As a young writer who frequently has no idea what she's doing, I found this both comforting and challenging. On one hand, I'm glad to know I'm not alone. On the other, I'm a little mad that apparently I won't outgrow or out-succeed my insecurities. Apparently, I have to make nice with them. Tame them with light and love, rather than shoving them into the closet.
So today, I'm going to share my biggest insecurity. The one that Satan most often uses against me, the one that most often keeps me from stepping into God's full plan for me.
My biggest insecurity is that I'm too intense, and I ask too much of people.
Truth is, I have no idea how he does. I'm demanding. I'm obsessive. I care about everything. A lot. Some nights we stay up long past a reasonable teacher's bedtime because I need to vent about feminism or theology or someone's emotional baggage. You know, all those good 1 am topics.
And, as my college roommates (and suitemates and classmates) can attest, I absolutely cannot stay out of people's business. If someone within a one mile radius of me has emotional baggage, I will find it, poke at it until I see tears, and then attempt to counsel that person to freedom. Worst of all, I will enjoy it immensely. I once helped with an inner healing ministry, and we did these day-long intensive events. People would be on the floor, bawling their eyes out, and I could barely contain my excitement. During one event, a woman came up to me and asked me how, with so much pain around me, could I possibly be smiling. I just shrugged and told her I liked the freedom that comes after the pain. But I walked away feeling like a freak.
See, it's all well and good to care about people, but there's a point where it gets messy. And I run about five miles past that point. I insist that people become their best selves, which is great in theory, but really really uncomfortable in real life. I've ruined more than one friendship over it.
When Satan whispers these half-truths in my ear, it completely shuts me down. I back away from helping people. I people-please when I should be challenging. I keep silent about issues that matter, afraid of being labeled a rebel-rouser or a Jezebel. I hide in my closet of shame.
The only way I've found to combat this is to bring these lies into the light. I confess the ways I've let them derail me, and ask God and others to forgive my lack of action. Confession isn't really in vogue in the church anymore, but I always find it freeing. When the words roll off my tongue (or today, my keyboard), I feel Jesus turning everything upside down again, making darkness into light, weakness into strength. When I'm honest with my community, it builds unity. We get to say, "Me too," or pray for each other or just hug it out.
It takes some guts and faith, but I think we can all find a safe place to confess our insecurities. For some, that's in our church or small group. For others, it's just with Jesus. For some of you, it could be right here in the comment section of this blog. But wherever and however we do it, we can always find ample light and grace in our savior Jesus, who bore all sin and sickness (including those flaws we're ashamed of and all the ways we don't measure up) to the cross, defeating them and rising up in us a new person—fully free and fully enough.
May you find that identity, and may you boldly pursue the life God has called you to live. In the light, away from shame, and buoyed up by a community of grace.
With much love (and hopefully not too much pushing),