No one can make us feel quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as much as the words that sometimes come from a friend or from inside our own head. That’s why (in)courage exists as an online community committed to making safe spaces for women to connect. Every Wednesday this month we’ll be sharing some of our stories of overcoming insecurity in order to choose friendship on purpose. We hope you’ll read along and then join us in a weekly Community Challenge geared toward kicking insecurity to the curb and connecting more deeply with our friends.
Week 1: The Insecurity of Being “Not Enough”
I have a fraud problem.
Not related to credit, but related to my soul.
I worry that I’m a fraud writer.
I worry that I don’t write deep enough or brave enough or bold enough. And I worry that it’s because my life isn’t deep enough or brave enough or bold enough.
I feel vanilla on the inside, and it makes me embarrassed on the outside.
What if I dig deep and all that comes out are more stories about my kids and my temper and my sink full of seemingly-always-dirty dishes? Because seven years into this world of online storytelling and it seems I keep writing the same story over and over again.
So the fraud burrows into my soul, and I look at my laptop and wonder why I bother. Because there is always someone who is going to say it in words that are more authentic or more powerful than mine. And I know in my head that these seemingly boring and ordinary stories are the stuff of miracle and wonder. I do. But there are days I don’t believe what I know.
There are days at conferences and events where I’m embarrassed to be the “mommy blogger” of the group who isn’t considered a serious writer because she doesn’t write about serious things. That I’m not edgy enough or interesting enough or serious enough. I have this whole crazy inner monologue that discredits me and my book and my blog and my place in the world of writers where I don’t have permission to have a voice or a story because I’m “just the mom who writes about motherhood. Again.”
And it can do crazy things to your head when you’re trying to make friends or be a decent friend because you’re so often worrying if anyone even takes you seriously as a writer or if they’re just being polite.
And writing this down is such a lame insecurity that it seems to underscore the initial problem of not being interesting enough even when it comes to my insecurities.
And then I read this:
You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.
And it’s such a relief.
It’s such a relief to remember that I can’t be a poser when it comes to God – whether I was trying to be or not – because He already knows me. Deeply – on my bad hair and crabby at the world and dissatisfied with what I write and live days, He knows all of that. Without me saying a word.
You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.
I don’t have to be interesting or edgy or extra brave, or pretend I’m anything that I’m not because everything I do is already relevant to the God who is interested in when I sit and when I rise. When I wash my dishes and when I get called to wipe my daughter’s bottom in the bathroom. He is invested in my ordinary. I matter to Him. Not because of what I do, but because He has made me. Period. How can the story God wrote, that He is writing in me, be boring?
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
All. My. Ways. are already familiar to my God. I don’t need to push the envelope of unfamiliar because I am known, I am discerned from the inside out and there’s nothing vanilla about that. No, to be known like that is to be free. To be pursued. To be beautiful. To be worthy. To be enough.
Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.
Every word, every blog post, every thought, every worry or compliment or insecurity — my God knows them all and cups them in His hands and me in His heart — and in Him I. Am. Enough.
You hem me in behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon me.
There is no breaking out of the box or the mold or the model or the ordinary when it comes to being known by God. Nothing that I can do can impress Him because He has already laid His hand on me and His Son down for me and all I have to do is receive it.
He is enough.
Deep enough, brave enough, bold enough.
And on the days I waver and doubt (and there are many of those), it just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because some things remain true even on the days you struggle to believe them.
Do you believe that?
Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood, community manager for (in)courage and mom to three very loud kids.
Won’t you join our community challenge?
This week, let’s spend time in prayer and write down the insecurity we’re currently struggling with most (in your private journal or in the blog comments below), and ask God to begin to reveal His truth about who we are in Him.Leave a Comment
What a beautiful post! Especially the reminder that He is enough. Since I was very little, I have struggled with the fear that the people I love most will leave me, because I’m not good enough for them to stay. My dad is an alcoholic and when my parents would fight, my mom would often leave, screaming she just might never come back. Even though I grew up, my little girl heart still carries the fear that I will be left, and be alone. Your post helps me to remember that even if everyone leaves, I am never alone. God will still be with me, and He is enough.
Thank you for those beautiful words.
I’m sorry for what you have experienced and can understand that feeling of being alone or left alone. And when you feel as though you will be abandoned saying to yourself “I am not alone,” will bring you some comfort.”
You will be heard……
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Thank you for expressing what so many of us feel deep down inside. Like Penny, I struggle with worrying about being abandoned because my first husband left…the one who was supposed to stick with me through thick and thin. I struggle with my weight, always, with trying to be thin enough to be accepted. I also struggle with my identity as a writer…can I even call myself that when there are so many others better than me? Well, I guess that’s enough insecurity for now. Thankfully I have a Lord and Savior who reassures me that I am enough just because I am His. Thank you for sharing from the heart…
Selena Campbell says
I relate specifically to what your struggles are, and I know how hard it is to find your true self in the midst of those insecurities–even when you know that the King of Everything is your papa. Thanks for sharing, since it always helps to know you are not the only one. 🙂
Penny, what a beautiful post. I too share the fear of being left. I guess it is because my parents divorced when I was young. I also fear that I won’t be heard or important ilenough to be heard. But Lisa, you’ve reminded me that we have a God who hears us and sees us and never leaves us. He loves us just the way we are! Thank you for this reminder 🙂
Melanie Vanlaningham says
My insecurity? Not sure where to begin. I’m insecure even about sharing in these comments because I don’t think I can even begin to articulate the mess that is my heart. Most of my life has been spent in trying so hard to do life “right”. Don’t make a mistake. Don’t disappoint. Don’t sin. Most of my life has been spent feeling like I will never measure up or be good enough but I really want to. I’ve perceived a fear of abandonment but I have no real reason to feel that way. I take life so seriously, struggle to let go, to laugh, to dance, to live boldly with great love. But I WANT to do ALL those things. I keep putting myself out there, out of my comfort zones, but am certain I’m failing. I know the final chapters are yet to be written so there is hope just wondering how I will ever change.
OH where do I begin. We have moved several times to different areas of the town I grew up in. I find a group of friends, I think I am doing well and then, poof they disappear when I genuinely need them. Maybe my life is too comlicated, maybe I am too sensitive, maybe, just maybe, I am selfish? Probably a little, but I am also a very compassionate, giving, loving person. Maybe I need to work on being a better listener? I know I do. I have no friends to lean on where we moved 10 months ago. It is hard. I don’t feel that we fit in at the Church we have chosen or the groups I have joined. I can’t ever seem to make a connection. It is really testing not my faith in God, but my faith in people. Why can’t there be room for another friend? I have always tried to make room for others. I am a VERY social person. Any ideas, thought, Bible verses….anything?
Sarah Skinner says
Ellie, I don’t have any answers for you. I’ve had a similar experience moving and trying to make friends. For me, I found peace resting in God and my husband. I interact on here when I can, and don’t worry about making friends any more. My best friends have always chosen me anyway. I’ll pray God sends you a friend that will be with you thick and thin. Blessings.
Audrey Hackett says
I understand how you feel because I grew up with the feeling that I was never really accepted or wanted. It has taken a long time for me to experience something of a change. I don’t always fit into a group and have experienced rejection even from Christian folk in our church but I do know that God created me with the personality that I have and He has a place and a purpose for me – I only have to find it. I find it is a matter of listening to His voice and going where He tells me to go. When I do I experience acceptance and welcome. Jesus was rejected and I suppose we must not be surprised when we get rejected. It is a matter of forgiving and moving on. I hope this is helpful. God bless.
Melanie, I can so relate to how you feel. I felt I always had to be perfect. I think this came from being such a disappointment to my dad and my big sister and my mom. So when I became a Christian, I felt like I had to be perfect to make up for being so bad and being such a disappointment to them..I tried so hard to live the Christian life and please God. then i read a book that really helped me. the name of the book is Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning. I hope you can get a copy of this and read it. It is such a good book. I think it will answer a lot of things you are dealing with. I’m going to pray for you right now. I am learning how to cease striving and know that He is God. Stop trying and start trusting.Your sister, Judy
Wow. I needed to hear this today. Today, as I try once again to “start over” and come up with a better plan for how to be the perfect mom, wife, homemaker, and home school teacher. I fail miserably at times, and am my worst critic. And then here comes the guilt. And my blog? I love to write, love to share my heart, and my story, but am often fed the lies that no one wants to read yet another post where I’m baring my heart and sharing my hopes and dreams. So thankful for your reminder that God knows us intimately and that he is familiar with all of our ways, and that He has given us a story to share, and there’s no shame in that! God bless you, Lisa Jo, and all the other beautiful ladies who are brave enough to keep on writing!
Lisa-Jo you better keep writing these posts! Your words are the lifeline I need some days and a validation I can just BE and not always have to DO. That’s my insecurity. The feeling that I should always be doing something. Events or activities with the kids, ministry at church, striving at work, bettering myself through “these three steps” working my way into a Gods heart. Whew! I’m tired already! My goal for this year… Let’s just say my goal for today, is to live redeemed. I am redeemed. He calls me redeemed. I have been cleared, retrieved, compensated for, vindicated, reclaimed, discharged. I am free. I want to start living that way. Love your heart, girl! Praying for your trip!
Delia Miller says
I too feel fear of being alone. I know God has me in the palm of his hand. So many of lifes expericnes have taken place and left me with somewhat of un healing places. I don’t live there but I am reminded of them and I wonder if I was a good mom because it affects everything including my daughter who has now had to go on in her life after her husband left her and she seems to be experiencing a life that is away from God right now and it scares me….did I push her away somehow. I am reaching the retirement age and have no grand children and a husband who takes good care of me but I worry who will be there when I am sick if I lose my husband.
Lisa Jo, what a beautiful post! Keep on doing exactly what you’re doing — your bravery, transparency, and authenticity are such a blessing! My father died suddenly when I was a young girl, and I have struggled on and off for most of my life since then with panic attacks. I know that the root of my anxiety is fear of abandonment. Especially abandonment from God. I’m praying that 2015 is the year that “the scales drop”, and I (we!) truly see and experience God for who He really is — our Daddy who will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you, and God bless you!
Lisa-Jo, I don’t know who decided that writing about insecurities was a good idea, but I think they were right. And bravo to you for going first! (Or did you have a choice? 🙂
This is a beautiful reminder that we all have insecurities, a fact that I forget at times. Why, Lisa-Jo doesn’t feel insecure. Holley doesn’t feel insecure. Nor does Deidra, Kristen, Sarah…yet, I believe it is something we all feel. You were the first person I heard say “we don’t need another Ann Voskamp. We need you. We need YOUR voice and what YOU have to say.” You were speaking to a room of probably 40 or so women at the then Relevant Conference in 2011. I go back to that often. Remembering it does not eliminate my insecurities, but it give me a bit of courage to move on and try to share my story.
Thank you…Lisa-Jo. This is so encouraging and beautiful…like you!
I love this piece. I too have many insecurities as a Mom and a Wife. I often feel like I am not being the best at either of those jobs. I started “blogging” about a year ago and that is a big insecurity for me too. I love writing but I feel like a small fish in a big sea. I think you are very talented and I always enjoy your posts. Your book was an inspiration to me! Keep writing friend!
Nancy Gerney says
I gather such inspiration from the truth you speak from your heart. My douts and fears are not i the realm of mommydom but in my own lack of belief that can make a difference. I am a trained and experience music director – for over 45 years. It has always been a passion and comes from deep in my heart. I can play the notes and sing the songs and have seen the miracles in my life. I pray evrey day – every minute – that my life may glorify God. Yet. in the depths of my soul I doubt. Not od. But myself. My vision has been to write a devotion packed with the miracles and rescues, the struggles and sucesses, that God has worked in my life. Short easy to read reflections of what God can do with a person that is lower than the lowest. And record a companion CD that is quiet and peaceful and can pull people into His presence – that can soothe their soul and give them hope. My day starts with quiet soothing Chrsitian music as I read my faorite deovtions to perk me up and give me a boost to get me started. I counsel those I work with o striving to be all God can make you and motivating them to live every day full of His Light and that all things – ALl things are possible – but then I tell myself but don’t you bother because there are others so much more cpaable. Nobody wants to hear your boring music or mundane words. That voice inside of me doesn’t come from God it comes from dark forces tha I allow in. So this year – thanks to your reinforcement – is the year of ‘no fear’ One where I realize that God made me – even me – for a purpose – that whenI am doubting myself – I am doubting my Maker.
So I am praying for increased faith. Becasue God is love and perfect love casts out fear.
Thank you for letting me know that others deal with similar insecurties and that you make a differnece in my life – maybe I can do the same.
Sarah Skinner says
The insecurity I’ve been struggling with is a bit hard to explain. How do you tell people what it’s like to have your own immune system attacking your brain. To the casual observer and most doctor’s you seem crazy when it’s happening. But, your not. You seem delusional, but you remember the delusions. Which means your mind is making memories…they say that doesn’t usually happen in delusional people. How do you sort out what is real and what is not? How do you stay grounded in the word when the nightmare of your waking dreams is based on revelations and the whole book being upside down? How do you question everything you know because you know the truth, and you know the lie, yet the jumbling forces you to re-evaluate? How do you keep on living when you know any day you can wake up stuck in the midst of this living nightmare? But, I do. I keep trying again. My insecurities…what if I don’t get it right? The following Christ, the doing God’s will, the loving my neighbor as myself, the taking up my cross and following Christ…it’s what I’m called to…follow Christ…split the cross…bear with one another…bear another person’s burdens…I know the answer. It’s Grace. It’s Mercy. It’s God’s Love for me. But, does that lessen the insecurity that wreaks havoc on my heart…What if I can’t do what God has called me to do? And I whisper it back to myself. Grace. Grace. Grace. He gives me more grace.
Sarah, You got it right, girlfriend: GRACE !
“I can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
You are being carried. How wonderful that your life is a sermon. A beacon. A message of trust.
Gentle Hugs & Prayers
“That I’m not edgy enough or interesting enough or serious enough.” Oh.My.Gosh.Yes! That is where I am at right this minute with my blog. Why, when I have reached all my blogging/writing goals in 2014, am I still thinking I am not good enough at this writing thing? Every story matters, but sometimes, a lot of times, I think mine does not.
I think, as I read these posts, that there’s always someone who needs to read exactly YOUR words; that God gave you those words to reach that specific person; that YOUR words are the only words that will make the difference to that person. Does it really matter that everyone else doesn’t need them, if you’ve changed the person’s life that God intended?
Oh Lisa-Jo, I am a mom who reads your words daily sometimes going back and re-reading. I struggle with the feeling of not being enough. Mostly as it relates to my boys. I have 2 H2H excited, happy, amazingly exuberant boys who are my heart and soul but I often feel like I’m not doing it right, not raising them up to the Lord enough, not feeding them the best things because really all they want to eat is pasta. I’m always worried if I am enough for them, if other people think I’m doing enough with/for them. It makes it hard to make friends and keep friends because I’m always worried about what they think of me as a mom. Even though I know I am so much more than just a mom. And I know I am enough, because He is enough.
Thank you Lisa-Jo. Thank you to all the women who have posted before me. I have felt alone in my insecurities. If a group of complete strangers can feel what I feel how can I be alone? Today I feel released from my insecurities. We can. We will. We are.
Leslie Warnick says
I was just doing this last night…doubting myself…
..when I am doubting myself, I am doubting my Maker.
Isaiah 29::16. You turn things upside down, as if the potter were to be the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ” You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?
I often pray the Serenity prayer…and the courage to change the things I can…realizing my insecurities…and, writing them actually diffuses them. I am new to this online group but have found great comfort, encouragement and inspiration from your writings…keep on my sister!
Thank you Lisa-Jo. I love reading your writings and I can’t imagine you feeling insecure about them, although I know what you mean. My loud kids are big and 2 are grown and gone and my insecurity lies in feeling that I blew it. I wasn’t enough for them and if only they had had a better mom. One is a prodigal right now and I feel the world and myself blaming me. Please just keep writing. You are a blessing and an inspiration to me and I know many others! Erin
Nothing Vanilla here! Perfectly written and perfectly said!
Thanks for that wonderful confirmation that we all need to be reminded of.
Have a beautiful day!
You are right…all women struggle with not feeling “enough.” Thank you for this reminder today.
Lisa-Jo, This post spoke so much to me and I am in awe right now. The Lord has been prompting me to write my crazy story and I have in my heart and head come up with every and any reason to disqualify myself. I even have a Journalism degree! LOL I love love loved your book and can completely relate to it. I wish I could keep you in my back pocket to speak your words of encouragement and hilarity 🙂 all the day long. I will have to revisit your posts and book and press deeper into His spirit and word to find the truth and courage to forge ahead. I pray heaps of blessings on you and yours in 2015.
That was very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
Feel like you were reading my thoughts this morning as I sat down to write earlier…and all I can pray is that God uses the gift of being able to express my heart to let other’s know He KNOWS. He cares. HE IS ABLE…This is what you have done today with your writing. Now each of us who is inspired by your transparency will be better equipped to do what we are called to do <3
What does Ms. Jennifer say ? PRE-APPROVED ? We are enough ! ! ! Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew thee ” !
PERIOD ! My love of that sweet God-connection to you sweet sister-in-Christ ! Thank you for your,word . . . . . . .
This really spoke to my heart this morning. I am afraid to fail. To fail in life, to fail as a Mom, to fail as a person, a wife, as an artist and so much more. I lost it yesterday before naptime with my kids. I was being pulled in so many directions that I got overwhelmed and yelled. I don’t want my kids to remember their Mom as a monster, as someone who yelled, who never let them be kids. My daughter is almost 2 and my son is 3 and sometimes their needs constantly through the day are overwhelming. I am afraid that this huge responsibility of raising children so they can be lanterns of God in this life is truly scary to me. That means that I have to be that example. How can I be that example to my children when I feel like I am still learning so much about who I am. I don’t know how much I should play with them and how much it’s ok to get work done around the house. I feel guilty all the time for things that I know I shouldn’t. But when I focus on God and him alone, that is when all of these messy thoughts diminish and I know that He is with me seeing all of this and waiting for me to come to Him with all my fears, insecurities, failures and feelings. This is the verse that fills my heart, mind and soul from Psalm 91:4, He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge. Please pray for me, my children and my life. That I will overcome these feelings with Gods love and His Word.
Your voice is powerful, authentic, vulnerable, and real.
Thank you for being a friend to many. And this is often how you do that friend thing very, very well — by stripping away the veneer, and letting us see the junk underneath. Just when I think I could not possibly love you more, you write something like this.
You simply shine.
I was once told by someone very important to me that I had the worst personality they knew. That I was dull, boring, and that my thoughts did not have value. Ever since then (I was 14) I have struggled with feeling that I am not interesting or intelligent enough to have a say in anything. I know in my head that this us not true, but in my heart I still hear those words and they shackle me and keep me set apart… Thank you for sharing your feelings of inadequacy. May God heal us of wounds which we do not deserve.
rejection. having nothing to offer. never being enough. not good enough. can’t get it right. unloved. those are my fears and insecurities.
Loss of friends. Christian friends-Church friends. of 20 years. husband who openly states he doesn’t want to spend time with me. with that being the consensus, it is a struggle to believe God thinks differently.
Kristen Strong says
Hey Kaci? I’m so sorry for what you’re going through now. Just wanted to wrap you in a word-hug and say that indeed, God does think differently. When all our people disappoint, He never, ever does. You are a priority of His…His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6).
Praying you feel that truth in the corner of your heart today, beautiful Kaci. You are so loved here. xo
Kristen Strong says
Girl, your words are like an arm around my shoulder, water on dry ground. Every last one is needed truth, real and beautiful–as are all those from every member of our community here.
Thank you for speaking light into my life over and over, Lisa-Jo. I’m not sure where I’d be without your writing…or you.
So much love.
Dear Lisa-Jo, it is easy to encourage you and say I know 1/2 dozen women in my small circle who have been encouraged by you. Now multiply that by the number of “Likes” on your facebook…. twitter…. blog comments.
For me I am a has-been . I’m pretty much done with the active parenting. Homeschooling mom, worked part time, went back to college for an AS degree… but can’t find a permanent job and don’t have one, lost the last temp job the week before Christmas. Who I am walked out the door.
Who I am in Christ, what I’ve done for Him that lasts is hard to grsp. Your words are always a “warm hug” for this funny looking snowman.
That the things I long for most (being a wife and momma) will never come true. That I’m not pretty enough, smart enough, etc.
I wonder why it is that so many of us feel that we are frauds in our lives? Why, when we are made in God’s image, when our maker has made us perfect in his eyes, we feel so much insecurity and doubt? It seems to me that no matter where you are in life – successful, accomplished, thin, fat, wealthy or poor – you are beautiful and perfect to him. Yet no matter what my accomplishments, my income, size, blessings, whatever, I feel like I’m living a lie that will be found out any time. Why do we tend to focus so much of our energies on the negatives, the not enough, the “too” whatever that dominate our thoughts and not on the positives we are surrounded by? I’m so enormously blessed in my life, and I always strive to do better, be more my authentic self, yet my focus remains on what I’m not. Need to turn this energy around, focus the light of God’s grace on it, and accept that I’m who I am, where I am and what I am because I’m perfectly imperfect. And that’s exactly where and who I’m supposed to be.
my word for the year is Enough. I am always worried in one area that I am not. I am childless and husbandless so my insecurity has always been am I womenly enough. keeps me up at night at times.
I said I was a fraud this week, bc I am sort of I clearly didnt deserve to be certain places so im feeling like I dont need to show up.even.
Hi Alli, I hope you don’t’ mind me replying to your comment but it really touched me – and I hope my reply doesn’t just seem like empty words to you but I know loneliness and that sense of not deserving and its been a rocky road to travel – but I just wanted to say – keep showing up Alli, keep being you, your word for the year is amazing, your enough, YOUR ENOUGH. Maybe you don’t know who needs you, who your life is speaking to, who you are helping and encouraging by turning up. And when no one sees – He sees. He has placed you and put breath in your body, your life is enough – as enough as any persons who you think has “qualified” by having husbands and children. Thats not about deserving or not deserving, thats not the stuff that counts us in or out of life, He counts us in, He’s the qualifier for a good and meaningful life, not circumstance, its about Him and what He can do with us ordinary things and with our broken and messy hearts. Keep turning up Alli, your enough.
I am always hesitant to reach out to people and get involved because I feel I’m not enough. I won’t know what to say embarrass myself. I long for community and at the same time keep it at arms length. I want to be able to open up and get connected and know I’m enough
Thank you for this heart-warming, encouraging post, Lisa-Jo. It brings tears to my eyes and hope to my heart today to read how much Jesus has invested in us. How “everything I do is already relevant to the God who is interested in when I sit and when I rise.” I so needed this reminder today when my heart is stuck with – “What can I bring to my writing that others can’t do better?” I need to ground myself in my identity in Christ daily as my default mode is insecurity. I’m looking forward to more posts on this topic. Thank you for writing openly and honestly. God bless you in 2015!
I often believe the lie that I am not a good enough mom to my 3 1/2 year old son. He is developmentally & language delayed and most of the time I have no clue what I’m doing. I don’t know how to reach him, how to play with him, how to teach him, etc. The latest saga is potty training….again. I attempted over the summer without much interest from him, and its probably very silly, but I feel like SUCH a failure as a mom because I can’t potty train my kid! Our situation is different, so I have to remind myself that his milestones won’t look like the typical 3 year old.
I am grateful for this post because it came at just the right time. I needed to be encouraged. Thank you.
Mary Ellen says
Your words spoke volumes into my own battle with insecurity. I am 70 years old, have written and taught Bible Studies about 50 of those years. I’ve also journaled for about 40 years and when I started God told me that one day I would use my journals to bless others.
I’ve done that here and there and even tried publishing but have always known there is MORE. I know that THIS is my season to do it yet every inch of flesh is screaming that what I have to share is not enough.
I loved your “Ann Voskamp” quote. That was the line I needed to hear. Who could possibly be her equal? Yet, that isn’t what He is asking of any one of us.
He’s called me, ‘Beloved,’ for a very long time when He speaks to me. One day He told me to “BE” “LOVED”—In other words live the life of being loved 24/7. Fully accepted and celebrated and cherished.
Your words today have stirred that in me again and I am resolving today to pursue with confidence all that He has left for me to do. Thank you Lisa.
I like many others appreciate the words that you so willingly share with us. I know that you have helped many by being you, so never underestimate how special you and the gift you have been blessed with.
Thank-you for being here and for just being you.
I hope that everyone has a blessed day…..
Carissa Potter says
I found your words to be deeply healing. Thank you
Michelle Crane says
Thank you very much for opening your heart and sharing. I definitely struggle with feeling vanilla on the inside. I question my calling and wonder why would people listen to me. Just like you said – there are always people who seem to be more eloquent or have more powerful stories or share deeper stories. I have to constantly confess my struggle of inadequacy to God. I know what His word says, but my heart struggles to grasp it as truth and live it out.
Ah, Lisa-Jo. This is so beautiful, on so many different levels.
I was just going through my blog– working on updating things for the new year– and it hit me that I’m still writing about infertility. Still. And it’s all the same story, in many ways. The story of, “Lord, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t say goodbye to one more baby. This is it.” Followed by, “Oh, Father, You are good. It’s all You. All Your glory. All Your grace. Thank you for being here with me and walking this desert path beside me.”
And as I realized this– the littlest bit of doubt began growing. That maybe there is something wrong with me, maybe I’m not good enough somehow, since I’m still writing the same stories.
Then I read this.
And the lies were silenced.
Sooo many insecurities and I Loooove it! Because it means I am not alone, not crazy and not a failure. I fear my career ” that is too hard, takes me away from my family and that it was not part of my life plan. Thank you everyone thank you Lisajo…
I hear you. I, too, am the momma of a 3 year old little boy. He came with a unique set of gifts. He is not potty trained either. Hang in there momma! You love him where he is at for him and kick the rest of the “should be’s” to the curb. I must daily and sometimes hourly speak these words to myself. God has a special plan for that little boy and HE gave him the perfect momma for him. Cling to Jesus. Hugs!
After having been emotionally abused by a female Christian counselor for two years and have taken time to heal, I am finally ready to approach friendships again. But, I am scared…it’s like I don’t even know what to say. I asked for someone’s phone number from church two months ago….have been carrying it around but haven’t had the courage to call. God give me the trust I need to step into Christian friendships again, trust in myself that I will be able to recognize abusive situation, trust in You that You want me surrounded by love, trust that You are my ALL IN ALL even if the friendship doesn’t work out.
I appreciate this post. My insecurity is kind of similar. It is more about sharing my writing. I have almost a burden to tell the truth & to be real & raw. If I sugar coat it or I don’t confess my failings as a mom I know it. I know I’ve cut it out only to save face & to not seem like a weirdo without a filter. I share my posts on facebook where my family & friends can see the inmost struggles as a mom & that sometimes makes me want to puke, but I know that the Lord has placed this ability to be transparent in me to share, at least for now, so I press on & deny my comfort in order to hopefully encourage others to embrace their journey & be real with each other as well. I think we all want to be known that way but stepping out to do it puts us far out of our comfort zones. Thanks for the reminder that the Lord is there. He sees. He knows. And he’s already done it all.
Theresa please be my new best friend!!! This made me laugh so hard but I am TOTALLY that “weirdo without a filter” that you speak of!!! haha. I always think “oh wow I totally over shared just now” or see people glaze over when I give them a real life answer to their questions! And I was always told I talked too much as a kid so I’m constantly terrified that everyone thinks I’m talking too much now! When in reality I hardly speak my mind because I just can’t seem to find the right balance! Anyway, this post and all of these lovely comments are water to my soul right about now! 🙂
This is so SPOT ON! He knows us so much better then we even know us. How awesome, yet scary, yet comforting, yet freeing, yet vulnerable that can feel, but it’s so so true and he loves us anyway! The ugliest pieces we’d never say out loud or admit to ever thinking – he sees it all and loves us still. Wow. How do we forget that so easily? I’m SO guilty of that. Thank you for this reminder and for being so real and willing to share. *hugs!
Oh my goodness! You are so not a fraud. It is hard for me to imagine you feeling that way! Your book spoke to me so much. I re-read my favorite passages all the time. We have so much in common. Just three examples: I am a victim advocate and work with crime victims. I never wanted to be a mom. Now, I try to be an advocate for moms. I just love you and your blog and your book!
I think you are amazing AND funny!! and I totally get where you are coming from too. But looks like you have a great handle on what God says about you and as long as you can see that – you will be just fine!! And a great encouragement to the rest of us.
I am a big word freak and I have sticky notes and post its and wall hangings up all around me to help me remember (& fight off the demons) about all my insecurities.
I asked my husband for a tangible love gift for Christmas (we don’t usually exchange gifts) but I told him I needed something in writing that I could carry around with me to fight off those voices in my head that tell me he doesn’t love me and that he only married me for convenience and lots of other insecure thoughts about our marriage. So, that is my biggest insecurity right now.
We have been together for 23 years now through thick and thin and it is a crazy insecurity but that’s how the demons work, right? We just can’t let them win!
Thanks for the post!! You are very brave!
Beautiful post-thank you! My biggest fear is that I may never “hear” what God is calling me to do. I’ve learned for so long that God has this plan for each us, but I can not seem to tune into what he wants for me. My life seems so small, surely I’m meant for more. God bless.
This post was needed–I know because these are the verses I have been reading, these are the thoughts I have been fighting. You may feel like a “mommy blogger” but He uses your words to reach into the heart of this single, recent graduate. Thank. You. I type the words heavily with my gratitude, deep gratitude.
This series, is just dang good. And I love how you write, Lisa-Jo, fluidly like a conversation. That is art too. I’m grateful that your are using your art to speak some love to us and to yourself too. What a comfort that He really does know us.
Susan Gruener says
Amen! I do believe that! Love these verses!
“You hem me in behind and before, You lay Your hand on me.” Wow! What else do we need to know?!
Thanks for the great reminder!!
2015 is starting out great!
I needed to read these words today! I have felt God calling me to be a school principal. I am currently applying for a position in the district I teach in. Even though I know I am prepared to do this job, I am overwhelmed with self doubt and fear of rejection. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder that no matter the outcome in Him I am enough!
Mary Hood says
I am so glad I read this on this day. It’s like God was saying, yes I hear exactly what you are saying and you are not the only one and you matter! I began writing just within the past two years. There have been so many times I have looked at what I have written and felt like a fraud. I know what I wrote was true, but did not live up to it so many days. I too write about common things. I write about me for it is all I know and I write about hope. This year I am going to write about friendship. I have no idea yet what I am going to say, but God is confirming that this is what He is leading me to do. I just have to believe and trust Him in it. Psalm 139 is my very favorite psalm. Always has been. So this blog was perfect for me to read. It ministers to me heart and helps take away my insecurity about writing. Thank you so much.
My friend shared these words with me because she knows me so well, and I am grateful that she does. These are the words I needed in such a bad way. It’s easy to grow numb to our own stories, to believe that our impact is small or even non-existent. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we’re more than we can see. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being a willing vessel. God has used you to speak encouragement into this heart of mine.
Don’t think you’re “just” a mummy – parenting our kids is the most important work we will ever do. Your words are deeply encouraging to the rest of us in the mummy trenches everyday, because they are real and honest and authentic. I’m sure I’m not the only one who relates to the fraud feeling – especially as I work supporting vulnerable families and constantly wonder if I’m doing the right thing with my own children, (and who am I to advise anyone about parenting anyway?) but as you say, God knows the truth and He doesn’t think you’re a fraud. Keep telling your stories. They matter. X
Lisa Jo – thank you for being willing to follow the tug of the Holy Spirit to share such a wonderful reminder. I struggle with my appearance…not being skinny enough, my body not looking the same after kids (my youngest is five now). I also struggle with what I am called to do. I had a huge passion for health and wellness but that got squashed over a period of time of discouraging situations. I also teach students who are Deaf and hard of hearing and have a passion for those from other countries yet I don’t know how it all is supposed to work together. Thank you for the reminder that where God has me now, at the size I am, where I work, and not to mention being a mommy to two crazy, sweet boys, that He is not suprised. He is being enough to create the universe therefore He is big enough to hold me in His hands right where I am. God is soooo good!
Tonya Robinson says
Lisa, I always enjoy your posts so much. I can relate to your struggles in motherhood and insecurity and it is exactly why you need to keep writing about your “vanilla” experiences. We all need to remember that we don’t have to do something that the world calls extraordinary in order to matter to God. You matter, He is using you. Thank you for your words again.
Debi Schuhhow says
You reflect the Hope of Christ in you Lisa-Jo. You ARE doing it, even through the whispers of “not enough”.
I was so excited when I saw the title of the blog post hit my inbox yesterday. I’ve realized in the last month that I’m insecure. I was so disappointed because I thought is worked through it. But it was my husband that reminded me insecurity, like so many other things is a process and it tends to ebb and flow. As for what specifically I’m insecure about, on the outside, I think it’s wondering if I’m pretty enough. But on the inside, it’s wondering if I’m acceptable. If I’m significant just as I am. Especially as the years tick on and the wrinkles come on; am I enough?
Lindsey@Kindred Spirit Mommy says
I could have written this post, especially lately because I have been trying to improve my blog and my writing and myself. Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder that to God, we are enough. 🙂 I wish I could stop comparing myself! I’ve even been allowing insecurities about my personality and my boring self enter my brain since my husband recently left me. They’re all lies of course. The enemy doesn’t want us to be used by God and the more insecure in our identity in Christ we are, the less useful we are. I need to have courage and just be myself. 🙂 God created me, I think He knew what He was doing.
Thanking God for such beautiful thoughts coming from your writings. I too felt most of my life that people were looking at me with “is she real?’ I lost a 17 yr old several years ago to an accident and felt people watching as I had to walk the walk that I had been talking about the 2 yrs ago at 56yrs old and after 37yrs of marriage my husband suddenly died. He had a company that I am now running. Again, people watched and whispered because I so bolding claimed Jesus was holding me as I hurt. I don’t want to disappoint God or have others doubt Him because of me but somedays I need an overdose of encouraging words to keep me together. thank you for the words
Oh my after reading some of these comments from such amazingly brave and honest women who have been through so much I think maybe I have nothing at all to say but I’ll post my comment anyway with you ladies in my heart now. Thank you Lisa – this one got me – it’s close to my heart or maybe I should say close to my head which so easily goes to comparing myself and feeling less than and not good or interesting or clever enough, not nearly, not ever. A slow starter and a late bloomer but is my bloom too little, too late. So I want to hide from other women a lot of the time but God has me writing to them instead and the constant question I ask myself “am I enough?” You said it so well – I feel “vanilla on the outside” but dark and broody and hard on myself on the inside and to your words again “I worry that I don’t write deep enough or brave enough or bold enough. I worry that it’s because my life isn’t deep enough or brave enough or bold enough” but then there is this – – – writing is what God has led me to do at the moment – and this – I am who I am and He walks with me anyway, I look to be better, I pray to be of service and to be serving well but ultimately my OK is based on His OK and my enough on His enough. I wrote a lot on this last year because I struggle with this , other women too I think and we all need His truth more than our own self doubts. I’m not writing to thousands just a weekly post to the women in my church in order to help us connect, to help us be real and honest and open with each other, to help us walk with each other better. So I’m spilling the beans first and its kind of scary. One of the insecurities I’m currently struggling with – after almost a year of thinking, pondering, planning and umming and ahhing I have started writing my own little blog which I am so happy about but as yet – well no one is tripping over their computers to subscribe to it or to read anything I have written, no overwhelming response but – – – is that why I’m doing it – to be followed, to be liked? I’m writing because I can’t not write at the moment. The rest is up to Him. Just before Christmas I posted “A Deep Breath and Enough Already” two posts in one really on this subject – about us being enough for Him, for our families and for others just as we are. It’s there to read if anyone would like to. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my heart, for your inspiring words, your beautiful writing and encouragement. God Bless.
Bev Brandon @A String of Pearls says
Wow. You offered hope. You struck a white-hot nerve. My thorn-in-the-side insecurity: What I have to offer, nobody wants; not good enough for people’s presence; simply put, just don’t matter to most. Well there. And today I was offended by a roomful who wanted someone younger in my place. So what do we do with this singular life of ours? I so want to live fully alive unscathed by the celebrity world in which we daily live. May I be more concerned about what matters to God and move to love others. May I be more bothered about how I act wrongly in anything that happens to me, all these insecurities. My God’s Hand is not short, Isaiah 50:2. May I live smack dab in the midst of Right-Now Grace cause I need Him so. Thanks for a great read! And, as always, an “eye to the Word.” Luke 5:5.
Thank you so much for this post and focus on insecurity. It is certainly something I struggle with the most. Having married the most amazing husband and three wonderful step children, I’ve also married an ex wife and the constant battle to be as perfect as she. She is the do it all Mom in making bows, meals, beautifying her house, maintaing her image through diet and exercise. I can’t stand it, she is the perfect Mom and former wife of my husband. I continually find myself comparing myself to her and how I can be a better wife and Mom that she so exemplifies (at least in my eyes). I need to draw on the Lord’s grace to highlight my own strengths and how I can bring something different to those three glorious children and my outstanding husband. He has me here for a reason, to offer something other than homemade meals (that I am not very good at). Help me to see what he sees in me and that I may stand confident in my abilities to offer my family, and not in the shadow of her.
Gina Kemp says
Oh Lisa Jo this blog!!! Seriously what so many of us are feeling. I can’t even begin to express the amount of times …in a day that I am worn out by my insecurities of feeling like I’m not enough. God always reminds me of Esther and how her place was meant for “Such a time as this”. He reminds me that just as her story, her decisions, her bravery, her stepping out that God used to save and be a light to who it was meant to for that time and that my worth is no different. We are called to be a light to our families, to our friends and to the platform we have been entrusted to us in the individualities that make us unique. As a songwriter and writer I identify with you as I’m always fearful that I’m being judged, that my songs or words aren’t enough or that they are not ‘unique’ or ‘different’ but I continue to remind myself that this is what I know, this is the way God has chosen to speak through me and my individual circumstances and that I am to continue to be faithful and write and sing what I know, continue to be a mom and do all the mom things in the best way I can and not the most perfect way.
I am amazed at how many women, young and old, single and married feel like I do; way too often. My word for this year is fearless; the very word scares me that I will not live up to living a fearless life. I am in my sixties both of my children have serious life problems, two husbands that have left me because I was not good enough in their eyes. I never was able to please my parents either. When my mother passed away my sister would not let me read her diary because of what she wrote. My sister has chosen not to have a relationship with me either. My business struggles because of my insecurities as well. I tell myself I am enough because God created me and loves me but the world tells me daily a different story. There are days when I do not know if I can keep fighting for what I know is true vs what my heart is telling me. Thank you all you brave wonderful women out there who have shared your hearts as well. Satan wants us to think we are all alone in this struggle and the truth is WE ARE NOT! I do not know about the rest of you but I have found comfort in knowing I am not alone in this struggle. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Jaci
Ellie – I relate to what you’re sharing. What helped me was coming to a place if surrender. Of letting go of expectations of people reaching out to me, & of me trying so hard to connect. I’m an introvert, single, no kids, & 52. I was raised in a foster home with my twin sister from age 6 months. I lost my twin sister in January of 2009. It was until after I had a melt down of feeling left alone, that God gave me an epiphany. If I never get married or if no one will come “play with me”, if no one meets my needs-then what? I can either crawl up in a ball, lament & be miserable, making others miserable in the process, or I can ask God to make me a blessing rather than looking to be blessed. I still feel like an outsider, as others seem to more easily connect with newcomers in church. But God has given me a few ladies who show their love in such a palpable way that I focus on what God has given me, rather than my social insufficiency. I don’t try to be someone I’m not & I stopped expecting from others. It allows me to truly appreciate when they do give & not be disappointed when they don’t. They don’t owe me anything nor I them. If I focus on God as my source He surprises me with the gift of love I never saw coming. I’ve settled the fact of my singleness & because there are far greater trials than being single, that I don’t want to take God’s grace for granted. People are being beheaded, I’m single. Hardly a major catastrophe for me in comparison. I didn’t come here easily-i actually came here kicking & screaming, but eventually I did come & it’s like a weight lifted. HE is enough, & the friends will come…& go, but He will always be there. I am now content with that & I thought I’d never get to this place.
I am not a young mother I am a grandmother and your message has encouraged me so much. I came from a life full of abuse growing up and marriage that ended in betrayal becoming a single parent – my children the joy of my life. God reached down and healed me of my wounds. He has been faithful to me always BUT still there are times when I am plagued by those doubts about myself, my abilities, my relevance, why God would bother with me.
Reading your post and the comments encouraged me but also on pondering brought a thought that maybe it is these times of doubt that keep us humble and that if we never acknowledged our doubts that we would become proud and of no use to God to be used to encourage others. When I doubt I am reminded of just how deep and wide God’s love is for me and my family . Thank you Lisa-Jo for your encouragement which was much needed today and may God bless you and continue you to use you mightily through your humbleness and truthfulness.
I to struggle with being left out of the group, not being very interesting when it comes to talking to people or friends. I want to thank you for your message.
Help… The struggle is real
Hi Lisa Jo,
Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your blogging and to ask for our Dear LORD to intercede in all His ladies lives this year, not only the year of no fear, but of hope, in the God of Hope Who fills us with all joy and peace in believing because we trust in Him, so we may overflow with hope by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Praying with compassion and understanding for you all in Jesus’ Sweet Name, Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Love in Christ, Lisa
I am not a mum or anything just yet but i identify with u on this because i write too and i have felt like on some occassions people were just being polite but then it all became clear on a good day when i saw a total stranger so involved in my book and i was like wow!
Very touching post. So many of is can relate. We carry our armor to guard others from our true selves because we feel we aren’t the best at everything. Like many others I lived with parents who should not have been together. An alcoholic father, alcoholic and abusive step father and a mother who thought she had to have a man. No matter what i did in life it wasn’t good enough when they spoke to me; however, my mother bragged on me to others. I’ve livedthe majority of my life trying to make her love me unconditionally when a few years ago I finally gave up and realized she isn’t capable.this has given me insecurities I can’t even relay. I want to realize people’s opinions of me aren’t the end of the world but it’s difficult. Thank you all for sharing and reminding me I’m not alone.
Beth Williams says
Lisa-Jo you are an awesome writer. I love hearing about the ordinary and how you handle all the stresses of daily life! Keep on writing!
My insecurity lies in believing I’m smart, intelligent, & pretty/good-looking. Oh I hear all the time that I’m good looking, etc. but it is hard for me to accept it. I’m bad about listening and believing the lies “stupid, dumb, not good enough, ugly”. What helps is when someone out of the blue states gee you look good today. makes me feel pretty!
Thanks for sharing! Blessings 🙂
Alright, I know I’m a little late in the game for this particular post, but I felt the need to share anyway. Toni, I loved your statement: “I can either crawl up in a ball, lament & be miserable, making others miserable in the process, or I can ask God to make me a blessing rather than looking to be blessed.” That is such a good attitude to have and it’s one I struggle to adopt. I admit that I spend way too much time feeling sorry for myself.
One of my biggest insecurities right now is body image. For much of my life I have struggled with health issues. Between 2011 and 2015 I have undergone 9 surgeries for an intestinal condition called ulcerative colitis. I now have no large intestine left and a permanent ostomy bag attached to my stomach. I am only 34 and all I can think about is that I have to live with this for the rest of my life.
So…it’s way too easy for me to feel sorry for myself…to crawl up in a little ball and hide from the world…not wanting to let anyone in because I don’t want people to know what an emotional, insecure mess I am. I put on a brave, confident face for everyone, but it’s mostly an act.
On the flip side, I want to be able to forget about myself and my own problems so I can be a blessing to others, but I don’t know where to start. It probably starts with accepting myself the way I am; I can’t help others until I accept myself. Many people in this blog have pointed out that God accepts us for who we are and loves us for who we are no matter what. I know this in my mind, but it’s hard for me to accept in my heart. I’ve struggled with faith my whole life and I am still struggling. It’s hard for me to believe in things that I can’t see, feel, touch, etc.
I think that’s actually another of my insecurities…faith…what if God doesn’t want me because I don’t have enough faith? A good friend has pointed out to me again and again that I just need to “let go and let God.” I need to stop trying so hard because there’s nothing I can “do” to earn his love. Again, I know in my mind that my friend is right, but it’s hard for my heart to accept.
I feel stuck in an endless loop of doubt and insecurity…I need to accept myself for who I am (despite my physical condition) in order to put my full self into helping others…BUT, in order to accept myself, I need to believe that God loves me, which is hard for me to believe because of all the pain in my life…my heart asks, “if God loves me, why did he make me go through all that pain and all those surgeries??” I just don’t understand…
Thank you Lisa-Jo for this blog and for all the others who have shared. Thank you for letting me share. Sometimes sharing in and of itself is healing.
Rina O'Neill says
How we condemn ourselves so often, when HE has moulded us – no-one quite as unique as US (ME)!! Thank you for your uplifting words – especially on a day when I most needed it
Debi Gable says
I don’t think you are the least bit boring.I just found your blog for the first time, & plan to follow it daily. I’m like you when it comes to just wanting to cuddle into my warm & cozy home & avoid the possibility of rejection. I was agorophic for 3 years. I have had many major rejections in my life of being bipolar. I used to make friends so easily & maintain them as well. But, since I got sick, I’ve found that people only want to stay friends if my mania doesn’t act up. My last “best friend” turned her back on me after I left a message on her voice mail that she didn’t like. I could understand that part, but I tried everything in my power & God’s power to make amends, but she wouldn’t accept my apology. I finally gave up, when she called me at 6:00 am Christmas morning & said, “You are dead to me. Don’t write or phone me. YOU ARE DEAD TO ME!” Well, since I came to terms with that hurtful experience, I’ve come to realize that she wasn’t the great friend I thought she was…for various reasons.With God’s help & strength, I have been able to set it aside & forgive her & hope & pray that she will be able to do the same.
So, after numerous similar experiences, I’m afraid to reach out for a friend. Either that or I make friends too easily & end up regretting it.
BTW, It’s been 4 years since I’ve had a manic or depressive episode. I’m so thankful, & plan to step out in the unknowns of the world to serve God, minister to those I am in contact with & make new friends.
Thank you for sharing some of your life with us.
Cindy Childers says
My favorite words I’ve heard today….”He is invested in my ordinary”. I am a stay at home mom of 3, a 13 year wife of a Naval Aviator, a daughter of aging parents, a 41 year old stationed overseas, and a women with a desire to mentor ladies through teaching bible studies. Not much is easy around these parts these days but my heart swells to serve the Lord. I so want much to be “There” with this bible study thing with 100s of English women learning more and more about His great love for them, but I am “Here” and simply waiting on God’s timing. So glad I saved this email in my inbox I hadn’t read yet from several weeks ago. I knew it would be good. Thank you Lisa-Jo for your honesty and transparency. This is the stuff of miracles… 🙂 XXOO Cindy
That I am not a friend, that I impose myself on others to get them to care about me. If I walk away from so called friendships, they would be relieved & are not really friends by their choice. I don’t even feel worhy of God’s love.
I’m a little late joining this discussion, but I stumbled on this blog and feel like I need to confess my insecurity. I don’t know my place. We moved here 4 years ago and I still don’t know my place in this community. I’ve never really cared too much what people think of me until now. And it crept up on me so gradually that I have no idea how I got here. Now I’m insecure about everything. Did I talk too much? Was I too loud? Did they understand that it was sarcasm? Am I allowed to be sarcastic in church? Wait, think about them. Engage with them. Ask them good follow-up questions. I don’t want to suck the life out of this group….
The inner dialog is exhausting. Figuring out which “me” I’m going to be at any given time is exhausting. When did I become this person?
I am not fitting in here. My biggest insecurity is: If I am who I really am, it’s too much for people to handle. Because I’m loud, I talk too much, I’m opinionated. I’ve come to believe that they will back off from my crazy.
So I run this inner dialog in my head and have begun to avoid people. If I’m not around people, then I don’t have to worry about getting my fears confirmed.