What am I going through in life right now? That question has been bouncing around in my mind for months now. Wonderful friends of mine ask how they can pray for me, and I give them a generic answer that basically covers school, and my relationship with my family. But honestly, there’s a lot going on inside that I’m not talking about. I’ve been really down on myself, and painfully insecure. I have been short tempered and easily irritated. I have put unfair expectations on people. And I’ve been covering up my insecurity with stuff. Just a bunch of activities and plans, so I could stay busy and ignore what’s going on inside. I love to have fun, and laugh and smile and I love when those things come natural to me. Over the last few months I have just felt really down about myself.
I cut my hair and dyed it back in March. I had blonde hair for a little over a year, and fell in love with the way i looked in it. I felt beautiful, energetic, and outgoing. I felt like a new person. And when I lost about 35 lbs, I felt even more confident in myself. But, I realized that it was tied to my appearance. God revealed to me a deep insecurity I had about the way i looked. I’ve been insecure about the way I look since the 6th grade. But the blonde, covered up my insecurity, so I forgot it was there. When my hairstylist spun me around in the chair to reveal my natural brown hair, I was amazed that it was me. I didn’t recognize that girl in the mirror. She wasn’t the girl I had been portraying.
Down at the root, I believed a lie- that I wasn’t beautiful. It doesn’t matter how many times someone would tell me I was. Not that it isn’t kind to say, or nice to hear. Both are true. But when your insecurity is so deeply rooted, the complement doesn’t really scratch the surface. The problem starts with me. It’s my thoughts that spiral out of control when I look in the mirror. I have allowed my mind to become the end all be all of how I feel about myself. You know what’s so dumb about that? How reliable are feelings? In our society,feelings are the things people use to control every aspect of their lives. “I feel like I don’t want to do this, so I’m not going to.” “I don’t feel like being nice to this person, or making new friends, so I’m not going to.” When did feelings become the foundation for everything? Feelings change. They're about as reliable as a rain in California. (for those reading in another state, we have no rain here. Literally it almost never rains.) Feelings and emotions are real, I’m not disregarding that, but we can’t live our lives based on them. Feelings shouldn’t control over how we live. They are important, but they aren’t foundational. We can’t allow our lives to be directed by our feelings. They are constantly changing. One day I might be angry, the next, extremely happy. Therefore, I can’t allow emotion to guide my everyday life. We must rely on God. Wow, I bet you knew I was going to say that. If you’ve been in church a long time, you know that’s the answer they give. But it’s true. Let me give you an example
Over these last few months I’ve been secretly insecure. I haven’t talked to God about it. Not once. I was even trying to hide it from him. But guess what? God sees. He sees every part of me, the good, the questionable, and the bad. ALL OF IT. he knows I’m struggling. I received an email from a random guy I had sent an email to. He said “God wanted me to encourage you today. He is so insanely in love with the way he created you. The way your wired.” There were other things he said, but I’ll leave you with that. God is so love with the way he created ME? Really God? There are all kinds of thoughts that could have entered my mind in the moment. But instead, I began to cry. God saw me. In my moments of deep insecurity, he saw me. For who I am, and where I am. Throughout this week, I have received so much encouragement from friends of mine, telling me things from God. I haven’t even told them I’ve been struggling, but they have been sharing with me what God thinks of me. He hasn’t forgotten me. He isn’t disappointed in me. It can be easy to let our minds run free with wild thoughts that hinder us from hearing God’s voice. Our criticism over ourselves is so powerful, we’ve blocked God out of our minds. But guess what? He’s so much greater. He has used people to share with me how much he loves me, and how he’s created me.
What thoughts have you allowed to control you? You’ve believed lies about yourself for so long, you can’t seem to shake them. It’s time to stop allowing your mind and your own feelings to rule over you. Your feelings and thoughts can’t be the foundation of how you view yourself. Journal. Ask God what he loves about you. Ask God what he thinks about you. Allow his words to penetrate the depths of your heart. Let God into those areas of insecurity. It’s easy to pretend they aren’t there, but the problem only gets deeper. Let God uproot your insecurity. It’s going to hurt, but you’re going to grow, and learn to love yourself and others better.
READ: take the time to read Psalm 139. It talks about how much God loves you, and thinks about you. You can visit biblegateway.com if you don't have a bible. But take the time to read and ask God what he thinks of you. Allow him to speak truth.