It has been WAY too long since I've posted. And I'm not really sure why, because I've had lots of things to say. I think I've just been lazy about making myself sit down and write.
I'm reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. In fact, I'm about to start a book study of it at our church. It's been super eye-opening to read.
I'm not an insecure person by nature, but I do have insecure moments.
An example that I was thinking about this morning is being a mom.
The first six weeks of Micah's life were the hardest I've ever experienced. And the first two were even harder. I literally thought at times that I couldn't do it. I was completely sleep deprived and I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. I was in a 60 foot pool and my floaties had deflated.
When my mom left after his first week, I was devastated. I felt like the one person who knew what they were doing had left!
Everything that I had heard from moms was running like a mantra through my head - "The moment I saw him, my heart exploded with love... Motherhood comes absolutely naturally... I never felt a tinge of depression or the postpartum blues... You get used to the lack of sleep... It gets easier... They're totally worth it... You won't be able to imagine life without them..."
But (and this is where insecurity took a foothold), all of those things weren't true for me! But I was so afraid that if I told somebody they would think I was a horrible mother! I was insecure in my new role and didn't want someone else to validate it.
My heart didn't explode with love the moment I saw him (although it since has millions of times). Motherhood didn't come completely naturally. I experienced intense postpartum baby blues, to the point where I thought I was going crazy. I was NOT getting used to the lack of sleep; the first two weeks it didn't feel like it was getting any easier (although it's exponentially easier now). To be brutally honest, I was so numb from the lack of sleep and emotionally crazed (or so it felt like) from the blues, that I very easily could remember life before him, and even missed it. Now, I can't imagine life without him; I miss him when I haven't seen him in 45 minutes.
But my love and affection for him had to grow, it didn't happen the moment he entered the world. But I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about these things. I felt alone, and like everyone else had it together except for me.
Every night I pressed myself as close to Matt as I could, as if by doing so, I could transfer some of the pain.
Finally, on day 15 of my baby boy's life, I had lunch with a friend and she shared with me how hard the blues were for her and how it took several weeks to feel a connection to her son, and it was as if somebody had given me life-giving oxygen! I wasn't alone!
And literally, the next morning, the physical cloud and weight that I had carried around for two weeks had lifted. Completely lifted, and to this day I have not felt those burdened feelings.
We often hear the verse quoted, "The effective prayer of a righteous man avails much." But that's just the second part of the verse. The first part says, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other, that you may be healed." James 5:16
What I was experiencing wasn't sin, but I did need to stop shouldering it alone and let somebody in, because there's healing in community and transparency.
Beth Moore made the point in this book that we often have an immediate image of the insecure person: they're mousy, timid, weak, and fragile. But she said that that's just one spectrum of insecurity. Insecurity often shows itself by overcompensation. The perfectionist that seems to have it all together at all times and never has a moment of weakness actually is working extremely hard to project that image, because she's not secure enough to simply be herself, in all of her strengths and weaknesses.
There's a clear difference between the gentle, humble and quietly confident woman and the overbearing, proud, always-has-to-make-a-point-of-her-strengths woman. And we know it. And the one that we're drawn to is the former. And that's the one I want to be.