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Posts Tagged ‘insecurity’

We all grew up memorizing the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names/words will never hurt me.

This is just a bunch of bull. Why do we teach people this!? The truth is that I would rather be hit with sticks and stones because it heals faster, and it doesn’t leave as painful of a mark on me.

Words mean everything to our hearts and life. The sound of those words can make or break someone forever. Words and names pierce the deepest parts of us, and in such a short period of time. I am sure we can all think of words we heard in the last 24 hours that either encouraged us or left a mark of hurt.

Tone of voice means everything as well. Growing up I knew when my mom was mad. We didn’t even have to be on the same floor of the house and the message was clear!

We listen to words and voices. Those words tend to determine how we view ourselves. They dictate the lenses through which we base our identity on.

My heart hurts when I see the lifelong lies people live out. I hate hearing about the hurts that people have experienced that have now developed into daily patterns of insecurity. It breaks me. I am sad over my own lenses that determine the way I hear.

I am not good at receiving. I gloss over compliments and sometimes encouragement. My immediate thought is that those words are not meant for me. I have lies that were solidified in my ears a long time ago. It’s hard to hear “you’re beautiful” because “you’re ugly” has been spoken over me for too long. I still wonder what beautiful feels like.

Our culture speaks the words that nothing is enough. We have an un-meetable bar for being lovable, worthy, and valuable. All of those seem to come with competition and pain. That makes me sad. I don’t know one person who is confident in their identity.

Our identity can be challenged but never changed.

The misconception about identity is that it changes. The truth about identity is that it is a fact; a fact that is unchanging regardless of any conditions.

God created us with the identity that we are valuable, lovable, worthy, and His beloved. That never changes. This is the truth that we need to measure all words up against. He says we are worth saving and worth loving – worth laying down His life for. That is fierce love and value. Nothing changes that truth.

Our lives face many battles and challenges to this truth, but truth can’t cease to be truth. You are spoken over and spoken for. That never changes.

I get that this is a lifelong challenge. Changing a long time pattern of thinking and believing takes time. My hope is that your lenses start to change and the voices you begin to hear at that of truth.

You are worth it!

What are lies you struggle with in your life? 

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I am so passionate about the topic of identity. I could talk about this topic all day long. You want to see me get fired up, let’s talk about identity.

Call it my protective nature, or just hunger for truth to be known.

Every human being goes through the wrestling process of trying to figure their identity. High school is when we start to say, “huh, I am not my parents, I don’t’ want to be my parents, so who am I?” This is when the filter of challenges to our identity begins.

Our identity can be challenged but never changed.

The misconception about identity is that it changes. The truth about identity is that it is a fact; a fact that is unchanging regardless of any conditions.

What this means is that we all have an identity that never changes regardless of any conditions or circumstances.

Too many people associate their identities with their skills set. Our culture has made the questions of “who we are” and “what we do,” interchangeable. This is a huge misconception. It enables the deception that our identities depend on us, and our skills.

What we do is NOT who we are!

What we do is God’s way of displaying who he is in different forms. However, before we were born we all enter the world with an identity that is never changing. We are all his beloved children. We are his. We are loved and considered worth dying for. This never changes.

Our identity never changes regardless of conditions or circumstances. Identity can only be challenged.

I have learned that my frustrations and insecurities are usually signs that my identity is being challenged. God cares so much about me to allow frustration so that I don’t settle on what is untrue. Insecurities I have about my self-worth are challenges to my identity. I am glad that God does not let me stay in my insecurities, but challenges back with truth.

Insecurities are great signs that our identity is being challenged. I am so grateful that God is faithful to always bring me back to his truth that I am already spoke for by him.

The world will always try and tell you who you are. Always. Messages that challenge our identity bombard our minds and hearts all day. Once we understand that our identity is unchangeable, it takes the weight the messages we are challenged with everyday.

What challenges your identity?

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I loved listening to stories growing up. I love them still. There is life in the form of story. My imagination would run away with me listening to illustrations and tales of life being learned.

I am a very visual person. I see so much through the eyes of story. I hear truth through story. I see between the lines of what is not being said.

I have understood so much truth reading through stories of the bible. My heart has been camping out in one in particular.

I have been asking God for wisdom and revelation for my heart to know him better, but I was not ready for an immediate response.

Jesus tells a story to a group of local leaders that not only captures my heart, but unveils her fears as well.  

In Luke 14, Jesus is eating at the house of one of the prominent religious leaders. He tells them the story that introduces real humility, as well as, redefines honor for their lives. Jesus tells them that when invited to a wedding feast, do not assume the place of honor or someone more distinguished then you might have been invited. In humiliation, the host would have to ask you to give up your seat. So when you go to a wedding feast take the lowest place, so when your host comes, he can move you up to a better seat.

This story has pierced my heart. God has shown me my own heart through this story. As I attempt to unpack my heart, please know that I am not translating the story in the actual context it was meant for, but a story that illustrates me.

You see, I have deep fears in my life. Part of my fears depth comes from early family brokenness that still leaves me winded. Other parts are the make-up of life’s wounds and broken trust.

I find my lost heart in this story as I fear so much being replaceable. I fear being a meantime friend until someone better comes along. One lie I struggle to get off of repeat says, “Tracee, you are only good enough until…” Sadly, I have known too much of the “until” places in my life. I have been shown the message of replaceable with my heart.

Naturally my fears surface the most in deep and intimate friendships. When the “place of honor” is invited by my closest friends, I sit and wait, expectant to be moved. I am like that person who has their own row on an airplane, watching to see if the next passenger boarding will ask me to move over.

I sit, fearful of humiliation.

There are times I wrongly defend that place. Trust is dismissed and manipulation takes over. Not saying it’s my finest hour, but it’s real.

The flip side of waiting fearful is dismissing the place of honor all together. Sometimes to risk sitting in that place is so fearful that I can dismiss it all together. I can seatbelt myself into the lowest place and dismiss my loved one’s heart for me.

Dismissing the place of honor is crushing to those who want you in it. Love and trust have no place when that invitation is dismissed. The fruit of defending the lowest place is an unquenchable need to be reminded you are more.

There is no room for faith and trust in fear. Fear paralyzes and bonds, while risking to trust provides freedom. At least that is the hope.

I am working on my fears now that I see them a little bit more clearly. God is gentle and patient with me.

Any stories that are showing you your heart these days?

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I am really bad at receiving. I’m just gonna be most honest. I am not good at saying thank you without cringing when people give to me. I am talking on any level. I easily dismiss words of affirmation by immediately putting words back onto the other person. I mean those words, however, I deflect easily from me. Tangible gifts are hard. I LOVE giving to others, but shrink back when giving is presented to me.

I have been camping out in John chapter 13 this week. This is the chapter where Jesus washes his disciples feet. There is so much packed in to these verses. Well…there is so much packed into any verse, but here is where my tent is.

I am stuck on Peter’s interaction with Jesus. Jesus has just made his way around the circle washing his disciples feet one by one. Stripped down to his bareself, Jesus brings all he has to his friends.

What did Peter think as he watched his master take the tangible position of humility? How many times did he mentally rehearse his response for Jesus when it was to be his turn?

I have the privilege of being a guest over on Mel’s World with Godly Gals! Would love for you to join us today!

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For the past week I have been wrestling with this nagging concept that I will call, “False Humility.” False humility is that response that looks like humility, may even sound like humility, but it is really insecurity. There is a fine line between the two. False humility is very subtle and often dismissed. I am having a hard time dismissing false humility in me.

I will admit that I am really bad at receiving compliments. I dismiss them even before the compliment is fully out of the person’s mouth. I am not a good receiver period, but more so with compliments. For me compliments highlight my insecurity. I respond out of that insecurity, but that response can also look like humility. It’s not. I think the lie behind false humility is that I think dismissing a compliment, or encouragement, makes me look humble. I can’t even say, “thank you” before I am justifying why I am not that compliment.

Choosing humility does not come at the price of my own self-worth. If I am responding in a way that dismisses my self-worth that is insecurity. Tearing myself down is not humility it is insecurity.

So what does “false humility” look like?

Here’s an example from my life. Let’s say someone compliments me on something I have done. They tell me that it’s really good. My immediate response is, “I could’ve done better. It’s not my best work. Or really you could’ve done better.

A more identifiable example has to do with looks. If someone compliments me on my looks some how I immediately dismiss their words. My response can sound like, “it’s not my best hair day. Or this outfit? I got dressed really fast.” Subtle but dismissive. This says more about my insecurities than my humility.

What does humility look like?

Humility is a character trait that acknowledges the need for a savior. A person of humility is real about their weaknesses in a way that acknowledges a need for grace and forgives, but does not diminish their self-worth. Humility acknowledges sin, but does not diminish the worth of the sinner. The person who humbles themselves is teachable. Teachable people don’t claim to know it all, but also doesn’t dismiss what they do know. Humble people are approachable and open for conversation, even hard ones. Humble people own their stuff, as well as, engage to make things right. Humble people do not dismiss their self-worth in any of those areas.

Humility does not take the place of honor, but considers other better than themselves. False humility in this mindset can sound comparative, and more often involves a blow to the self. Humble people who are able to consider others better looks like celebrating another person gifts and talents. Humility can celebrate someone else fully without comparison.

Jesus was perfect humility. Jesus chose to die to himself all the time in humility. Jesus never dismissed his self-worth, or the worth of others. Jesus never compared himself to anyone. Jesus valued everyone. He considered everyone better than himself and valued them fully.

Jesus spent many days giving the most incredible speeches to hundreds and thousands of people. BUT then he washed feet and touched the untouchable.

One day Jesus gave an amazing speech and performed a miracle to feed five thousand plus people, but he also helped pass out that bread and the  fish he just multiplied. Jesus never acted like he was above anything.

I want to be a person of true humility. I want true humility to take root in me. I desire my response to say more about him than my insecurities.

What does your humility saying?

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