This post will be in place of my usual Monday weekend wrap-up.
For the book discussion on So Long Insecurity, I am suppose to respond to Chapters 3 and 4 this week. In Chapter 4, Beth gives many examples of biblical characters that suffered with insecurity, and I am suppose to pick the one that I relate to the most. This was a tough one for me because honestly, I could relate to all of them in one way or another. I've decided to talk about two characters. I relate to one on a personal level and one on a ministry level.
The first is Sarai, or Sarah, Abraham's wife. Most of you know her story, I am sure. She suffered with infertility for the majority of her married life. She felt incomplete because she couldn't produce a child for her man. Because of her inability, she eventually gave her husband to her maidservant, Hagar, who conceived for him. She thought this would solve all of her problems and insecurities....Yeah, right!
I struggled with infertility for 8 years, 8 long, hard years. I too felt like I couldn't produce for my man, and this kind of "disability" marks you. Even though I have two beautiful children today, I still feel like I carry those scars. I can remember how desperately we wanted a family and how I felt the brunt of the inability. I can remember thinking that if I couldn't give Gene children then I would have to "earn my keep" in other ways. Crazy right! Looking back, I see the craziness of that thought, but in the moment, those feelings were very real to me. I would try to to meet every need Gene had, keep a really clean house...because Gene is really clean, and cook every night, despite how busy I was, working outside the home. I can also remember serving diligently beside him in ministry, going to all his events, teaching the girls, writing cards...basically whatever he needed me to do, to make up for what I was lacking.
I can remember hearing about Gene's past girlfriends getting pregnant and telling him, "If you had married _________ you would be a daddy now" He would always shake his head and hug me and say, "I didn't love __________. I love you, children or no children." Gene never made me feel responsible or lacking in any way. It is amazing how women truly are our own worst enemy. We give Satan so much ammunition with our own thoughts....or maybe I should say, Satan's thoughts.
I still carry a lot of these thoughts with me today. Even with two girls at home, I feel like I have to keep a clean house, an almost impossible task with young ones, and cook every night, and be everything that Gene needs at home and in ministry. Still trying to produce in some way because this was ingrained into the fabric of who I am for over 8 years. Gene thinks thinks this is ridiculous and is always telling me to relax, let the house go, don't cook, etc. He truly loves me for me and that is an amazing gift.
My second person would be Moses.
Moses encountered a holy God and was commissioned by Him to deliver the Israelites to the Promised Land. Moses offered this excuse in response to God's call: "O, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." Beth's translation of what Moses said: "God, nothing has changed since you showed up. Same old, same old. I can't do it." The Lord said, "I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O, Lord, please send someone else to do it." Yep, that is insecurity at its best. Don't you think?
I cannot tell you how many times I have felt the exact same way and said the exact same thing. With Gene in full time ministry, there are many times that I need to speak publicly, either teaching an all out Bible study, leading a small group devotion, or making an announcement. I still get nervous, depending on who is in the audience. I still feel like I am not equipped to do it, not wise enough, not eloquent in speech. There is not a time that I stand up to speak that I don't pray, pray, pray that God will use my feeble attempts to bring Him glory. I pray through Joshua 1:5-6 which says, "...Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous..." And Joshua 1:9 which says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I know the verses, but I definitely have to remind my nerves.
As much as Gene loves to preach, I can't help but wonder if he will be a head pastor one day. That puts a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders....responsibilities that I don't feel qualified to handle. Daily I forget that God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. Satan would love for me to think otherwise!
Beth closes Chapter 4 with this: "Human flesh and blood have no weakness so strong that God's strength is made weak. He's got what we need. It's up to us whether or not we're going to let the worst of us get the best of us."
Whatever insecurity you are dealing with, take it to God in prayer. He has exactly what you need to defeat your faulty line of thinking. I know I am taking my faulty thinking to Him every single day until we defeat it together!
Camp Siloam Part One
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