Sunday, May 23, 2010


A word of caution -- by the end of this post, you may know more than you ever cared to know about my heart of hearts. So continue with caution. :-)

Oh how the Word of God hits me sometimes (i.e. this morning)!! Lately I've been silently lamenting that I do not have the heart for God that I want to have - that I should have! I want to be on fire for Him. I want to be in love with Him more than I am in love with my desire to have a husband and children. I want to desire Him more than anything else! I see other women who are all these things -- and I want that. But deep in the most hidden part of my heart, I don't think it's possible for me. I'm not good enough or holy enough or something else enough to have that type of heart for God. Sigh. It's just something else that I truly desire that I feel is just out of reach. Just another place in my life that I'm not enough.

I left for church early this morning. Well, let's be real here. I left my house early for the late service. :-) I headed to Panera (I don't have money for milk, but I sure did pull out that credit card pretty quickly this morning. I'll regret that move later. Ugh.) and took with me my Beth Moore "So Long Insecurities" book. (Yes, I know the simulcast was weeks ago. No, I hadn't finished the book in time for Beth's message. Yes, I intended on having the book finished by now. No, that hasn't actually become my reality.) And I'm at the part where Beth is talking about women being insecure around other women. Wow. Can I just say that I fit that category. I felt like she was reading my thought bubbles! Oh, and I forgot to say that I'm still insecure enough that I have to take the cover off my book while I'm reading in public so others don't realize that I am reading a book about insecurity. :-)

As I was reading, I remembered something Beth discussed earlier in her book -- about the sources of insecurity. Now, I'm stepping out here and blowing my own cover. I'm going to name it and claim it. As anyone who knows me would agree, I am a perfectionist. In the past, that's always been something I've been proud of. Yes! I am a perfectionist! But this morning, I remembered what Beth said perfectionism really is. And when I honestly examine the heart of my perfectionism, I'm sad to say that her comments describe me to a T.

"Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an art form."

"Perfection is perhaps our culture's biggest temptation. In his fascinating book Perfecting Ourselves to Death, psychiatrist and theologian Richard Winter offers this intriguing insight:

Although perfectionists seem very insecure, doubting their decisions and actions, fearing mistakes and rejection [I do these things silently most of the time], and having low opinions of themselves, at the same time, they have excessively high personal standards and an exaggerated emphasis on precision, order and organization, which suggests an aspiration to be better than others.

Most psychological explanations see the desire to be superior and in control as compensation for feelings of weakness, inferiority and low self-esteem. But it could also be that the opposite is true; we feel bad about ourselves because we are not able to perform as well, or appear as good, as we really think we can. We believe we are better than others, but we keep discovering embarrassing flaws. Perfectionists' black-and-white thinking takes them on a roller coaster between feeling horribly inadequate and bad about themselves and then, when things are going well, feeling proud to be so good. Low self-esteem and pride coexist in the same heart."

Beth gives these examples:

If we can't be the most attractive, at least we can be the best at something.
And if we can't be the best at something, we can at least be the hardest working.
And if we can't be the hardest working, we can at least be the most congenial.
And if we can't be the most congenial, we can at least be the most noticeable.
And if we can't be the most noticeable, we can at least be the most religious.
And if we can't be the most religious, we can at least be the most exhausted.

We're that desperate for significance.

So, as beyond embarrassing as this is to admit -- the above does a great job of describing who I am 90% of my waking moments. Wow. That's a hard pill to swallow. I am that desperate. That shallow. That pathetic. As you can probably imagine, this realization doesn't do a whole heck of a lot for the self confidence. Until I read what I read today. Again, Beth was talking about our insecurities as women - specifically our physical insecurities - and she shone a new light on this oh-so-common verse.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! Psalm 84:1

I am the dwelling place of the Lord. His Spirit lives within me. I am lovely? Even if I'm not perfect? Even if I'm not the best or the hardest working or the most put together? Even if I'm single and have been rejected? What I've known with my head and am now truly learning with my heart is that I AM LOVELY! I have significance without being perfect -- or attempting to be perfect.

All day long I have been singing in my head "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!" And strangely enough --- I'm starting to actually feel lovely. Without a husband. Without children. Without the brand new wardrobe I would like to have. Without being the best at, well -- anything. I am lovely. I am lovely. Because God dwells within me. Because HE loves me, I am lovely. And no matter what else I have. No matter my failures, my successes, my flaws or my rejections - I have THIS TREASURE!

He is mine and I am His. Of all things, I can be secure in that! And that is all I need.

God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." 2 Corinthians 4

Thank you, Father, that I am lovely because of You and You alone.

1 comment:

  1. You ARE lovely!!!! So very lovely in Him and so lovely to have as a friend!