It all begins with this:
I had someone say they were encouraged by my blog this past weekend. She made a special point to bring it up randomly and that was a blessing to me. Even with the grammatical errors and weird punctuation ( I love commas),,, she was encouraged. (I will try to be better about editing) See, I have problems with vulnerability, at least the face to face kind. Well, not problems really, I'm just scared of it mostly. Scared of the possible rejection or blank stare I might get in return. So my slight apprehension I had/ have about being real in a blog and not just fun and light-hearted) (see here) was not needed at all! My enemy likes to OFTEN whisper things like, "you said too much. Ew! Don't write about that. How weird! Stop over-spiritualizing your life and just be carefree. You don't need to write. You've said too much! You've let too many people in. Don't let anyone know your heart. Quit being so emotional and such a feeler. It's a turn-off" He comes to seek and destroy. To destroy the parts of me that are authentic. The parts that mean something. The parts that need healing.
The parts that minister.. I perceive it! So the next step is to move on.
God is doing something new in this area of my life. Making ways and streams. One of them is this:
I am going through the study So Long Insecurity, you've been a bad friend to us by Beth Moore.
I could go on and on about her but I will just say this. I'm pretty sure she's much like myself or vice versa. And I dont' say that like I am a book-writing prestigious Bible study leader. I mean it like she thinks and feels much of what I think and feel. So often, when I'm reading her stuff, I identify completely with what she's saying and how she says it. It cuts through my exterior and gets to my guts. The parts that need the good stuff. And I really appreciate that! Cheers to Beth for being herself!
I might be blogging about snippets and phrases, concepts and epiphanies that come to me throughout the remainder of this book and study. It's going to rock my world. I can tell. I could just copy the whole chapter here, that's how much the commentary Beth gives ministers to me but I won't. That's silly. Just buy the book and read it! Better yet, find a group of lovely ladies, such as I attend, and experience this book with them. The Truth in it is something to experience with others.
Some things that have ministered to me on a very personal level follow. And though, even now, I hear a loud "no one cares about this post, Missy. It's irrelevant" being shouted in my ear, I will write on. Take that, enemy o' mine!
Here we go:
"We think insecurity only looks one way- mousy, maybe even inept-and that's not exactly who we see in the mirror. At least not once the mascara's on. And it certainly is not the woman we present to the public. Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an art form." a.
Truth: everyone has areas that they mascara. Even if they aren't make-up wearers! Everyone has a major insecurity. And if they say they don't well, that's the art form of the whole deal. Covering it up. I didn't like this portion because it points out that others have imperfections or self-doubt issues. I loved it because it made me realize that other women as different as they may look or as different as their way of living may be, are NOT that much different from me. That is worth it's weight in cheesecake to me. It breaks down one of my major walls that hinders authentic friendship, vulnerability and healing. I am over my own personal insecurities enough (finally) to keep the mascara off (figuratively, of course ;) and throw the facade of perfection out the window while driving at high speeds in the opposite direction. I'm ready for change. Knowing I am not alone is so helpful.
And I'd like to focus my artistic endeavors elsewhere.
This one sounds harsh but it's truth.
She speaks of the self-conscious person here:
"..She is ordinarily more aware of herself that she tends to be of any other person in the room. Whether she feels inferior or superior, she takes a frequent inventory of her place in the space. She may like or hate it but she's rarely oblivious to it. Never think for a moment that pride and self-centeredness have no role in insecurity. Since she keeps confusing her insecurity with humility, however, she never recognizes
the self-centeredness so she can turn from it." b.
Ding! One of the huge things that hinders me from transformation in Jesus Christ is that little itaclized phrase. Never did I think this was the situation for me. I knew I was an extremely situationally aware person, it is in my nature. But that was a palm-slap on the forehead (the I should have had a V-8 kind).
Consider this my Come- to- Jesus moment in that area.
I recognize it and I am turning from it. Hopefully not to come back to it.
This really struck a nerve (made me nervous) with me because
I am passionate about my friendships:
"In your pursuit of God-vested security, the only relationships in your life that will suffer rather than improve are the significantly unhealthy ones..Those that are the unhealthier might not even survive at all-and maybe they shouldn't." c.
I'll leave it there. But that could possibly be a hard thing for me. The change in my life is more important though.
She goes on to talk about women who are consumed with keeping up an appearance physically or emotionally and how it is exhausting both to do and to watch. She asks the question, will it be OK when and if I can't keep up my "stuff" whatever that is? Not with the people we are trying to project towards, but is it ok with ourselves? It gives an extreme ammount of power to others when we think that way, when only our Maker should possess over us. Our security should be in Him, alone.
So some relationships may suffer some may evaporate . Is this ok with me? It's going to have to be! God is calling me to something higher than people pleasing, once again.
I'm almost done here.. I keep going through my underlined and noted parts and am really restraining myself from copying the entire book onto this post!
"Most..have ..a false-positive: one thing that was think woud make us more secure in all things...Think of a person you believe to be secure and determine what earthly thing he or she has that you don't feel like you possess, at least in matching measure. That's liable to be your false positive." d.
I loved this simple concept. It helps me put a finger (or 4 or 5) on the area(s) in which I do this. I am good at identifying other's false positives and am often ignorant of my own.
Forgive this next part. It's
a bit very poopy. The un-Beth part of me :) For my friends who are potty training toddlers, you will appreciate this..I think. So after reading my chapters, I found myself a bit very convicted in multiple areas of my life. Areas I thought I had beat. And I shut my book feeling beat up. Then, thank you, Lord, the truth-speaking Spirit inside of me won this battle out and spoke to me loud and clear, " you have to know where the smell is coming from before you can really clean up the crap" I was just as surprised as you that the Holy Spirit uses the word "crap", trust me. But how true!! I can keep spraying air freshener and walk away saying, "what smell!? I took care of the poop" over and over but the nastiness is going to creep back through the other areas of my life. Until I say, "yep there's poop in my potty" and flush it, the problem and the gross will remain, no matter how expensive the air freshener or how big the match. I've been guilty of seeing my sin, rationalizing, justifying, having a conversation with a friend who validates me in the area and just letting the crap (sorry, that's what it is) sit in the pot. GROSS! That's how nasty my sin is. And I am appalled. I have to be disgusted by it to truly be rid of it. No more putting mascara on my sin and prettiying it up. No More! I don't know of a single one of us truly feminine creatures would ever save our poop and carry
it around with us in a rose scented bag.
So, while precious, delicate Beth Moore didn't say it as such, this is how I related. And I am ready to flush my potty :) I am fearfully and wonderuflly made to do the good works he has prepared for me to do! Time's a wastin'!
This verse comes to mind (more than usual lately!)
For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
Thank you, Lord for knowing how weak I am in this area and loving me the same.
I am your handiwork, your masterpiece, but my nature is weak and you know my propensity to go back to the gross parts of my life that prevent you from working in me to glorify You. For me to sit in my stench is not at all pretty, it's not becoming. A false humility does not honor you. So I thank you that with you, invading my space, you will once and for all flush all that is not of you out of me. I invite you to do so now! I will begin to see myself as you created me. And the aroma of a life that is genuine and is true will reflect a beauty that even the most gifted of artists or designers couldn't fathom of replicating. I am ready to be strong in my identity. I am ready to glorify you only.
I know that there will be days where the struggle is harder, where the fight will be draining.
I am anticipating less of those, and more of the free and transparent days where God, in me!, is glorified and I begin to realize what true security in Him is all about.
I relate with Bob from What about Bob a lot!
"Baby steps to the elevator, baby steps to the bus.."
Baby steps ARE steps.
So there it is, another step in vulnerability.
Another step over insecurity.
And another step towards complete surrender.
Now, go flush your potty !
a. pg 19 So Long Insecurtiy
b. pg 22-23 So Long Insecurity
c. pg. 26 So Long Insecurity
d. 36-37 So Long Insecurity