Boots by A Whisper of Unremitting Demand

Actually, I have lots of confessions but let’s stick with one for this post.

I’m intimidated by you.

And by you, I mean women.

Put me in a room of my peers and it won’t be long before my hands are sweaty and I’m shaking in my boots (yeah, the cute ones I bought from TJ Maxx in the hopes they’d somehow hypnotize everyone into liking me—you know what I’m talking about).

It got so bad I even took drastic measures a few summers ago.

Disclaimer: there is some serious dorkiness coming in the next few sentences. If you’re offended by that you should stop reading now.

I went to the library and I checked out all the social skills books. The ones like, “How to Have Friends and Influence People without Relying on Your TJ Maxx Boots.” And I read all of them. I know—don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Through my ambitious pursuit of coolness, I discovered that my insecurities came from a much deeper place than an inability to make coherent small talk at times. What I thought might be some sort of social ailment turned out to be a spiritual one.

Inside a voice whispered, “You’re not enough.” Depending on the day, an extra word might be thrown into that sentence—

You’re not pretty enough.

You’re not outgoing enough.

You’re not likeable enough.

So I kept spinning my wheels on an endless treadmill. I’d make progress in one area only to realize I had miles to go in another.

Exhausted, I finally began pondering and praying.

“Lord,” I asked, “Why do women feel as if we’re not enough?”

It seemed I heard a whisper in response, “Because they’re not.”

For a moment I thought I had some holy static happening.

“Excuse me, God, it sounded like you said, ‘We’re not enough.’ Could you repeat that pretty please?”

Again, gently and firmly, “You are not enough.”

By then I started thinking perhaps my heart had dialed the wrong number and the devil was on the line.

But in that pause it seemed God finished the sentence, “You are not enough…in me you are so much more.”

We are much more than pretty…we are wonderfully made.

We are much more than likeable…we are deeply loved.

We are much more than okay…we are daughters of the King. ‘

I think the enemy tricks us into believing we are not enough because he knows if we discover the truth we’ll be unstoppable.

If you’ve embraced that lie like I did then together we can start trading it for the truth…

We are chosen, cherished, created women who have all we need to fulfill God’s plans for our lives. He has made us just as He wants us to be. We have something to offer that no one else can bring…and the world is waiting.

Girls, let’s stop shaking in our boots and instead start standing tall for Him together.

I can’t do it alone—will you be (in) this with me?

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  1. 1
    Quaking here.... says:

    Wow – an incredibly relevant post for me today. I have been really struggling with even going to church as I hate feeling like I have no friends and just end up sitting by myself. Perhaps there really is something deeper than just my not being able to talk to people! I thought it was my communication skills at fault but maybe…

  2. 2

    Yes thank you. I’ve recently been hearing the “you don’t have it together enough” spiel. It has quaked my boots enough to prevent me from reaching out and making new friends, something I usually have no problem doing. I’m afraid to be real with other women and then be rejected. Your confession showed me that even women that seem to have it together (as it seems to me you do) hear the same spiel that paralyzes me on a regular basis. With Christ we need not be afraid. It’s true, I don’t have it together enough, but Christ will put the pieces together to make something really beautiful. All I have to do is live like I believe it.

  3. 3

    Holly-I really enjoyed and appreciated this post. It’s something we all relate to in one form or another. If left to my own devices–forget the cool boots–I’d live in dull flats and blend in with the wall. But I reminded here how I need to get out of my comfort zone and reach out to encourage and connect–without fear of how I’ll be received. Thank you!

  4. 4

    Yes, Yes, Yes I’m in! Boots or no boots (but i’ve always wanted some awesome boots!) Thanks for the boost and support!

  5. 5

    Oh Holley! I am so totally in love with you right now! Can we be “BFF’s?” :)
    I do love to share myself with people, however, I don’t know how to kick it off face to face. I guess that’s one reason writing it is better for me. I worry that maybe I’ll share too much and offend someone. Or maybe they will think that I’m crazy.
    So anyway, I’m usually the quiet one with a painted smile in between obessively stuffing food in my mouth so that I will not have to talk to anyone. I love getting together with my Sisters, I just don’t talk.
    smooches,
    Larie

  6. 6

    Holley,
    Thank you for writing this post. The “not enough” lie is definately something i struggle with more often than I would like to admit.

  7. 7

    Yes! I agree that we, as women, tend to only hear the first part of truth – we are not enough – and the listen to the world as to why that’s true instead of seeing God’s wonderful plan and all His truth that follows about what our identity really is in Him. Thanks for saying it out loud!

  8. 8

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  9. 9

    I’m in Holley. We are enough and so much more in His eyes.Thank you..I needed a reminder.

  10. 10
    Jennifer says:

    Thank you for speaking my heart today! I am so with you! I have become increasingly wary of social situations, I prefer to stay home and not be with people I don’t know well. It drives my husband and kids crazy. I know I shouldn’t be this way. I will pray more before I go somewhere, and remember that with God, I needn’t be fearful or feel like I am “not enough.” Thank you again for reminding me!

  11. 11

    Wow! You spoke straight to my heart today! I have always struggled with this… Thanks for the tender encouragement.
    As with most things, I’m workin’ on it. :)

  12. 12
    Katie-Pensacola, FL says:

    Oh Holley how easily I could have been the one behind this post. You really know how to read my mail :) . What a beautiful reminder from our Daddy God…
    I spend so much time saying this to other women that it catches me off guard, again, when I re-examine it for myself. I LOVE it when the truth just pierces our hearts in a way that takes our breath away.
    Can you be speechless and still have so much to say?!
    I am so grateful to be on this journey together.

  13. 13

    Holley … you are amazing! I love the combination of your strength and vulnerability. Thanks for being real, and encouraging us to be real too.

  14. 14

    oh Holley – I love you even more than your amazing boots – which do hypnotize this Frugal Fashionista lady. :)
    I wrote a monologue on this topic…the “mirrors” women look in of the different lies that are whispered…I must add the boots.
    You are amazing and so loved by God…and us.

  15. 15

    A cord of three strands, yes?
    Together, we are not easily broken.
    Together we take our private brokenness and weave something strong.
    Together.
    This is the word I will carry through my day.

  16. 16

    Oh, girl, it’s like you’re writing all MY thoughts out on paper! (Or, screen, as the case may be.) I often feel NOT ENOUGH, dorky, or whatever lie is most relevant that day. But you’re right – when we rely on God, we can remember who we really are.

  17. 17

    Beautifully spoken, Holley. You hit the nail on the head! I’ve been there; still there. But, yes, I am (in)!

  18. 18

    Hi Holley. Wonderful Post-So Confirming and Affirming. I love the “Holy Static” that you referred to. Brilliant.
    I am in like Flynn. I can’t wait to meet you someday.
    Love.
    Reese

  19. 19

    Oh Holley…I loved this and it really blew me away for many reasons and one reason you definitely know and that is that God so directed this and many other of the October (in)courage posts in one specific area…wow!
    I really related to this and so desperately try to fit in but often feel as I don’t and end up faking confidence when confidence in how much more Christ is in me should be my driving force…

  20. 20

    Girl, you’re made in the image of the Almighty, Living GOD so you’re ‘enough’.
    Read Psalm 139 until you not only believe it but live it.
    All of us are intimated by someone else; the key is to focus on Jesus until it’s Him people see when they look at me…and not me. When we seek our worth in how others perceive us, we loose focus on True Worth…found in Jesus Christ.

  21. 21

    I don’t trust that people like me. I hear nice words come from their mouths, but I DOUBT. I am not one of them. I am not. I have NO FRIENDS. I am alone. I am lonely. The only person I trust to like me is my husband. He likes me.
    I have tried, a little. I have tried to reach out with no response. This confirmed my suspicions that I am not liked. I don’t know what I did. I don’t know what I have to do. Maybe others think I am… I don’t know. I can only guess.
    I ask the Lord to take away this problem I have. To help me. His Word emphasizes the need to fellowship. Fellowship is a frightening word to me. Frightening.
    I would rather be alone then submit myself to…people. I am inept at friendship. I stink at small talk. Who wants to hear about what I have to say anyway? I can see their eyes glass over when I speak. So why subject them to it?
    I know God loves me. I know I can run to Jesus for comfort.
    Still, I feel desperately lonely.
    Thank you for your post. It opened the door for me to pour out my heart here. Here where I know no one.

  22. 22

    ok. I read the other posts. I will be (in) this with you, Holly. I admit. I am scared. More scared than that little word can convey. I will pour myself in Him. Maybe, maybe one day, others will see Him and not me. He must increase, I must Decrease.
    Thank you to the ladies who posted who stand tall in Christ and offered words of encouragement, especially you, Sandra who posted before me. Thank you.

  23. 23

    Because L.L. said what I wanted to, but with her jaw dropping eloquence, I will add just that I am not much of a joiner really. But I also know being alone doesn’t add up to enough.
    Can I sit in the back?
    Love to you Holley.

  24. 24

    Wow Holley, I can so relate to your feelings.
    And I have to say, seeing a beautiful woman like you with such a way of reaching out to others I would never have thought you felt similar to the way I do.
    You can’t know what your sharing today means to my life. Thank-you!

  25. 25
    Jacquie Olsen says:

    From one dork to another, I know exactly what you mean. Okay, I haven’t read those kind of books before, but no matter, I have certainly obsessed with feeling not enough. And who can you share with that (in order to break free from it) other than your blogging friends! They seem to always understand. I love that. Thank you for sharing your heart. This was “enough” for me today to give me joy all the day long.

  26. 26

    What a beautiful post. Certainly something most, if not all, of us needs to hear. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the lies of the enemy. Thank you so much!!

  27. 27

    O. M. Goodness! I needed to read this post so badly today. Yesterday I was overwhelmed with “junk” from the enemy and pretty much quit my blog. Today, after rest, renewal, good food, talking with my husband, and singing praises to God, I had to sheepishly admit on my blog, “Ok, I didn’t really mean I was quitting!”
    The enemy never gives us…..but neither does God and He’s way bigger, better, and stronger! I have only to pray to him to make my wrongs right.
    And I totally know what you mean about not fitting in with other women. Where are all my ‘friends’ in this season of my life?
    Trusting in God….

  28. 28

    How sad it is that just about every wonderful lady that responded here, responded with “YES! I KNOW how you feel”….add me to the list! It seems that every day we are faced with some ad or promotion showing us just how “wrong” we are! Imagine my SHOCK that there is now a product out there that can give us…..PERFECT EYELASHES! Eyelashes??? Are you serious??? Somehow the world has us convinced that if we do not have ______ (fill in the blank) then we are somehow inadequate. An even sadder truth is how this mentality can permeate the church of Christ! For over 5 years our family lived a “plain” life (PLEASE know I am in no way making this about plain or not plain, it is just our journey). I “gave up” all manner of things in the hopes that I could be found “good enough” in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the people around me. Long story short (HA! I hear the chuckles!), the Lord so gently told me the same thing he told you Holley! THIS is the response I had to: “For a moment I thought I had some holy static happening”!!! He gently showed me how ALL the things I could do or give up—all the “plainess” I could muster up could NEVER, EVER earn His love. he loves me BECAUSE He created me. That revelation sent me into a tail spin! No, I did not crumble into a praiseworthy heap at the foot of the cross. I lost it—I lost ant faith in decisions I was making because I got it all wrong! I lost all of my “friends” because I saw that the works I was doing did not amount to anything except a lack of grace! I lost the church our family fellowshipped with for years. And then the painful “shunning” came into the place and I was once again faced with “you are NOT good enough” so we cannot even speak with you let alone be friends. Oh how sad this makes the Lord. I knew I mattered to Him and yet I wanted to be loved by people.
    It has been over 2 years sonce we left that atmosphere and His grace has been poured out on our family. I am learning how to trust His work in my life again. I am learning to BE who He has created me to be and be satified with that. the hardest struggle for me though is the loss of human “contact”. We literally had to move to a different town and so we have yet to make any real friends here. the churches in the area are not a good fit for us so we travel about 45 minutes to church. That distance makes it challenging to get involved more than on Sundays though we did just begin going to a weekly bible study. We are hopeful!
    I know this was long but if my foolish choice to try and earn God’s acceptance can be shared in order to encourage ONE person to feel His acceptance, then all the suffering we went through was worth it. YOU ARE LOVED AND ACCEPTED BY GOD…THE END!
    I feel compelled to share this on my blog :0). THANK you Holley! I so needed to hear this today!

  29. 29

    “In Him, we are so much more…” Truer words have never been spoken. Thank you for this post, Holley.
    I pray that we would all stop believing the lies the enemy tells us and believe our Father instead.

  30. 30

    Yes, I’m right there with ya’ on this one, Holley.
    “I think the enemy tricks us believing we are not enough because he knows if we discover the truth we’ll be unstoppable.”
    This is so true. Whenever I get inspired by God and feeling fully whole and unlacking, I think anything is possible! And I act like it, too! :)

  31. 31

    wow…simply…wow. i suppose I should not be amazed that God spoke to me this way, today, but I am…
    Thank you….
    (and what’s up with all the rhonda/rondas? ;)

  32. 32

    I have bought into the lie and I’m so sick of it! So glad I came and read this today. Praying that God weeds out the junk and plants truth in all of our hearts!

  33. 33

    Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I struggle with feelings of inferiority and have for years. Thanks for reminding me that I am more than enough in Him.

  34. 34

    Thank you so much for this post – I was having an insecure day, where I thought I didn’t do anything in my life “enough.” Thanks for helping me realize that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Christ :)

  35. 35

    This is a “now” word for the women of faith.
    I myself have found that experiences can hush our god-given voices and trample on our confidence. Still, God’s whisper is loudest when we focus on His presence and Word. Gladly, we can’t be kept down, or quiet, for too long. :)
    Bless you for being transparent, and sharing with your sisters that we are not alone in struggling to be all we can be!

  36. 36

    As women, I don’t think we can ever hear these things enough. Thank you for the (In)Couragement ;)
    Gussy

  37. 37

    So needed to hear this today. Just moments ago I responded to a friends e-mail concerning a women’s event this weekend that I had been invited to attend, and quite honestly, it was this very thing – insecurity – fear of other women – anxiety of being accepted – that wrote my response. Thank you for reminding me that I can go with God confidence because of His love for me.
    Thanks Holley. I’m (in) this with you :)
    Joy

  38. 38
    Jennifer says:

    Wow! I agree with everyone above in sharing your feeling of never being “enough”; few friends, but none really close… Thanks for sharing this. It’s what we all struggle with, but don’t have the courage to address it.
    Love, Jennifer

  39. 39

    Amazing post! Thanks for the help with something we all face!
    And I bet your TJ Maxx boots would win me over too! :-)

  40. 40

    This is a great post, and the timing is even greater. Thanks for writing it.
    And I’ll bet those boots are awesome!

  41. 41

    You are truly hitting home for me, and I think most women in our age. Even those of us who *appear* not intimidated are intimidated by someone, somewhere. I love how that in Christ, we can stall tall and be ourselves. This really hit home for me in 2008, and the beginning of 2009. Late spring, I started praying fervently to stand in Christ, as God’s daughter, confident and secure.
    This was awesome!!!

  42. 42

    oohhh i want to be your BFF as well!! A kindred spirit. I get it. I so get it.
    xx

  43. 43

    Thank you for the reminder. I am wonderfully made … awesome!

  44. 44

    What a beautiful word for today! Such a good message to take to heart! Awesome stuff!

  45. 45

    Oh Holley – that is so me – even at my advanced age. I love all that you have said because it is so true. The hard part is embracing it. The Father has done all He can – we have only to walk in it.

  46. 46

    One of my favorite things about coming to (in)courage is to try to guess who wrote the post as I read it. Sometimes it’s obvious. But today? Today, any one of us could have written these words because it is such a relevant and universally female thing. And a human thing. And I’m so glad. I love the way you brought this to its logical conclusion: we are not enough. He is so much more. Thanks, Holley. I’m (in).

  47. 47

    What a great post… really touches my heart. “Wonderfully made”… LOVE that! Thank you for sharing these words today.

  48. 48

    amen to that!
    The book “captivating” helped me a lot to realize that beautiful TRUTH :)
    thx for reminding this to all women out there!

  49. 49
    Yolanda says:

    This was such a fabulous post. As I read it, I felt as if I could relate and I wondered, “Who wrote this?” and then I saw that it was you!! I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to know that someone like you has insecurities like the rest of us. Blessings to you and yours!

  50. 50

    Incredible post! I think almost all women feel insecure at one time or another. In the past I tried to be perfect so that others would want to befriend me, but have learned that it takes showing an interest in others to make true friends.

  51. 51
    Valarie says:

    Yes! I’m here! Still shaking just a little in my boots. But I am standing tall, I am a Child of God, blessed and receiving favor because HE CHOSE ME. Thank you for that reminder!

  52. 52

    Oh yes, ma’am!
    I have been a boot-wearin’ girl since birth. It most definitely has not been the added height of the heal that has helped me stand taller, but the act of giving up what made me cower and crouch in the corner. All while reaching up to Him… It is only when I desperately seek His forgiveness and guidance that my burdensome weights dissolve in His hands that I am able to be the boot-wearin’ woman He made me to be.
    Bless your words this day and may they continue to touch, guide and heal.

  53. 53

    I am printing this out and putting it on my fridge. Or tattooing it on my arm. Or my face. Or something. This is so powerful and what I need to read every day! Thanks, Holley! I love this! SO well written and everyone has felt this way many times. Amen and AMEN!

  54. 54

    Oh, yeah. That get-my-eyes-off-myself thing.
    Thank you!
    Monica

  55. 55

    My husband has always said he believes most women dress for other women, that they care more for what other women think of them than men.
    I think that is so true. I remember when I used to do a lot of training in a corporation, if I had to speak before a room full of men I didn’t feel frightened at all.
    It was when other corporate women were present in the audience that I felt a little frightened… let’s not talk about when it was ALL women. :)
    How silly we all are.
    Of course, after homeschooling for a very long time… I don’t think anything frightens me. Except the dark. And Bigfoot.

  56. 56

    Holley, such wisdom and truth in your words. Right from the heart and thoughts of God Himself. He knows what He thinks about us and wants us to know the truth about ourselves and believe Him! Thank you for your honest truth today!

  57. 57

    I’m (in), Holley! Thanks for the inspiring words!!

  58. 58

    Holly, this post had me nodding my head in agreement, crying tears of relief that I was not alone and sighing and praying and thanking God for His grace and love. Thank you for sharing this, you are courageous and wise in your words and open spirit! Love and bright blessings, always and in all ways…Shanyn

  59. 59

    Holley! THis is so right on, girlfriend. My identity issues could fill a library, but the truth is that we only need one book to tell us who we are.
    I love you, Holley. I mean, I really really love you and want to be around you, and I know you know that, but can I also add that your sense of humor is one of the best I’ve ever known. You’re my sister.
    Love,
    Amber

  60. 60

    I have those boots. Thanks for sharing your realization.

  61. 61

    What a great “confession”. I’ve shared it on my Facebook page so the girls in my life can be touched the way I was by this honest offering. Thank you!

  62. 62

    “…dialed the wrong number and the devil was on the line.”
    Rarely do things I read make me laugh outloud. It caught me off-guard at just the very right moment. :-) Thanks for a smidgen of comic relief in what is a fairly serious confession.
    Great post. Thanks Holley!

  63. 63

    Great thoughts. I just saw this video for the first time this morning. It so clearly shows that we compare ourselves to a phantom that does not exist. That elusive, imaginary, perfect woman! It doesn’t matter if it’s looks, clothes, social skills, homemaking skills, our children…..you name it! Thank you for reminding us that our security can only be found in Christ and not in any of these other things. Check out the video!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYfwIAWWH6M

  64. 64

    we have these walls, but funny how–as soon as they are breached–they crumble so quickly. to be this transparent; to embrace your confession…this is a true sisterhood!

  65. 65

    Bravo!!! Anything I say would just be a repeat.But as someone said Psalm 139 should be ready over and over by young women. As a matter of fact if I had a little girl I would begin reading it to her as soon as she can comprehend it so the truth will be in her when the world starts trying to tell her something else. It’s time for we ladies to celebrate one another with real love and eliminate the competition and comparison feelings we have that were heaped on us from outside voices. God bless!!

  66. 66

    Thank you for sharing the unspoken truth that so many women feel, myself included, and for giving just the right (in)courage-ment to us!!

  67. 67

    Oh Holley, Holley, Holley. You are speaking my language!!

  68. 68

    I can’t tell you how often those words, “I’m not enough” ring through my head. Thank you for sharing that I’m not the only dork who feels perpetually out of step–I love the boots, by the way :) Thank you for the reminders of the truths that overcome my sense of lack–I pray that they will sink in and that I will act like I know them.

  69. 69
    HveHope says:

    Ronda ~
    May I pray with you?
    Lord, please lift the heaviness that envelops Ronda. Please part the curtain of fear and let Your Light & Life shine into the very recesses to FILL her with YOU. Feed her Your Word and embolden her IN You. For the sake of Your Son and in His name I pray, Amen.
    holding you on my heart today Ronda,
    HveHope

  70. 70

    Amazing post! Amazing God! Thank you for posting this. I’m going to email the link to a friend right now. :)

  71. 71

    It’s so lucky for me to find your blog! So shocking and great! Just one suggestion: It will be better and easier to follow if your blog can offer rrs subscription service.

  72. 72
    Lori Champagne says:

    Yes, the devil tries to whisper those old thoughts into my head from time to time but I just repeat to myself that it is a lie and that the truth is that I am a one of a kind, unique original…God made me that way!!!

  73. 73

    How BLESSED are we!!!!!!! I am so thankful to the Lord God for leading me here a few months ago!!! Holley I thank God for you because you are honest and not a holier than thou person.
    I pray the Lord Blesses you in a Mighty way!!!
    I feel alone too much of the time…Not many friends but,its my fault. When I am not cleaning(have own cleaning biz)I stay at home and have become a type of hermit.And those who are in my life are not born again but a few.
    And most people I know just want to use me and nothing else.BUT…I have met many wonderful women through this web site who seem to know exactly what the Lord wants me to learn! Gods Peace to you ALL!!!

  74. 74

    Was this dug up from the past, just for me?? The quote, “I think the enemy tricks us into believing we are not enough because he knows if we discover the truth we’ll be unstoppable” has been so on my mind through my times of insecurities, and is worded perfectly with what my heart knows! I don’t feel I can be ‘used of God’ when I’m in these low points, and I know others can sense it. It’s so discouraging not to be able to shine for Him. And it is of the enemy. I just read in Revalations (I’m doing Beth’s “Beloved Disciple”) where in the last days God will bind the devil with a Great Chain for 1,000 years! Satan has bound us with chains but watch out! Ha! He’ll get his due.

  75. 75

    Thank you for speaking out loud things that I am ashamed to admit to anyone. So I don’t reach out because I feel I am not enough. Thank you for reminding me that we aren’t in ourselves but in Him, we are sufficient.