Legacy – Overcoming Insecurity

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“Does this make me look fat?”

Even if we haven’t asked the question, we’ve pondered it. And I speak for women everywhere when I say there is one time we ALL ask it: when trying on swimwear.

PTL for online shopping, but at some point I still have to try on the blasted thing. Two nine-pound babies and four abdominal surgeries have left their collective marks on my midsection. Not pretty.

I wish I could say that my feelings of insecurity are limited to swimsuits. They’re not. Like waves on the beach, insecurity crashes over me sometimes.

I thought I identified a pattern: insecurity comes when I step into a new position. But I realized that sometimes I felt insecure even after I’d been established. What’s up with that?

Why would I wrestle with feelings of unworthiness, intimidation and doubt when I know God provided those opportunities for me?

Because I focused on the wrong thing.

After the initial excitement wore off, I realized all the ways I didn’t “measure up.” I saw the task ahead of me and forgot the Power behind me.

Ouch. Can I get a witness? Actually, I can.

Meet Gideon

When the Lord wanted to deliver the Israelites from the marauding Midianites, He called an unlikely leader. Young, inexperienced and afraid, Gideon hid as he threshed a pocketful of grain.

When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said,
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
~Judges 6:12 (NIV)

Gideon didn’t feel mighty and certainly didn’t act warrior-like, but God’s tailor-made plan for His people didn’t call for an experienced general like Joshua. His plan called for an insecure servant with an unshakeable resolve. When the time came to battle the enemy, God empowered him to do something amazing:

Gideon led a rag-tag band of 300 men against an army of 135,000. And WON.

God has a tailor-made plan and purpose for each of us, too, and He already knows when we’ll be insecure. We tend to view insecurity as a weakness; but what if we learned to use it to our advantage?

Instead of letting insecurity trigger feelings of intimidation, what if we reprogrammed our thinking so it reminded us to pray?

When waves of “I can’t do this” hit, immediately confess it to God:
“I can’t do this, Lord, but YOU can. Please show me what to do!”

As we reach for Him, He takes us by the hand and steadies us with His Word. He might also send a friend or encourager to help us keep our focus on Him. With each faithful step,

His purpose is accomplished,
our faith is strengthened, and
a testimony is built. <– Tweet this!

I want to be sure my testimony speaks of God’s faithfulness, not my own ingenuity. I want my legacy to show that I pressed on, even when I felt overwhelmed and insecure, because I trusted my mighty God.

And that’s better than any tummy-tucking Miraclesuit.

What about you? How have you battled insecurity?

Click to read other posts in the series, Leaving a Godly Legacy.


70 Comments

  1. Susan, I love the story of Gideon. Such an unlikely one for God to use. Just like me. Just like you. But look at what God did through Gideon when he went out in the strength he had then, at that moment. I believe He was saying for Gideon just to start the process and He would see it to completion.

    That’s what I’m often reminded to do. Just start.

    Thanks for a great reminder today!

    • So true, Vonda — start the process and trust Him to complete it. Thanks for stopping by today!

  2. Why is it that we as women are so hard on ourselves? I know I am, and I have yet to meet a woman who isn’t. We are always looking at others and noting how we don’t measure up. I am so thankful that God doesn’t see me the way I see myself, and that He uses me in spite of myself :)

    Megan @ wwwsunshinethroughthewindows.blogspot.com

    • Thanks for stopping by, Megan. And I’m with you — thankful that He uses me in spite of myself!

  3. I love how the Lord addressed Gideon when He first spoke to him. He was scared and hiding in the winepress and out of nowhere God calls him, “mighty warrior!” No doubt, Gideon must have thought someone else was in there with him! Gideons story reminds me of three important truths.

    1. God is looking for available people more than capable people.
    2. God is very patient with us. PTL
    3. God can do mighty things thru s surrendered life.

    Thanks Susan for your blog. The Lord has blessed you with the ability to articulate words in ways that encourage and challenge your readers. Continued blessings to you young lady.
    Jim Asberry

    • Such great points, Jim. Gideon’s life is FULL of application for us. And thanks so much for your gracious encouragement. It’s an honor to have you stop by :)

  4. Susan, I’ve battled insecurity when it comes to writing for the first time I’ve written a word. One thing that helped combat it was when Edie made me repeat that I was a writer and then told me that I was a writer “because Edie Melson said so.” I’ll never forget those words. Thanks for this helpful post. Love you sweet friend!

    • Thanks for stopping by today, sweet Jamie. And you’re so right — if Edie says it, it MUST be so! :)
      Love you!

  5. Amen and amen, Susan! Great post!

  6. Instead of letting insecurity trigger feelings of intimidation, what if we reprogrammed our thinking so it reminded us to pray? . . .love this line. Imagine the confidence and freedom we would live into if we could make this a way of life.

    • Living in confidence and freedom would transform us, wouldn’t it? Let’s pray to that end!! Thanks for stopping by today, Shelly. Looking forward to hearing more about your vacation!

  7. Oh yes! We can all relate to this…whatever age or season of life we are in, insecurity can broadside us at times. So grateful God is there to help us refocus on what He has said about us. “Beloved, forgiven, accepted, chosen, called, redeemed, restored”…on and on we could go. Praise God! Though we may look on the outside, God looks on the inside. He’s after our hearts!!! Thanks Susan, for reminding us of the One who helps us overcome insecurity. Only Jesus can help us leave a legacy like that!

    • God IS after our hearts, Glenda! And when He gets hold of those, it leaves a legacy that will last. Thanks for stopping by today!

  8. EXCELLENT! Reading this was a great way to start my day! xoxox

  9. Gideon’s story always reminds me where my strength come from. I so easily forget! Great post!

  10. Susan, we all slip into insecurity from time to time. We do this when we focus on our limitations and turn our attention from the One who created each and every one of us. Times of insecurity are really times to celebrate because we can turn to God and know He has something great in store for us, as long as we focus on Him and not our weakness.

    As Paul said, our weaknesses are God’s opportunities to display His great strength.

    We all need to remember, and remind each other, to turn from fear and regret and turn to Jesus.

    Thanks for allowing me to hear this from God through you.

    • His strength made perfect in our weakness — what a comforting truth, Bruce. So glad you stopped by today. Still praying for your new ministry opportunity, and hope you’ll post about it soon.

  11. Love this post, Susan! I’ve been reading Jonah over and over lately. Seeing how much I’m like him. and your words “I want to be sure my testimony speaks of God’s faithfulness, not my own ingenuity.” are my heart’s cry. I’m taking them with me today. Thank you!

    praying for you…

    • So glad you stopped by today, Nikki, and I SO appreciate the prayers. I keep going!

  12. Susan, love your challenge to use thoughts of insecurity as a reminder to pray. I’ve been praying for some loved ones that as they face specific battles, they’ll know they face issues common to us humans, but we have the power of an uncommon God – the one and only God of Abraham and all the earth. What if I pray that when I feel insecure? Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by today, Jeanette, and for the tweet-love! I hear what you’re saying about prayer – He wants us to call out in every circumstance!

  13. Beautiful post, my friend!! Oh. my. Can I relate?? You know that!

    I loved every word…from your bathing suit testimony to your awesome similie “Like the waves on the beach, insecurity crases over me sometimes” to the fact that I can hear your voice in my head saying, “What’s up with that?” And Gideon is surely one of my favorites!!

    I’m praising God for bringing you into my life! You bless my socks off!

    • Thanks, Kristi — God has certainly filled our friendship with joy, hasn’t He?? Can’t wait to get together again. Hopefully SOON :)

  14. Oh, yes! I often battle insecurity…as his evil twin brother over-confidence. It’s an easy yo-yo cycle to get trapped in.

    Thank you for this reminder that my confidence must be placed in God. Self-confidence and confidence in others is a good thing…so long as we realize that it all ultimately comes from God…and in the end only God is truly worthy of our full trust and faith.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Joe. I’m laughing at your evil twin brother. My evil twin sister is bossy and acts like Angelica from Rugrats. (There’s a blast from my children’s past!)

  15. Mercy! So thankful that Jesus doesn’t care what size I am!!! Insecurities are something I will NOT miss in heaven, for sure!!! I love the redeeming story of Gideon and love your analogy! Have a fun day, miss “its almost your birthday girl”…. :D

    • SANDI! I am SO with you on that size thingie. With the kids home all summer, my healthy eating habits have back-slidden in the WORST kinda way. I’m not even feeling a Miraclesuit right now.

      Glad you enjoyed a little thought on Gideon. More to come on him next Wednesday!
      AFTER my birthday ;)

  16. May we all leave that kind of legacy.

  17. Susan,

    One of my daughter’s friends was inspired by “My Year Long Journey” and began her own journey. She is struggling with self-discovery (just like many of us do) and she would like this time of “revival” for her to be especially fruitful and that she might find freedom from the chains that are binding her: “I’ve got my life all together… I’m perfect!”

    Here is my response to her first blog post:

    Andrea, I am so proud of you! The first steps to self-discovery is to realize that “I have no idea what I’m doing! Who I really am? What I’m really wanting to do?” (according to the 7 steps to self-discovery by Marisa Bernard lol!). Congratulations for taking those first steps!

    Seriously though, people don’t want to be around others who are “perfect.” I know… I was there. I took care of everyone else except for myself (because after all, I had no needs… yeah right!) and what I was doing was pushing others away… fast. I didn’t feel confident & secure enough in myself to let my guard down. What my friends were really asking of me was for me to cut the crap and be real, so they felt a little less alone and judged (even tho I would never judge my friends… that’s what it feels like to them when I walk around with the false pretense that I’m perfect).

    Truthfully, relationships are build around love, trust, and empathy. It wasn’t until I accepted the fact that my life was just as screwed up as everyone else and that I needed others to find wholeness and I was going to risk being vulnerable… that I began to tear down the walls of unrealistic expectations of myself and gleaned healing and a wealth of friendships :D

    God’s not through with me yet. I’m always a work in progress, but I feel I’m on the right track again! YAY!! I will pray for you sweetheart as you begin your journey… bring it on!!

    Hugs & Love,

    Marisa

    Thank-you, Susan, for this post! It’s especially meaningful for me as I’m continuing to tear down walls (many build from my insecurities) and I think I’ll pass on the tummy-tucking Miraclesuit too :D

    • Thanks for stopping by, Marisa, and for sharing your heart. How awesome that one of Brittany’s friends wanted to do your “journey”! (I’m going to try it as soon as the kids are back in college.)

      You make a great point about authentic relationships — we’re all screwed up. True ‘dat ;)

  18. Enjoyed this, bless you.

  19. “I can’t do this Lord… but you can.”

    Powerful.

    “Here am I. Send me.” Use me.

    Aside: As to bathing suit woes…just remember guys do not see all those supposedly “glaring” imperfections.

    • LOL Thanks, Dusty! Yes, if only we could see ourselves like y’all do!!

  20. I don’t even try on swimsuits so you’re way ahead of me, girlfriend. :)

    Seriously, I know for a fact that things said throughout childhood have adversely affected me but Gideon’s victory serves as a reminder that God is greater than any past “recording” that we play over and over in our heads. I may not be able to make them go away, but God can quiet them with His truth, love, and mercy. Thank you for this post, Susan.

    • Gosh, Cathy – you’re so right about the recordings we play in our heads. That’s a great reminder to memorize scripture so we can replace those lies with truth.

      And as for a bathing suit, Piper is going to want her Nana to play with her in the pool, so… Check out what Dusty said – men aren’t paying attention, and women are too busy worrying about themselves to care 8-)

      • Bathing suits, here I come. :) Thanks Susan (and Dusty) ha!

        • I love it! Susan is right here Cathy. I’m always so worried about how I look in a bathing suit, I never notice what anyone else looks like, and even if I did, I wouldn’t care. So I doubt anyone cares what I look like either! :)

  21. Anita Taylor

    Sus,

    You always touch subjects that are so profound and surely exist in our world. INSECURITY, wow, we all have it & hit us a ton of bricks. I had overcoming some of mine & surely with PRAYERS, and 2nd preparation for what I am insecure about. I have a long list of them, some of us don’t want to fail & we don’t even try, but God gave us each other personal gifts & so that those gifts can be exercise. GRACE, GRACE, GRACE is all I can think of when I can’t do it by myself, oh no, not to mention to ask people at the grocery store when I can’t reach the top shelf… then my pride goes away! Yay God, will someone come help me coz I am too short. :) Love your post today. :)

    • You made me laugh about not reaching the top shelf, Anita! You have so many gifts and you’re faithful to exercise them. And you also give GRACE to everyone you meet. I want to be like you when I grow up :)

  22. Susan, I love this reminder to refocus our thinking. It is a gentle reminder to turn to God instead of giving in to discouragement. Thank you for these thoughts!

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one prone to discouragement! Thank you for stopping by today, Mandy.
      Hugs from VA :)

  23. Thank you for this reminded of how God uses very unlikely people to achieve his purpose. I hope in the future people will look back and say that God used me, no matter how unlikely I feel.

    • I think we ALL feel unlikely, Tina. Thankfully God doesn’t consult our feelings before He calls us :)
      So glad you stopped by today!

  24. Sigh…sad but true! I have battled image and insecurity issues all my life. I must say though, that at almost 47, I see many of them dissipating. I was always told as you get older, things that seemed so important or insurmountable in my 20′s, start to fade. I can see that now. I also find I am more open to constructive criticism. Observations do not weigh me down as much as years past. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Prayer reminders is a great way to look at situations!

    • You’re so right about getting older, Donna – you don’t sweat the small stuff, and you figure out that most of it is small! I used to worry about what people think, but not so much anymore. I care about what GOD thinks ;)
      I’m so glad you stopped by today!

  25. Susan–love how your words. The story of Gideon holds a special spot in my heart, as God used this story in a very powerful way two summers ago. But…I forget…and am so thankful others share God’s word in cyberspace to help me remember! PS…Birthday blessings being sent your way!!

    • I love Gideon too, Kim! So many great applications, and you’re right – it’s hard to remember unless you’re buried in that passage. Glad you stopped by today, and thanks for the birthday blessings!!

  26. “I want to be sure my testimony speaks of God’s faithfulness, not my own ingenuity.”

    Me too, sister, me too!

    • Your testimony is amazing, Tereasa, and your legacy of faithfulness is blessing so many. Thanks for stopping by :)

  27. Susan,

    This is truly awesome – thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight from Gideon life. My favorite line:

    “I saw the task ahead of me and forgot the Power behind me.” So very true indeed.

    God bless you as you serve our King,
    Love to you sister, Hester ;)

  28. Insecurities always know how to sneak up when we least expect them. I love what you said about using our feeling of insecurity to remind us to pray. I’m always “linking” something to prayer as a reminder. Although I’ve been known to actually put post-it notes up around my house so I remember to keep that conversation with God going all day long. Seems kind of goofy, but it really works, and once I did it for awhile, I no longer needed the post-it notes!

    • I love Post-Its, Celeste! I’d like to hug the person who invented them — true GENIUS! I also love index cards (I have an affinity for paper :) ) I like what you said about keeping a conversation with God going all day long. I consider that an application of “praying without ceasing.”

      Hugs from VA!

  29. Susan, Your posts always have a way of finding me right where I am, addressing the thing I most need to address. How I thank you for sharing your wisdom. God bless you as you continue to press through.

  30. Seems like everywhere I go today, I’m reading about endurance, perseverance, and pressing forward! God’s definitely telling me something!

    Thanks for allowing Him to use you!…and for linking up with WIP Wednesday!

    • Thanks, Mary Beth. Don’t you love how God gives us multiple messages? I’m glad because I NEED them!

  31. It is a process–accepting ourselves where we are at this moment. I really enjoyed this post.

  32. I love the connection to Gideon here. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement. Visiting from Playdates With God – so glad I did!

    • So glad to have you visit, Becky! I love when I get to study the Judges, and Gideon is one of my favorites.
      Hugs from VA,
      Susan

  33. Insecurity …oh yes! I tend to stay in my comfort zone but then the Lord gives me a push. My life turned upside down several years ago. The comforts were gone and I didn’t even know where we’d live. But God supplied our needs.

    After returning to work full time after being ‘retired’, I felt I didn’t have the strength to work with a classroom of three year old children. But He provides me with the strength and ability.

    As far as the body goes, I used to fit so nicely into my clothes but lately everything is way too tight. I’m working on it but it doesn’t come off as fast as it did when I was younger. :)

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Debbie! And I’m with you on the snug clothes. I just turned 50, and my system is definitely slowing down!

  34. Ha, insecurity has been my middle name! BUT, God has been and still is pulling me out of comfort zones and I am learning to go and do what He has led me to, even if I am scared and insecure. I’m learning that it’s not about me but about what HE can do through me. And you know what? It’s exciting! Wish I had learned this while I was growing up!

    • So true, Kris! It’s all about being empty vessels that He can use. I need to constantly get myself out of the way so He can work!
      So glad you stopped by today.

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