Glancing at the test, the two pink lines caught my eye. Two. Not just one. Two pink lines. I looked at my husband in stunned surprise and held it out for him to see. He led me to the couch and I proceeded to miss the couch and just fall straight to the floor in my usual dramatic fashion. We’re pregnant. We both sat there for what seemed like hours letting it sink in deep. The surprise and excitement mixed with the worry and unknowns filled out hearts with a flood of emotions. The next nine months were going to change our lives.
The day we found out we were pregnant was exciting and overwhelming. We had no idea what to expect over the next few months. Pregnancy was completely new to us. The first trimester came and went so quickly, even though it seemed like forever at the time. Naps were my favorite part of the day and I was even more spacey than I am on any normal day. Once we reached the end of the first trimester, we rejoiced and announced to the world that we were going to welcome our little “nugget” into the world the following May.
Each step of pregnancy has come with a host of surprises and new adventures. But I have to admit, one of them completely shocked me and took me off guard. I had no idea how insecure pregnancy would make me. I have battled with insecurity throughout my life. As a teenage girl, I was very tall and lanky with little to no sports skill. Instead I loved art, fashion, and music. Being taller than all of my friends, including most of the boys, made me jealous of the girls around me who were petite. My mom would constantly remind me that the Lord made me tall for His glory and she would fix my posture almost daily (as if slouching over would really make me shrink an inch or two).
During that season of life, the Lord showed me over and over that the pot doesn’t complain to the Potter. And the Potter creates the pot in a specific way for His glory and for a specific purpose. I discovered truth in the Bible that changed my heart and led me to embrace my height as a beautiful gift of God. All of this came about the time I graduated high school and headed to college. My freshman year was clouded with a host of worries and comparison as well, and by my second semester I was battling with an eating disorder. Never in my life would I have imagined that I would struggle with anorexia. My eyes were unhealthy, my heart set on myself, and my under-eating and over-exercising was leading me down a dangerous path. (Read more of my story here)
The Lord, in His perfect mercy, met me in my brokenness during that season in college and lifted me out of the pit of controlling my eating. He made my eyes new through months and years of struggle and falling on my face before Him. He shattered the shackles on my hands and feet and set me free from the bondage. And ever since I have tasted that sweet freedom.
Bodily insecurity may be an all too familiar struggle for you. Whether it be your height, structure, coloring, teeth (we girls are way too critical of ourselves), or our weight, most women in the world have an undercover struggle with who they are. And Satan, in his crafty deceit, loves to hit us in our most vulnerable place – our identity. In the excitement of the news of our pregnancy, I had no idea that Satan would strike my heart in this area once more.
As I hit 14 weeks, 16, weeks, and 18 weeks…my baby bump was barely appearing. I am 5 foot 10 and have a very long torso. When I would tell people I was pregnant they would be shocked as they looked at my flat tummy. Insecurity blow number one. I have several wonderful friends who are pregnant and are much shorter than me and their baby bump appeared quickly. Insecurity blow number two. I have worn (and buttoned) normal pants until week 21. Insecurity blow number three.
I want you to note that these “insecurity blows” are things I have allowed to seep into my heart. They are attacks of the enemy in areas of my heart that are vulnerable. One thing we must know is that the Lord promises to give us ALL that we need in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). I let my guard down and allowed Satan to feed my lies instead of running to God’s Word for truth many times. I constantly ran to my husband about my “bump insecurity”. One day I would feel as if you couldn’t see my bump at all and ask him if I looked pregnant, worried that no one would notice. The next day I would feel like you could see the bump and was afraid I looked “too” pregnant. My poor, yet extremely patient, would faithfully affirm me and remind me that God is making this baby in me and that the bump would come eventually. The problem with these questions is that I was focused on the “bump” instead of the miraculous acts of God. I wanted to see the proof instead of trusting in the invisible work that the Lord was and is doing.
Then I had the dream.
I dreamed that I never looked pregnant. I went the entire nine months and never grew an inch. No one ever knew I was pregnant. Every woman who has had children is probably laughing at this point at such an absurd thought, but this is where my insecurities left me. I used to look at my stomach in college to make sure it was flat, and now I looked at my stomach hoping it would get round. It is amazing how quickly our perspective can change with the seasons of life.
My purpose in writing all of this out is to meet you right where you are. Since I don’t have the ability to have coffee with every woman who reads the blog, I want to write to you in the honesty and vulnerability of my heart. We all struggle with insecurity. Whether you are in the high school years, pregnancy months, or have grown children and are retired, insecurity is a battle that we must fight together for the glory of God. It is time we talked about what truly is at the core of this heart issue.
Insecurity, at its’ best, is misplaced security. Instead of building the foundation of our identity on Jesus Christ, we try to build on the faulty grounds of worldly affirmation. We misplace our security in things that aren’t really secure. Our confidence falters and we become an unstable mess.
Insecurity: lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt, instability
My bump insecurity resulted from comparison. I was comparing with every woman around me and every story before me instead of looking to the unique story God is writing. We will always miss out on the joys of life when we look to these places. And yet, God calls us to “bump the insecurity” out of our life with His truth. Insecurity has no room in the heart and life of a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.
Are you with me? Are you ready to be free of the shackles of insecurity? Then we have got to fight, sisters. We have got to believe the truth of Jesus instead of just knowing it or placing it on our mirrors or coffee cups. Scripture is more than just a beautiful adornment to be placed on a wall in your home, it is literally your life, your hope, and your direction. We have the joy and privilege of sharing this freedom with those around us.
In order to break free of the insecurity shackles, we have to know what causes us to be in bondage. Does social media put you back in chains? Does looking at the mirror, Facebook, or going to the gym? We look to others for affirmation instead of the Lord for total approval and satisfaction. And the insecurity spiral can happen all too quickly before we even realize what has happened! Recognizing what situations puts the chains on is important. It is vital to freedom. But there are many things we can’t avoid – like going out in public. In order to break free, we must learn to rejoice with others and in the person God made them to be, as well as in the unique creation He made us to be. This includes every circumstance of life – illness, suffering, pregnancy (along with all it’s changes), marriage, transitions, etc. Insecurity is comparison and critiquing others as well as ourselves. God calls us to rejoice always and in ALL things – including our circumstances and our bodies. They are so temporary, but His truths are forever. Rejoicing with others and in our own journey is the first place to start (Philippians 4:4).
Beth Moore put the nail on the head when she said that we need to “let the truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.” Jesus told us in John 8:38 that the “truth will set you free.” Truth, friends, is the road to freedom. Lies are the pits that trip us up and make us stagnant in our walk. Let’s choose truth.
Bump the Insecurity
In order the bump the insecurity out of our hearts, we need to fill them up with truth. Below are some of the verses I cling to:
“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:21
“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27a
“and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
“The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.” Psalm 118:6-7
The Lord is for you. He is your foundation and your souls’ security. It’s time we stopped building our identity on the shifting sand of the world and instead built our lives on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.
Spend time today writing out the lies you have believed and the truth that sets you free. Look to the cross and not the crowd. Jesus has saved you, freed you, and bought you for a purpose. Let’s live for that, friends. Let’s taste the freedom and build our identity on the rock that never moves.
Today I am bumping out the insecurity as my baby bump grows and replacing it with truth. Are you with me? Let’s embrace the gospel together.