ourselves through the eyes of God?
Because when we do—when we truly untangle—words won’t hold the same power over us anymore. And when someone questions why we’re skipping dessert (or we get triggered in some other way), we’ll remember that God sees the beauty and complexity of our heart… and delights in His creation!
This blog post was written by Carey Scott for Propel Women in June, 2017. She is an author, speaker, and life coach, honest about her walk with the Lord…stumbles, fumbles and all. She is the author of Untangled, a book where she bravely shares her story of abuse, the insecurities birthed from it, and offers practical advice on how to live in freedom. Carey lives in Northern Colorado with her family. Learn more at CareyScott.org. You can also connect with her on Facebook,Twitter or Pinterest.
10/16/2017 08:46:44 pm
I have felt the knot of this insecurity many times. I have sought to take my knot of insecurity to Jesus as well many times. But often I don't do that until I have tried to unwind it myself and talk through it with other people. That often doesn't help at all. Thank you for the blog.
10/16/2017 10:28:09 pm
Loved this post! We all struggle with insecurities in one form or another... but what helps me a lot is to remember that He is made strong in my weaknesses and insecurities. He gets the glory when he helps me work through my issues!
10/17/2017 01:44:23 am
10/17/2017 06:34:58 pm
Good ideas to help overcome insecurities.
10/17/2017 07:12:10 pm
For as long as I can remember I have always been fearful. My dad was a lot of fun, but he was not as quick with praise as he was with discipline. Today, I still struggle with fear of failure, but I try, with God's help, to do things trembling if I have to. I love the ladies of our church and want to pour into them. Fear does limit me at times when I let it. Every day is a little easier. I have a wonderful husband who believes so much in me. That is HUGE! Praise God!
10/17/2017 07:18:43 pm
The “so we wonder...” section hit me right on the dot. These are definite questions I work through. Thanks for the encouraging post!
10/17/2017 09:24:14 pm
With God All Things Are Possible!
10/17/2017 11:03:32 pm
Great article. The devil seems to know where we feel weak and make us feel even worse. I'm challenged to stay closer to Jesus and be thankful for His help.
10/17/2017 11:19:10 pm
I have struggled with my worth to God (and others) as long as I can remember. I was raised in a home where a person's worth was only measured in the work you could do and if a job was not done well enough you redid the task until it was done right no matter how many times it took. It left me as a very insecure perfectionist, which set me up for continual feelings of failure. A few months ago God revealed an awesome truth to me. I have a child whose path in life has strayed away from God. As I was praying for them to return to God I felt God ask me if I loved my straying child. My instant response was, of course God I always will. Then it was as if God's voice was ever so soft and gentle. He said, That is how I feel about you, My child. No matter your failures, your imperfections you are My child and I will always love you. Yes, I still struggle with the expectations I place on myself, but God has been so gracious to frequently remind me of His love and committment to me. It has been a great comfort to me.
10/19/2017 10:08:23 am
Wanda, isn't it awesome how God uses the moments when we are listening, to speak words of love and encouragement to us! As you say, sometimes we are our own worse enemy, putting expectations on ourselves that are so difficult to meet. Yes, He is so good to us, making a beautiful picture of our fractured lives.
10/18/2017 12:57:10 am
This was a good read. "Victory doesn’t mean we’ll never struggle with insecurity again. Victory means that when we feel the knot begin to tighten, we are quicker to see it and faster to take our tangle to God" is very encouraging.
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