Insecurity. Shame. Self-Hate. Fear. Depression. Worthlessness.
It’s suffocating, isn’t it? That feeling that we’ll never be good enough. That we’re worthless. That life has no hope for us. Those dark lies whispered into our ears, snuffing out our light …
You will never be worthy of a godly husband. Who would want you? You’re too much work—too much of a mess.
Stop being so arrogant! Get your face back in the dirt, girl! As if God values you and has a future for you.
Your future is dark. You’ll never get where you want to be. God doesn’t really hear you. You may as well curl up in the corner and waste away.
You’re not good enough, because you don’t have a job. Look at all those hard workers out there. They’re so good. You, however, are pretty much useless to your family.
Ugh. You’re so stupid. Why did you say that? Why did you do that? When are you ever going to get it right, you idiot??
Remember all those dark and awful things you did in your past? You scum of the earth. If people really knew who you are, they wouldn’t accept and love you.
Look at you. You’re ugly. You need to lose weight. Why would that man want you? He could have so many better girls!
You’re a horrible mother. You’re wrecking your own children. Your house is a mess. You’re tired and depressed every day. You’ll never get things right. You’ll never do anyone any good.
You think your gift is writing? Actually, your stories are stupid. You’re wasting your time. You’re not serving God or others.
You are so shy, and dumb, and socially awkward. Nobody even likes hanging out with you. They don’t want to talk to you. They don’t want to sit by you. You annoy them. Just go away.
The list could go on and on. I’ve struggled with listening to most of these lies.
When I was about twelve/thirteen years old, I was convinced that I was overweight. I didn’t want to visit my family and friends out of state because I was certain they wouldn’t like me anymore. I would get depressed when around girls thinner then me—feeling this irrational shame and less-than-ness. Even to this day, I can be pretty insecure about how I look. And it’s a hard thing when you feel like you’re just not beautiful.
Around the same age, I fell into a deep and dark season of doubting God. I knew, somewhere in my soul, that He was there, but I was afraid that because of my doubting He would send me to hell if I died. And I feared the end of the world would come before I stopped doubting.
For years, I struggled with tying my worth to how hard and how much I worked. Around thirteen, I actually remember thinking that my parents probably didn’t love me that much. Why would they? I was a stupid, moody teenager who didn’t do much work around the house when it came down to it. Just some hand-washing dishes a couple times a day.
As I got older and still to this day, I struggle with ever feeling like enough for a godly husband. I have health issues, and emotional problems, and deal with irrational fear and anxiety. Who would want me? I’m nothing special. Nothing sets me apart. I’m boring, awkward, and silly.
I feel bad about past mistakes. Sometimes shame consumes me, and I feel like all my wrongdoings of the past define me. It’s who I am. I’ll never be able to leave it behind. If people really knew . . .
All this stuff . . . it just gets you feeling so low you wonder if you can ever rise again. I’m sure you readers can add your struggles to the list. The dark lies you hear daily.
We, as human beings, struggle and struggle and struggle with insecurity. And the world tries to give us tips like:
- Just be you!
- Have confidence in yourself!
- Look in the mirror and say: “I love you. You are beautiful.”
- You rock just the way you are!
- Shake it off!!
And some of this stuff could have some merit. (Most of it sounds silly in the light of our monstrous burden of insecurity). But while it can have us soaring high for a few days, it never seems to keep us on the top of the mountains, because the world also tells us:
Skinny is beautiful. Don’t you see the models? They have thigh gaps, tiny waists, and long, thin legs. You need to be that way, and here’s how you can do it.
Stop being so meek and modest. You must be sexy, brash, and bold if you ever want love.
You don’t go to college? Don’t have a job? No boyfriend? Excuse me, child? You’re messed up – got it all wrong.
What?? You’ve never been kissed? Believe in saving sex until marriage? What is your problem? You’re definitely never going to get the beautiful marriage you think you will. You’ll probably end up an old maid.
And yeah. We fall back in the same old insecurity. Because we’re “too fat”, or we’re “too thin”. Or we’re different—we stand up for purity and modesty and godliness, and people think we’re ridiculous. Or we see all the perfectly clean houses and happy, loving mother-children relationships of our friends on Facebook, and feel like a failure. Or we have high standards for romantic relationships, and feel worthless because we’re not dating yet—nobody’s even asked.
And we feel like everybody is telling us: “Yeah right. In your dreams. You’ll just never get it. You gotta be better. You’ll never be good enough.”
“You. Will. Never. Measure. Up.”
And then we look in the mirror and try to tell ourselves, “I love you. You’re beautiful. You can do it.”?
Who believes that in the midst of the world’s nasty taunts and the Enemy’s even uglier lies that bombard us?
Are you tired of trying to believe all on your own? I certainly am. So if you are, then join me. We need a new plan of confidence and finding our worth.
It starts with:
Look to your Creator and His Word.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Almighty God created you. He crafted you and your inmost parts. He designed your talents, your desires, your dreams, you future. He made YOU a temple of the Holy Spirit when you accepted Him.
People, this is huge! Imagine an unimaginable, holy, high Being taking dust gently into His big, loving hands, and precisely and purposefully forming YOU.
Readers, God made you.
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16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:8-10
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The Creator of the Universe, the one true God, the mightiest and holiest Being … He sent His ONLY, BELOVED Son to die for you. He was bruised, and beaten, and killed so that YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE. And not just life, but abundant life! And eternity!
The Bible says the greatest love is laying down your life for someone else. Wouldn’t you agree?? Well, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did that for you. If you have accepted this amazing gift, then God has granted you salvation.
Readers, God saved you.
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God does not condemn you.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Sometimes, what makes us insecure, is the shame of past sins. The guilt of failure. The fear of never being good enough. But the truth is, you don’t have to be ashamed. Your wrongdoings of the past, are gone. Wiped away. You are free!
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Furthermore, there’s now no more condemnation. No one can point a finger at you and say, “Well, they did this that one time . . .” No.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
God is not a stern taskmaker, or a cruel father, or a condemning judge – waiting for you to mess up so He can strike you. No! He loves His creations! He desire that they be saved and cleansed and filled with joy and hope in Him!
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12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
Luke 15: 20-24
Do you still carry the sins of your past like a secret burden? Does it tie you up in knots of shame and insecurity? Do you feel like a failure? Do you think God is angry in heaven, shaking his finger at you because you just can’t get it right? Read the above verses, my dear! Those who look to God, their faces are radiant! They are not ashamed! If you have simply accepted the gift, you are forgiven, you are free, you are new – there is NO condemnation for you. God is not waiting to shame you, He is waiting to gather you up in His arms and help you!
And those past sins, they are no more.
Readers, God does not condemn you.
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13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
Oftentimes, we acknowledge that God created us. We accept His gift of eternal life. But we don’t actually feel like He values us. Wants us. We feel ashamed or arrogant to claim God’s love and care. I mean, me? I’m just a little nobody in the grand scheme of things. God allowed me to be born, but now leaves me to muddle through life on my own. Nothing could be further from the truth! Here the Truth, dear readers:
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
We are His children. He is our shepherd! He lovingly carries us close to His heart. He knows us. Our needs. Our pain. Our desires. Our thoughts. Our dreams. Our gifts. Our future.
And not only does God know us. He cares about us. Every detail. Even little things that we think God wouldn’t notice or be bothered with. You are never alone. Jesus saw the needs and hurts of those around him; He saw their hearts and He cared.
13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
When we stray, He woos us back. When we call out to Him – even in our dirtiest, blackest form – He saves us. He cares about our needs, He cares about us. And He will not allow anything to take us from Him.
42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
2 Timothy 4:18
You are of much value to God. In your distress, your fear, your sorrow, your insecurity, your anxiety, your hopelessness, your pain, He is there.
Readers, God sees you.
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But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:9
Look to Jesus! Know there is hope, and purpose, and destiny for you! God chose you! He has a future for you! He has a specific plan for your life; you have a purpose on this earth. You are needed. Your gifts and talents are meant to be used. God has called you to abundant life, hope and joy, and eternity!
Readers, God has a plan for you.
So . . . after all that . . . (which was really quite beautiful, don’t you agree? The Bible never fails to surprise me, amaze me, and touch deep into my soul) what is the conclusion? How does that solve the issues of our painful insecurity?
If God made you. Saved you. Does not condemn you. Sees you. Has a plan for you . . .
That means you are worthy. Valued. Forgiven. Cherished. New. You are royalty. You have great hope. You have an incredible inheritance.
Because of Jesus Christ. Because of this amazing Father God who looked down and said, “I want to save these people, because I love them“. We are enough because Jesus loves us!
If I throw off the world’s sneers and Satan’s condemnation, and look up into the glorious face of Jesus, I see that I am beautiful (He created me in His image), I am valued (He chose to save my weak, doubting soul), I am forgiven and clean (He does not condemn me), I am cherished (He sees me), I am royalty, I have hope (He has plan for me – on earth and in eternity).
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If I look to the world or to myself, I will never be secure. I will never be confident. I will never be good enough. I will never be clean. I will never be hopeful.
Because it’s all about Jesus! It’s all about my loving Father! It’s not about me. And that is perfect. Because when I stop looking at myself, and start looking at Him, all I see is His love.
And I’m convinced, somehow, deep down, that I am beautiful, secure, loved, strong, HIS.
And I see that others are too. And suddenly, I want to tell the world to stop looking for self-confidence and start looking for Jesus! Because I have found this incredible security, and I want you, my dear reader, to find it too! *big hugs* ❤
Now all I have to say to you is …
19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.
1 Chronicles 22:19
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
** Originally published on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life, June 16th, 2015 **