Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weakness.

Insecurities.




We all have them.


Some of us

hide them
flaunt them
conceal them
reveal them to large groups of friends and strangers blog about them
try anything to overcome them
overcompensate for them
get angry about them



Very few people actually take delight in them. In fact, I know only one person who gave advice about that, or at least shared his story about what his weaknesses taught him. It might be a little familiar to you.

...so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness."
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Cor. 12:7B-10, The Message)




Often my insecurities give me lots of thoughts and emotions, and not one of those thoughts or emotions have ever, EVER been relief!

A soldier is never relieved to see a chink in the armor.
A Neiman-Marcus shopper is never relieved to see a thread loose on that sale garment she got so excited about.
A model is never relieved to see a blemish on her face the day before her cover shoot (Have you ever seen ANTM? ack.).

You get the idea.

Can I be honest? heh heh. Like you could stop me.

My insecurities have been getting the best of me. Not Jesus. Not my loved ones. Not my job. Not my ministry.

Every single one of the aforementioned have lost out because of my many negative thoughts about myself, my self-doubt, and my desire to win the approval of others, only to fall miserably short. These are branches from the tree of lies Satan daily tries to prune (there is much MANURE for fertilization in these lies)....the lies that I hear so often I begin to believe. Instead of working on producing the fruit of the Spirit, these lies soak up all the resources I have, making me demand affirmation at every corner and sometimes wishing I could fade into the back row of life, so to speak.

It is uncomfortable, demanding, and awkward.

Relieved, I am not. Sick and tired is what I am.
and yet...
Paul tells me to consider these setbacks-weaknesses that come in the form of insecurity-as a means of avoiding pride, bringing about more faithful and constant communication with God and reliance on Him, making me more aware of my need for Christ, and learning to focus on how these limitations-these things that cause all of my many and varied insecurities-actually further the Kingdom when I relinquish them to Jesus!

Strong's tells me that the word translated as weakness in this passage can mean the following:

1) want of strength, weakness, infirmity
1a) of the body
1a1) its native weakness and frailty
1a2) feebleness of health or sickness
1b) of the soul
1b1) want of strength and capacity requisite
1b1a) to understand a thing
1b1b) to do things great and glorious
1b1c) to restrain corrupt desires
1b1d) to bear trials and troubles


I am in want of the strength and the capacity it takes to understand things, to do great and glorious things on my own, to restrain corrupt desires, and to bear hardship. I am frail, and my feeble attempts to offer righteousness are filthy rags to a Holy God.

What a beautiful thing to think that in my want, Jesus meets my needs. In my lack, He becomes greater and I become less.

That chink in the armor makes the soldier more aware-thus saving his life
The tiny thread pull is the very reason she got such a good deal, and no one else really notices it
The model is considered more "real" and down-to-earth because of her blemish and the magazine sells more copies (okay so maybe that one is far-fetched but just go with the illustration here people!)



When was the last time I thanked God for all of the ways He has used my weaknesses to bless me in the form of knowing Him more?


When was the last time I realized that without said insecurities, I might never have realized my need for Him?

When God made the sun stand still in the book of Joshua, the people knew it was not Joshua that made it happen. They recognized his limitations as a man. He was a man of God, but he was still a man.

I want people to know my limitations so God's glory can be recognized and applauded.I'm praying that Jesus will use my weaknesses and my insecurities as a megaphone declaring God's glory to all of those around me.

Lysa Terkeurst says to invite God into our lack. I think she's onto something.

Won't you join me in that prayer?

2 comments:

Guatmama said...

Lauren,

It was so good to see you the other night, however we haaaavvvee to quit meeting that way! I did see the nieces, oh so adorable.
And might I remind you: you are ever so beautiful in spirit and in presence. You bring a joy and energy wherever you are.

crittyjoy said...

I clicked on a link that said "That Girl" on another blog and it brought me here.

I needed to read this post this morning....I needed the reminder to invite God into our lack. To know I am weak but He is stronger.

I have spent the last 20 minutes reading your blog and crying...and laughing.

You have a new reader :) And I pray that you are blessed today because you have blessed me tremendously!