Dear Insecure Friend,
If you just had that moment of “Oh, she must mean me!” then I probably do mean you, but I’m not calling you out to shame you.
Yesterday at church we had an artist named Csilla come lead our worship. She also shared music from her new CD titled Honestly. Before she sang the title track from the cd she shared a bit about her own struggles with insecurity and about how God spoke to her heart about her value.
She stepped back into the story of creation, pulling out that repeated phrase that God uses after He created. It was good. God made what He intended to make and then declared that the creation was good, well created, complete, as He intended. In understanding that if God declares “It is good” after creating, then as one of God’s creations, that is declared over each of us, and who are we to challenge God in that declaration. Oh, I heard that, didn’t I, that word she shared and the rising up inside me of a resounding “Amen.”
At some point in college I got a copy of the Audio Adrenaline VHS called Some Kind Of Journey where they brought a few teenagers on tour with them for a week or so and held conversations with them about some of the issues those kids faced in their daily lives. One of the boys in the video was born with one of his arms not fully formed. He was asked about his experience to which he replied, “If I was born with two arms, I wouldn’t be perfect.” He explained that God made him perfect the way he was. God didn’t mess up. God didn’t make a mistake. God formed him perfectly as he was for the plan God had for his life. I remember thinking that was an amazing perspective, one that hit deep in my insecure heart.
It was at that time that I began to see that the root of most of our sin and struggle and hurt is that we don’t believe that God has made us perfect to His purpose in our life. When we try to reform our bodies, our behaviors and our beliefs to reflect what we think is best, we tell God “I don’t believe that your design for me is best.” If what is available to us through Christ is security, then what must be found where we deny Him access is insecurity.
I found myself in college relying heavily on self deprecating humor as an attempt to bond with others. Make fun of me before they could. Talk trash about myself before they could. This meant pointing out my personality flaws and my body flaws, pointing out my failures, declaring “Do you see them yet? You will see them eventually and decide i’m not enough, so I’ll go ahead and tell you about them upfront and we can get along with you rejecting me before I get too attached to a friendship with you.” Humor, defense, insecurity, one than the next and more and more and more.
One evening I was sitting in a room with worship music playing surrounded by many other college kids, kids I wanted to like me but worried I wasn’t cool enough to hang out with. I was thinking about this when I saw this scene play out.
I was walking down the middle of the street and people were hurling rocks at me. They called out names and fears and mocked me. I saw myself being struck by the projectiles, words and stones, and then I raised my eyes to see the crowd. There every face in the crowd was my own. It was not the world who was dealing so unkindly with me, but myself. Maybe somewhere back behind the crowd of me were cruel people who would hurt me, or maybe there were people back there who could love me, but they would never reach me because I had blocked the path to me, filling it with my own insecurity. Then my viewpoint became one of the crowd and I saw that it was no longer me walking through the center path, breaking down step after step, but instead as I stood there on edge of the road and felt the stone in my hand, prepared to fling it at myself….there in the road was Christ. And there was the crowd of me throwing stones at Him.
It was a moment that changed me. I understood for the first time that as I beat myself down, I was hating that which Jesus loved, hating that which Christ climbed up on the cross and died for. Like Csilla’s message that God creates and declares “It is good.” Like the guy from Some Kind Of Journey saying “If I had two arms, I wouldn’t be perfect.” God didn’t just create me perfectly to His purpose and then leave me to my own devices, He created me and then prepared a way to protect me through Jesus and a way to perfect me though His Holy Spirit.
Looking back on those college days, I’d heard people say my stories were annoying for years so, though I loved writing in high school, those times that I chose to write for the fun of it become more seldom. I would begin stories I told friends by making fun of my story telling ability. As the years went on, I just stopped writing and stopped telling stories to most people. I think out of all the ways I criticized myself, this was the worst offense, because this is a part of my created nature, to tell stories and I bullied myself into stopping.
I can still stand on the side of the road and hurl those stones. I count up page views and likes. I tally comments like it is the number of responses typed out that matter, that maybe my words have no resonance unless the reader tells me so. I write entire entries and leave them unposted, because maybe I’m not saying things in a way that communicates to every person reading the entirety of my point and my person and my thoughts and my theology, like I could even begin to communicate that in 1300 words or less.
I wish I could tell you that I have eternally chased off insecurity, but I think that insecurity is the darkest root that our humanity hides deep down inside. People might convince themselves they enjoy all kinds of wrong things, relishing in personas of wickedness, I am the baddest _______________ out there. But no one broadcasts “Look at me! I’m the most insecure person in this room!” It is a doorway we bury and deny so that those most hurtful voices can speak into our lives.
To my insecure friend, we’re all insecure. Let me sit with you and let me talk to you about where I find security. Let me tell you what I know to be true. Show me your dark buried door, friend. Show me your root. Let me remind you, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. It is good. You are made perfect to His purpose in your life. He has made a way to protect you and perfect you, because He prepared you to be His beloved. You are His beloved, so be….loved.
P.S. Want to hear that beautiful voice I got to listen to this weekend? Check out Csilla’s Facebook page… https://www.facebook.com/csillamuscanmusic/ This girl’s got pipes.