My Greatest Insecurity is….Insecurity (link up with The Loft)

The Loft

The Loft

Recently I joined up with The Loft after hearing about it through one of my favorite bloggers, Arabah Joy.  The topic for writing this week is “Your greatest insecurity”.

I’ve been pondering this one for a few days–trying to pick just one–and realized that insecurity itself is my greatest insecurity!  I simply want my loved ones to be safe, and I want to feel safe.  This is a basic concern for most people, but I have a particular knack for thinking of the worst case scenario in every situation, especially at night when it’s time to sleep.

Painful insecurity comes from having a marriage dissolve after eight years.   A vow I took and intended to last until death was grievously dissolved in a court room one day as if it never happened.  At that time, every aspect of life felt insecure.

Some insecurity relates to health issues and fear of accidents.   I worked as a respiratory therapist in various areas at the hospital and witnessed the effects of numerous diseases, as well witnessing injuries from accidents, violence and mishaps.  Every symptom experienced by myself or my family is a potential cause to run to Dr. Google.  Talk about finding worse case scenarios!

How about the security of living in a long term home? Since leaving my parent’s home 25 years ago at the age of 18, I haven’t lived consecutively in the same home/apartment/trailer for longer than three years.  The moving has often gone hand-in-hand with financial insecurity related to unemployment or job changes.

Natural disasters?  I’ve been in the direct path of two tornadoes.  Violence? I’ve lived within 2 blocks of a man who drove through areas that surrounded our normally peaceful neighborhood one afternoon, randomly shooting as he went to kill others intentionally.  I’ve had a person I trusted threaten to kill me and prevent me from calling for help. Wild animals? I hit a deer with my car 3 times.  No! Let me correct it for the record: The deer have hit ME!  

I’ve had one of those most dreaded phone calls one Sunday morning, hearing that a dear  friend/cousin died suddenly, unexpectedly in the heart of her mothering years.  We waited for several weeks to hear results from the autopsy report that she had a rare heart condition. Life itself is fragile, and it is shattering to lose someone my age.

Being a mom brings up all sorts of insecurity and fears for my children.  When my children were babies, I rarely slept at night, feeling I should be on alert and reassuring myself that they were breathing.  As they grow older, new fears develop. Like a Mama bear, I want to protect them, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The fears and worries about my pregnancy this spring did nothing to stop another miscarriage from happening. I have had two babies in my womb that I simply could not protect.

Last week our pastor preached from Luke 12, the classic passage where Jesus tells his disciples “Do not worry.”  I copied something pastor said in my notes:

We can’t change even the smallest things by worrying.

Confession:  In my head, I get this crazy idea that by anticipating tragedy, perhaps I can prevent it!  Worrying makes me somehow feel more secure, as if I can prevent things from happening by preparing for the worst outcome.

Can I stop another deer from crossing my path?  Can I stop another tornado from forming near my family?  Can I keep my husband safe on his drive home from work? Stop a terrorist attack?

The symptoms of post traumatic stress have affected me over the years, and I have found that counseling and medical help have been beneficial for processing events and managing physical symptoms.

However, when it boils down, the only antidotes to my every day insecurities are two things:  Prayer and thankfulness.

Philippians 4:6-7

 

Prayer

Only the hope of the gospel allows me to cry out to God for freedom from my insecurities, when I am weary of my sin.  I start to feel ashamed, and then don’t want to pray.   If I cannot come to Him to begin with, how do I place all my insecurities in His mighty hand?  How can I pour my heart out to someone that I am afraid of?   The gospel (GOOD NEWS!) reality is that He has forgiven, justified, redeemed me from any insecurity I might have that prevents me from approaching him. Approaching him humbly, confessing my sin, and bravely trusting that I am forgiven enables me to pour my insecurities and worries out to Him in prayer.  Talk about stress relief! (Praise God that we can have mustard seed faith, right?) People!  I have not mastered this yet.  I am preaching the gospel to myself.

Thanksgiving

Just a few weeks ago, Ann Voskamp (guru of gratitude) posted a blog about her daughter asking “Why is there all this loveliness?”  I’ve been pondering that thought.  Aren’t we  also commanded to think about whatever is lovely, good, pure, etc.?  My thoughts naturally tend to mull about the evil, the bad, sickness, death, sin and bad news of the day.  But how about the good? In the midst of insecurity, there is much reason to give thanks. I cannot even tell (it would take pages and pages) all the kindness, friendship, prayers, love and support I have received from the family of God, my family, and my husband.  The comfort and healing from God Himself through the Psalms soothes me without fail, whenever I seek it out.  Then there is the soothing beauty of music and Lake Michigan sunsets and falling stars. Why is there all this loveliness?   A heart focused on gratitude to God builds a fortress against insecurity.

 

 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.
 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:17-19)

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “My Greatest Insecurity is….Insecurity (link up with The Loft)

  1. Hello Karen, As I was reading your struggles with worry and anxiety, I couldn’t believe the similarities. Maybe moms all think like that. I still check on my kids in the middle of the night! Silly, I know, especially since my youngest is 7 yrs. old now, it is not like she is an infant. I have gotten so much better over the years but still battle with “worst case scenario.” Matthew 6:27 has helped me, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” When I ponder on those words from Jesus, it shakes me out of my worry. If He said it, it is true. Worrying won’t change a thing—so I then let go and put the future in His hands. It is a constant battle we must continue to fight, but it is so freeing to rest in His truths. He is good! God bless you sister. Kate

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  2. That is so true—nothing happens by chance. It is all filtered through His hands for our good, and His glory. That is the bottom line truth we have to believe by faith. Thanks for #TheLoft. I don’t think I’ve ever had this many responses to one of my posts, and it is wonderful to get feedback.

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  3. Karen, you did put a lot of thought into this week’s topic. Wow, I could so relate, as I read through your post. There is so much to be insecure about! I love how you brought everything back to filling our minds with what is good and noble and true. Truth is, our God is for us so all the what if’s never happen by chance. Thank you so much for sharing here and joining the discussion. You have encouraged me today, sister.

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  4. Oh my goodness, you are a BEAUTIFUL writer. I can definite relate! I tend to worry about all those things too. Love the Ann Voskamp reference. You are so right when you say that a heart focused on gratitude builds a fortress against insecurity. I will have to try that.
    Have a blessed week!
    See you next week on #TheLoft

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  5. Your post reminds me of the battle we face daily to take our thoughts captive. And how much more challenging it is for those who have been through traumatic events. Especially during vulnerable times. Thank you for expressing so well the grace of God for our insecurities. When we are weak, He is strong and we must believe in His love for us at all times.
    Beautiful.

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  6. Your words hit so close to home today. I have struggled with many of these things – not any deer, though, although it’s nearly been a bear on 2 separate occasions. We struggle to keep things in our control – to stay safe, to protect, to nurture. I’m reminded, often, of when we chose to dedicate our children to Jesus. The pastor said (all 3 times) that these children, these small babies, these lovely little ones, are only on loan to us from Jesus. He expects our best in raising them, but ultimately, He has their days numbered. That is both reassuring and scary all at once, because it means it’s totally out of my control. And yet, at the same time, if I was ever going to give someone control over the days of a life, who better than God? Obviously no one. There’s a quote…I’m sure I’ll botch it 😉 … Something like, “Worry doesn’t deprive tomorrow of it’s troubles; it robs today of it’s peace.” Such a hard lesson for me. I so identify with you, that feeling insecure is a great insecurity of mine, too. Thank you for boldly sharing, for naming your insecurity out loud. And I will pray for strength and perseverance as you continue to boldly go head to head with your insecurity, reminding it that GOD has numbered our days, our fear can’t do that. Blessings! See you next week at The Loft, I hope, for Something Funny!

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  7. Hello, there! 🙂 I’m stopping by from #TheLoft. I can relate to those worries, especially worries for my loved ones. My husband suffers from PTSD as a result of some childhood tragedies in his life. Coping can be difficult at times, can it not? While medical intervention alleviates some of his symptoms, we have found the same truth that you have – there is freedom that can only come from Christ! I’m glad to have met you today, and thanks for sharing!
    Jen 🙂

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    • Thank you Jen! Yes, coping can be difficult. It’s been some years now, so I can go several months without any problems, and then a trigger comes out of the blue. Thankfully it doesn’t seem to take as long to recover as it has in the past. I appreciate your understanding.

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  8. I totally identify with not having mastered even a mustard seed of faith on many days. Your post was transparent and beautiful. It described places where so many people live…myself included on certain days. thank you for your honesty and your heart. Thank you for joining us at The Loft. See you there next week for some funnies!!

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