April 28, 2010

So Long, Insecurity!

"So Long, Insecurity." What do you think of when you read those words?

“I'm not insecure. Like, really. I'm not insecure. I promise.”

“Wow, I wish I could be secure.”

“I've never met a secure woman in my life.”

“Yeah right!”

Whatever your reaction is, you have to admit it gets your attention. The minute I heard the initial buzz that my best-friend-who-doesn't-know-it-yet Beth Moore was releasing this new book, I instantly knew I would read it. The timing was so impeccable.

I'll go ahead and state very vulnerably that my two primary insecurities are my weight and being perceived the wrong way by people (in the sense that I try really hard to communicate my faith and beliefs in a kind and respectful way, and I want people to understand that).

I'll go ahead and say this right now : Every woman is insecure about something. So it's not fair to say, “What on earth is SHE insecure about?” or “Yeah, tough life—I'm sure she really has a lot to stress about.” You don't know a person or what they are privately going through. So let's leave the judgement away from this conversation, shall we? I am being honest and putting my insecurities out there. You have now read them. Phew!

I read the book and completed it well before the conference. To say that it was life-changing is an understatement. At its core, it was a challenge to totally reshape our method of thinking as women. That's not easy!

Interesting sidenote: the day I finished reading the book, I received a blog comment that totally took me aback and made me very insecure about my physical appearance for a little bit of the day. However, suddenly it dawned on me : I just finished a book about claiming my security in the Lord. OF COURSE the enemy is going to attack me! It became so obvious that I had to laugh and thank the Lord for the immediate opportunity to put what I learned into practice!

I was sad that I wasn't able to go to the conference live in Atlanta along with the million bloggers that did, but I had the privilege of going to a live simulcast at an area church. I took my friends Jennilee, Sarah Denley (you probably know her as SD) and Carrie. It was such a wonderful time of worship and hearing Beth speak. I was also impressed by the feeling of camaraderie among my fellow women. I looked around and realized that these women all struggle with the same feelings of insecurity that I do at times. It made me feel so much less alone. It really left me with a sense of community and an urge to support my sex. It's not easy!

I strongly urge you to read Beth's book. Even if you don't think you're insecure, at the very least it might give you insight as to how to interact with other women, and pass on security to your daughter(s). That's what really impressed me : I MUST claim my security in Christ and start ACTING like I'm the child of God that I am; if not for me, then most definitely for my precious little girl.

I read this book with a highlighter in hand, and it's now FULL of purple highlights! There is so much I learned, but I think I should just let Beth speak for herself. Here are a few (of many) of my favorite thoughts from “So Long, Insecurity.” So many were like she was speaking directly to (or about) me. There are a lot of them, so you might want to absorb them in segments a few at a time! :)

  • “These are perilous days to be a woman, but to be sure, they're the only days we have and they're passing quickly.”

  • “Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an artform.”

  • “I dread the backlash of people far more than the backlash of God at times. He's infinitely more merciful.”

  • “Jealousy is always the result of a perceived threat”

  • “I used the word 'perception' because it is entirely possible to perceive that we've been rejected when we haven't. We can confuse 80% reciprocation with 100% rejection.”

  • “People who are especially tenderhearted are significantly more predisposed to insecurity.”

  • “I feel everything. My joys are huge, and so are my sorrows. If I'm mad, I'm really mad, and if I'm despondent, I wonder how on earth I'll go on.”

  • “God gave me this tender heart, and though I want to give up my insecurity, I really do want to hang on to my heart. I like to feel. When I don't feel something, it's like being dead.”

  • “He [the Lord] knows it's scary to be us.”

  • “Pride lives on the defensive against anyone and anything that tries to subtract from its self-sustained worth. Confidence, on the other hand, is driven by the certainty of God-given identity and the conviction that nothing can take that identity away.”

  • “God, too, delights in being able to say, 'Look, look, everbody! This is My child!' Yep, even after all the foolishness.”

  • “He [Jesus] has enough security for the both of us.”

  • “Insecurity is about losing our God-given dignity.”

  • “We can start recognizing triggers and responding to them differently today. I did say TODAY. The cycle begins to break when even though we may still FEEL insecure, we make a very deliberate choice to not act on that feeling.”

  • “It's about responding in a whole new way on the basis of a developing belief system that is making its way into our heads but is still en route to our hearts.”

  • “Pride is dignity's counterfeit.”

  • “To possess dignity is to be worthy of respect. Worthy of high esteem. Absorb this: you are worthy of respect.”

  • “When it comes to dignity and security, we have a golden opportunity to know in advance that we are praying the will of God for our lives.”

  • “In so many ways, men are just like women. Each gender was created in God's spectacular and multifaceted image. Each of us houses a human soul that craves love, acceptance, and affirmation and fears anonymity and rejection nearly to the panic point.”

  • “I can't remember ever hearing a female say that she feels the need to prove that she's a woman. We tend to consider it a fact that was settled at conception. We may want to prove that we are desirable women, capable women, intelligent women, or even real women, but there's still a subtle difference. Men aren't tagging their gender with an adjective. They want to prove to be men.

  • “Generally speaking, men withdraw when they feel insecure—and women cling. Men give off the don't-mess-with-me vibe. Women give off the please-mess-with-me vibe.”

  • “Women who have received Christ are sealed by God, inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and can't be possessed by demons. But trust me when I tell you that we can still run their errands.”

  • “God is the only one who can know a person's every thought, every motive, every temptation, and every flaw, yet still feel good about Himself. If we want to become secure women of God, we must cease asking questions we can't handle the answers to.”


And finally :

“Jesus was a carpenter by trade. He can rebuild lives blown sky-high even by our own two hands. He is an artist by essence who can paint over the walls of a mind trafficked by torment. He is everything we need, inside and out, because He sees it all. And yes, He can handle it.

The healing of the mind requires far more intimacy with Christ than the healing of mere bodies. He rarely snaps His fingers and whitewashes our thoughts, because, were it so easy, we'd turn around and open them to destruction again. Instead, He chooses to transform our willing minds one reflection at a time. Start right now. Tell Him what keeps haunting you. Ask Him to grant you His own words to recite the moment you replay those old conversations and images. Then take all that insatiable desire to delve into the unknown and focus it right on His face.”

Beth, I thank you. Lord, I praise you!

Here's to claiming our security, girls!

10 comments:

Danielle said...

Ashley,
I am about to start reading this book! As soon as Wini is finished with her BSF Bible study we are jumping in! I am so excited because insecurity is something I struggle with! I am trying to get some of my friends to start too! Thanks for sharing! I am really looking forward to it!

Brittany said...

That's so crazy that you mentioned the "attack" you had right after finishing the book, because that happened to me also. I sat the book down and then less than 10 mins later, the very issues I had been trying so hard to overcome, were thrown right back in my face. It was crazy. I wasn't really prepared for that yet, but thankfully I got through it.
I loved everything she wrote on fear and insecurity. That's so me!
I wish it didn't, but it makes me feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one who has issues.

Tiffany said...

The book sounds wonderful! Haven't read that one yet, but I plan to. I highlight and underline all the time in my books too. :) I'm in the middle of Stron Women, Soft Hearts right now, and just finished Captivating. I was debating between this and Beth Moore's book on Ester. Have you read that one? ~Blessings on your day!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

You got me so excited! My book is on it's way and I cannot wait.

Pieper Rodriguez said...

I love this! I actually placed a hold on this book at the library this morning since I've heard such rave things about it. I can't wait to read it. My biggest insecurities right now are with my mother in law - I think we both feel threatened by each other, almost competeing for my daughter's attention, and it creates a LOT of tension. I struggle with it so deeply. There is a lot of stuff between her and I that is unresolved also, so everything continues to build off each other. But for my family, I want so badly to help the situation. Thanks for this post!

Sarah Denley said...

P.S. What happened to Disqus?

Sarah Denley said...

Wow! Bullet points six through eight really resonate with me. But you already knew that :)

Mallory said...

Thanks for this inspiring post. I can't wait to read this book. I gave your blog an award, go here to see! http://mallorybthompson.blogspot.com/2010/04/sunshine-award.html

Mark and Emily said...

I just gave you an award friend! :) Enjoy...

Miss Southern Prep said...

This book sounds so good. Insecurity is definitely something all women struggle with!

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