I am too assertive. I am too passive.
I am too transparent. I am too private.
I say yes too often. I say no too often.
I'm always behind. I'm always a step ahead.
I can't do it all. I'm just not perfect.
People’s words keep me up at night. Are their expectations of me fair? What do they think of me? Do my kids see me as a failure as I do? Maybe I’m not a good pastor’s wife?
So often my confidence is in myself and how others view me. Once that is shaken, I find my legs shaky in front of others, I over-analyze words that are said or left unsaid, and my insecurities paralyze me. To build false confidence, I make decisions to please men (women! and children!) and not necessarily my Lord.
This is serving in fear and not in freedom. Fear of being hurt. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of losing control.
As sinful women in a sinful world it is impossible to be perfect or please everyone.
As forgiven women part of a forgiven group of believers we are unified by God’s grace.
When we share his grace with others (and let’s not forget ourselves) God is glorified.
Jesus is powerful but not in ways others expect. He understands not meeting others expectations! He came to this earth as a servant. He grew up in a common place. He didn’t strive to be an earthly political figure. He certainly was not what the Jewish leaders had in mind for their Savior. Jesus chose to not come down from the cross to prove his divinity. He chose to die in full weakness and submission to God’s will. That perceived weakness in him was actually power. Jesus’ calling was to be perfect and he was faithful even to laying down his life for those who hated him.
So when those insecurities flare up I hope you and I cling to the truth that the one who made us - the one who knows all our sin - the one who knows all our weaknesses - loves us fiercely.
Jesus loves us.
Jesus accepts us.
Jesus fulfills us.
Jesus gives us purpose.
Jesus has formed our unique character, our talents, and yes - even uses our weaknesses to bless His kingdom.
Our confidence isn’t in ourselves. We are weak! Our confidence is in the Savior on the cross. He is powerful! And the message of the cross is where we find freedom to serve! We are no longer slaves to sin or self righteousness.
Our identity as women is not a mold to fit into.
Our identity as women - like all believers - is Jesus.
You have called me to be your own. I am no longer a slave but your daughter. You deliver me from fear. I confess Lord that my insecurities begin to pile up when my thoughts are focused on myself. I ask that in my church, my home, and in my community I walk with a firm step - not because of my reputation - but because of yours. When doubt and guilt start to creep up in my thoughts Lord, please take my thoughts captive to Christ and give me yours.
In Jesus‘ name I pray, Amen.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
"My Hope is Built on Nothing Less" by Edward Mote, 1797-1874