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I remember as a young woman, I really struggled with insecurity. I mean my fears of what others thought of me ate me up for breakfast, lunch and dinner! When I became a Christian, I worked hard to let that insecurity go. I knew in God’s eyes I was enough, and I wanted to own that. One day, in a moment of despair, I sat down with a close friend and confessed, “I’m so frustrated! This is never going to change. I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I’m this horrible, needy person who will never measure up. I suck!”
My friend gently reminded me of what’s true. “Barb, you have grown! I remember when you first started to tackle this. You struggled with insecurities daily. This is the first time in nearly 6 weeks you’ve felt this way. That’s SIX WEEKS! That’s a lot of growth.” But it was what she shared next with this recovering perfectionist that truly set me free.
“You know, you may struggle with insecurity in one form or another all your life. And that’s okay. God never promised perfection in this lifetime. But what you will notice is that over time, you’ll grow in your ability to handle it, that the weeks will eventually turn into months, and one day you will look back and see how God has transformed you.”
And her words have been true. I rarely struggle with insecurity these days, and when I tell people I was deeply insecure as a young woman and, in fact, can still struggle with it occasionally now, they look at me skeptically. I’ve literally had people tell me, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t picture you that way.” And my heart smiles because I realize that God has been faithful to me, pulling me forward to a brighter, happier space as I’ve learned to lean into Him more closely.
My friend’s wise words remind me of what the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus in Titus 2:11-13: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Paul reminds me I walk in grace. Why? Because I need it! I will never be perfect. I will always struggle in one form or another. But God will continue to teach me and teaching often involves learning over time. There will be some things I pick up quickly and they will come easily for me. But there will also be things that will be harder for me to learn, and I may wrestle with them in one form or another all of my life. That’s okay! My life is still changing and transforming into something beautiful, something more like Christ. And when he comes, my blessed hope, I’m done with the struggling for good!
So, when you get frustrated with yourself, when you start to feel like you’ll never change and you never could, remember. Remember that God loves you too much to leave you where you are. Remember to celebrate the little victories you experience, however small, because it’s the little victories strung together over time that become the transformation we all seek. Especially remember that we walk in grace. God doesn’t expect you or me to be perfect. Jesus came to free us from that heavy burden. All He asks is that we keep turning to Him and His truths for our lives. Not perfectly, but consistently. He’ll do the rest.
For Further Thought: I talk a lot about surrounding yourself with your spiritual truths. One of those truths is that you are valued and worthwhile to Christ. That’s why Jesus chose to die for you – you were worth that to Him! It’s not because you and I earned it somehow. When you start to feel like you’re stuck and you won’t ever change, find those scriptures that remind you that God has you and your situation right in His hand, and post them around you conspicuously as the positive reminders we all need that we’re chosen and loved. Here’s one to consider:
Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best (saved and set free), just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! (Romans 5:9-10)
When you screw up, remember–you can’t earn your way into heaven, so quit trying. Instead, embrace a daily walk with Christ and make space to acknowledge the little victories in your life as He expands your understanding and moves you forward toward a deeper, richer space.