Overcoming Insecurities

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Overcoming Insecurities

I’m now almost six months pregnant. I have the kind of body that doesn’t “spread out” the weight of a pregnancy. Rather, everything sticks out right in front. I look (and feel) like I have a basketball under my shirt. Some women feel extra feminine and beautiful when they are pregnant. I have to say, I’m not one of them. Though I’m overjoyed about the little life growing inside of me, I have to admit that I dream of being able to fit into normal jeans again and being able to zip up my coat without a two-minute struggle. Fortunately, Eric continually tells me how beautiful I look with this sizable bump sticking out in front. But the other night, insecurity came crashing down upon me after a random conversation at the local coffee shop.

I was walking out of the bathroom (a place I frequent all too often these days) and happened to pass by a table where a couple of bachelor type of guys were hanging out. Just as I passed by, one of them looked over at me and asked, “How far along are you?” It’s one thing to hear this question from another mom, but it seemed a bit odd coming from a random single guy. However, I smiled politely and said, “Almost six months.”

He looked at my protruding stomach with an expression of utter amazement. “Only six months?” he shot back incredulously. “You’re huge! Are you sure you aren’t having twins?”

Taken aback, I looked at his face to see if he might be joking. But no, he was dead serious, waiting for a response. I fumbled around for an answer. “Um, no, not that I know of.”

He shook his head in wonderment and a tinge of disgust. “Wow. You look like the women I see who are nine months pregnant.” And then he turned back to his friend without a second glance at me.

I walked back to my table vaguely wondering why a grungy twenty-something single guy would have such an interest in women’s pregnancies. And then as I pondered his words, I began to feel an embarrassed flush creep over my face. Did I really look that enormous? Suddenly I began to be all too aware of the basketball-sized bump sticking out in front – and found myself worrying that everyone was looking at me with eyes of disgust and thinking, “Wow, I feel so sorry for her. She looks like a cow.”

It was right at that moment that God arrested my attention.

“Why are you entertaining thoughts of insecurity?” came the still small whisper to my soul. Then I recognized the cleverly planted bait from the enemy to focus on self. I called upon God’s strength to take these thoughts captive and turn my eyes away from self and back to Jesus Christ. And just as suddenly as the insecurity came – it melted away.

Over the years, like most women, there have been many times I’ve battled with a temptation toward insecurity. But here is what I’ve learned: insecurity is simply an unhealthy focus on yourself, rather than a healthy focus on Jesus Christ. It’s something the enemy can easily use to keep us turned inward rather than outward. Just like the temptation toward any sin, we must nip thoughts of insecurity in the bud the moment they begin to arise. As soon as the enemy comes in with whispers of, “Everyone is noticing your physical shortcomings. There is nothing attractive about you – no one wants to be around you,” our response must be immediate. Instead of entertaining those thoughts and meditating upon them, fight back with truth, Scripture, and prayer. We must remind the enemy (and ourselves) that we have been created in the image of God, that our life has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and that we are precious in His sight.

If you battle with insecurity, here is my encouragement to you: remember that Christ loved you so much He gave His very life to rescue you. And your calling as a daughter of the King is not to wallow in selfishness and insecurity, but to joyfully turn outward and share His amazing love with others.

A woman who is deeply, passionately, intimately in love Jesus Christ glows with a radiance that overpowers even the most noticeable of flaws (or oversized basketball bumps on her tummy). I’ve seen many a godly woman light up an entire room with her presence. To study her closely, you would not think of her as beautiful; in fact she might even have major physical blemishes that would normally be distracting. But when a woman’s passion for Jesus Christ is so deep that it is the focal point of her existence, it effervesces from every corner of her being – and she glows with heavenly beauty. No matter what her physical flaws might be, they are unnoticed when Jesus Christ is center stage in her life.

Since the other night, my prayer is that I would become so completely dead to self and so consumed with Christ that insensitive comments from random coffee shop guys will fall unnoticed and unheeded to the ground!*