Saturday, March 15, 2014

For the win.

My goal today was to write an update about giving up insecurity for lent. To share the things that have occurred since Ash Wednesday. But the truth? The truth is that this has been an extremely complicated thing. And in the end, has led to seeing even more things that should be dealt with. Some days I feel like hiding under a rock. But the truth is, we all have areas. We all have ugly in us. And I'd go as far as to say it's probably almost all rooted in insecurity. Sure. It's easy to allow it to become daunting. But here's the beautiful and exciting news:

1. Everyone deals with it. It's normal. That makes it easier to stare in the face. 

2. If we truly begin to grasp who we are-who He's made us & the authority He's handed us- we have nothing but victory at our fingertips & it becomes easier (and perhaps even ENJOYABLE) to search out the things that need to go.  Hunting down insecurity in the deepest layers of our foundation and shedding light into the corners it's been hiding in. 
"Aha! THERE you are. I found you. I win. Game over!"

Friday, March 7, 2014

More lent.

On Ash Wednesday I decided to attempt giving up insecurity for lent. I always have to make things difficult, don't I? Meat or sugar would have been a much easier route. Within 24 hours of asking to see where I am attached to my insecurity, a whole mountain of things popped up. The largest being my weight.

I've been struggling with my weight. And until Wednesday, I didn't realize just how much I've allowed my security to rest on a size. I've been more withdrawn and less confident in general because I'm embarrassed about it. When I taught my Zumba class last night, I noticed 2 ladies in the corner giggling and whispering during every song. They had done this on Monday, and I had picked up on the fact that they were making fun of a rather large lady and her dancing. I had found this rude, because I was just excited that the lady was coming to my class and taking charge of her health. But last night, the lady wasn't there and I became increasingly assured that these ladies were making fun of ME. Of what I don't know. But I was sure it was my thighs or my butt or any number of things that were probably bouncing around as I was leading the class. And I became intensely insecure. So much so that I had a very rough time finishing the hour. 

Then I got home and realized I've been feeling alarmingly insecure in all of my relationships in Houston. I began making a list and the level with which I realized I'm experiencing this is way deeper than I'd really noticed before.  This is a problem. Insecurity is an ugly ugly thing, isn't it? And I'm beginning to think it's infiltrated our culture so heavily and is so absolutely normal that to spot it and call it out would mean calling out just about every little thing around us to the extent of looking crazy. And that's why we don't. Because if we get even an inkling of this, we realize how far we'd have to go. And we're not sure we're ready for that.  But we need to be, or we become products of our environment when there is so much more available to us....

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom of our God!"

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Are you observing lent? Have you considered it? Growing up Dutch Christian Reformed, I have never observed lent before. But one of the churches that I currently attend in Houston is pretty big on walking through the different spiritual seasons; and they do lent complete with their version of the "stations of the cross." (Something I didn't even know about until a few weeks ago.)

I thought about giving up some sort of food for this 40 day period. As I considered this, I began reading and researching the lent season and the traditional purposes behind it. The more I read, the more I became aware of the fact that lent is intended to be a period of time designed to remove negative habits that hinder our intimacy with Jesus. To become aware of them. Of our humanness. Of our sinful nature. All the while internally preparing for the beauty and redemption of the resurrection. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that for me giving something up for lent needs to be so much deeper than sugar. Or meat. Or whatever. It needs to be a time of really flushing out the junk that's been creeping in. Spiritually. Mentally. Emotionally. I began praying. I asked the Holy Spirit to give me a specific. A something that really needed to be dealt with. And the answer came yesterday. It came painfully. But it also came gently. He showed me very clearly what I've been too attached to. Like being attached to a huge bolder and then thrown into the ocean. I don't know when this problem resurfaced. I had dealt with it 3 years ago in extreme measure under the guidance of Miss Beth with a beautiful group of women all over the globe. But somehow, somewhere, it's found it's way back in. Yesterday I got a glimpse of myself under it's thumb and just how bad it is.......

Insecurity. The problem with insecurity is that it is pride. And it is unbelief. Twisted pride that I could be THIS messed up (or fill in the blank here). And unbelief that God hand-made every little detail of me with purpose and intent. That He has a reason for all the vast complications of me and my personality and body. Unbelief that He has a perfect plan laid out for us and that-yes-it's far far better and more grand than ours could be.  Fear goes hand-in-hand with insecurity. And both are absolute blatant disbelief that God is who He says He is, can do what He says He can do, that I am who He says I am, that I can do all things through Christ, and that His Word is indeed alive and active in me.

But how exactly does one go about "giving up" insecurity? As soon as I had this thought, I flashed back three years ago to when I went through a book with Beth and a small team of women called So Long Insecurity. Yep. I think it's time to crack this open again. I think there are also other things that feed the issue that we could give up for a time. I've decided to give up looking at my newsfeed, because I daily play the comparison game in my head. And I'm just too weak to stop comparing myself to every person I'm "friends" with. The amazing jobs. New cars. New house. Engagements. Weddings. Babies. Trips to Africa. (Seriously. My entire feed is basically engagements and babies. ALL. THE. TIME.) Why do I scroll through my feed every day only to become more deeply assured that I have nobody and am so alone and lost and floundering and failing and whine whine whine. How in the WORLD is this beneficial? To me. The God. To others. Towards using who and where I am to be the hands and feet of Jesus and bringing His Kingdom to Earth? I the gospels! Jesus tells us that We are able to do even more than HE did. (Ummmm.....heal the blind and the leapers? Raise the DEAD? Free the captives?) I don't know about you, but I'm not even close to understanding how that works. But I bet insecurity is probably the biggest thing in the way. I would have to say that if I think about the most effective people in this world-past and present- the common denominator has been confidence. Being undaunted. Knowing *securely* who they are and where they stand. I don't know about you, but I want that. One thing I've learned from the very powerful and effective people who I've been honored to spend some time under is that becoming confident and secure and powerful doesn't ever just happen. No. Quite the opposite. Miss Beth constantly reminds us that it takes work. A whole lot of it. And lots of sweat, tears, and worn knees in your jeans. But she'll also be the first person to tell you how incredibly worth it it is. So here we go.....

How about you? Are you doing anything for this season? Today is the day. Let's start a beautiful journey.  I'd love it if you shared yours with me!