Friday, August 21, 2015


I smashed a poor, innocent spider this morning with a Swiffer duster, and it would seem spiders have more than one life, too, because he was gone when I got home. Apparently I have read one too many children's books, as my first thought was that the spider had revived itself and was, with it's friends who live behind the walls, contemplating my demise. (I know of a girl who got bit in the middle of the night by a Wolf spider. IT LEFT FANG MARKS. This is how I know spiders are up to no good.)

Every time I read someone else's blog post about things I also struggle with, I get a little bit sad. Not only because I whisper under my breath "me, too", but also because I feel like what I'm reading is so much better than what I could have or would have written. So maybe I'm not so much sad as I am envious of the obvious talent these people have for putting pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard, as it were) and having something beautiful come of it. It makes me want to quit, sometimes out of frustration and sometimes out of disappointment. There are a plethora of blogs and books to read, and sometimes I think "what can I add to the mix that hasn't already been said?"

Insecurity is a beast. Just when you think you've squashed it real good, it revives itself and makes an unwelcome appearance in the life of the person who thought it was gone.

Insecurity has for years whispered in my ear things like you're not good enough and you don't have anything to offer and has affirmed every negative thought I've had about myself.

See, I told you...

And all I have to do is incline my head only just slightly, believe the lie just a bit, and I'm bound by shame, afraid to be honest about the insecurities that plague me the most.

It's different for everyone. I really like to write. I'd even like to write a bible study. And in a crazy twist that I never saw coming, I even like to speak. Maybe you are insecure in other areas of your life, like work or parenting or marriage or friendships. (Hello, I'm insecure in all those areas.) I often find myself comparing to someone else who looks like they are doing it far better than me, and then I'm stuck and unable to get past the thoughts growing inside my own head.

There are plenty of things I'm no good at. I stink at marriage because sometimes I don't want to try, I just want to be. And marriage is hard, hard work, and requires a lot of trying and not much being. I'm not a good parent all the time because sometimes I want to avoid and I don't want to deal. Friendships require a selflessness that I don't always have, and even though I love what I do, I'm not always willing to put in the effort it requires. And all insecurity has to do is pounce of one (or all) of these for me to hang my head in grief over what could have been but isn't because I don't think I have it in me to do better.

Insecurity wants to keep you locked up. I'll say it again, so you can read it again. INSECURITY WANTS TO KEEP YOU LOCKED UP.  Because if you are locked up, you are rendered ineffective. Life passes by and because of insecurity we miss it. And that is a truly regrettable thing.

Nobody is perfect. We are fallen people living in a fallen world. Truth. Everybody has something, so don't think that just because the girl across the street looks pulled together that she actually is. Just because that guy at work acts like he's confident doesn't mean he actually is. We could all use a little more love and a little less comparing and judging. A friend put it this way: when you compare, you steal your own joy, and the other person's joy, too. (And who wants to be a joy-stealer?)

Could it be possible that God actually knows what He's doing with your life, and those things that you love and feel a longing to do (like writing--and maybe even writing something more than a blog post) are a nudge to take a step out in faith? I know it's hard. Duh. If it were easy, we'd all be writing best-sellers. That step out can be one of the hardest, because it requires faith. Which is easier to say you have than to actually act on. But the alternative is maybe regret, and maybe wishing you'd done it differently, and maybe wondering could I have done it all along? 

It's hard to be gut-wrenchingly honest over the struggles we face in life. Heck, I'm not. I have plenty of things that stay right where I believe they belong--in my head. But as long as they're in my head, they're keeping me locked up. And when I'm on lock-down, life does pass by while I watch.

Nobody is asking you to shout your self-doubt from the rooftop, although maybe this form of confession would be freeing for some. But finding a good friend, a trustworthy friend, who you can confide in, or even reaching out to someone through posts like this one (where you may never see that person face-to-face) who will listen, who could perhaps even relate, might give you the permission you need to insert faith and squash insecurity for good.

She knew that this day, this feeling, couldn't last forever. Everything passed; that was partly why it was so beautiful. Things would get difficult again. But that was okay too.

The bravery was in moving forward, no matter what.
{lauren oliver, panic}

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