Friday, November 28, 2014

Insecurity: a landmine of feelings

Sparkling water with raspberries, timeless pop rock hits in the kitchen, the smell of onions and garlic cooking away in the oven with chicken and's a girls weekend away in Victoria and I am feeling the restfulness. We're at a place that overlooks the Songhees in Victoria, BC, near Dallas Road and the Inner Harbour. Great friends, great conversations, lots of laughter and even more food.

It's amazing how insecurity can still pop up, even in the most ideal of settings. I often am amazed at the power that it has over us. At times you can see insecurity in a wave around the room - different reactions to it, of course, but still it engages us. Some get quiet for a moment, others lash out with a quick word, and still others talk louder and more confidently to beat it away. Even in these safe places, it plagues us, especially as women.

A couple months ago my boss was dealing with her teenagers and wondering what sort of things one could do to build confidence. She asked me what the key was to my confidence. It was a great question, and one I only have one answer to. Jesus. Yes, I know, christian Tara, prescribing Jesus again. But honestly. It's all I've got. I can do things well, I can host a pinterest worthy party, and easily feed 40 people. I have lots of friends, I'm married, I'm pregnant, I have a good job, I have a great house full and the only things that actually brings me security is knowing who my creator made me to be and walking in that. 

Without me doing anything Jesus says I am worth it. When I was born, as a 6 week premature little baby, useless, needing everything done for me, I was worth it purely because He made me and said I am worth it. On my best and worst day, I am equally secure. Secure in the knowledge that my creator defines me and created me with purpose and that He defined me as "good work."

The journey towards security, for me, has been a long one. I watched God bring security and confidence into my sister's life, and the lives of others around me, and wondered what it looked like to grab that for myself. As God got ahold of my heart and began to speak His truth to me, I began to slowly believe that He actually saw me that way, and maybe, just maybe, I was someone of worth, someone who people could like and love. Someone who could offer love, not to earn love back, but purely out of the peace and security that God had given me. What a beautiful concept. It felt so far from what I could fathom and yet the concept was such a dream to me, so intriguing. What would that feel like?

Security is a gift to others, as much as it is to ourselves. Security says we can love others for their good, rather than out of performance. I can serve my husband because I love him, not because I need him to love me. Of course, I love that he does love me, it's fabulous. But that does not define my security - that is just a sweet added bonus. As I've grown to understand how God sees me and my confidence grows I am able to engage in real and deep friendships, in a way I was unable to before. When insecurity plagues you and defines your friendships, friendships are fraught with land mines, ready for misunderstandings and hurt to pop up and steal from their depth.  When God defines me, I can engage in friendships for their benefit, rather than my own....though of course in that I receive huge benefit in return. When a hard moment comes up, or insecurity flares, friendship and vulnerability is possible because my security is in God, not in the friendship. The weight of friendship is lessened when I get to enjoy friendships on their own merit and not purely on what I would gain from them.

I spent so many years longing for relationships like these, and longing to feel secure. I yearned for that feeling but never believe it could be possible. Not for me, not for bullied, beat up, rejected Tara. Maybe for others, of course, but not me. And yet the longing remained...and I can see the difference it makes to my soul to know that God loves me and made and sees me as worth loving, and worth dying for. With God I will never be alone. The creator of the world is in love with me. With me! Bullied, beat up, rejected Tara. Strong, capable, loved Tara. He is in love with all of me. Dang. That's power. 

And somehow along the way He's given me amazing and beautiful friends to walk this out with. Women that speak truth to me. That love me and support me. That I can share my insecurities with, who listen and care, and build me up. Who share their insecurities and allow me to speak truth to them and be used in their lives as well. He has given me a husband that is a constant reminder to me of God's great love to me - who shows his love in a way that constantly reminds me that whatever Paul feels for me, God feels a thousand times stronger. 

So insecurities will come - and it amazes me that they still do - but God is constant, truth is constant (and Truth is a person, Jesus, who I can have relationship with) and I am surrounded with people I can be vulnerable enough with to share when the devil lies and rely on to focus my eyes back on Jesus when I don't know how myself. 
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