Have you ever had one of those nights when you wake up at 3 a.m. and toss and turn, when it feels like all your thoughts come crashing in on you? Well I have, last night. I thought I had found a place of true peace in my life and these things didn’t happen anymore. Well, it turns out I only needed the right trigger to land smack bang in the middle of emotional turmoil and insecurity once again.
My family and I have recently moved country, we packed up our London lives and headed to South Africa. Everything and everyone is new and yesterday I had a wobble: “Who am I in this new place? What if I don’t find my ‘tribe‘ or even worse, what if I do and they don’t like me?” My husband says “what’s not to like?” and that’s partly why I married him, but his belief in me, no matter how reassuring, wasn’t enough to rid me of the thoughts.
You know what it’s like, suddenly you question yourself, everything about yourself. Most of us will have at least one area where we seek external validation. Even if you feel mostly confident, there’s the one thing, the one area you just are unsure of... and it speaks the loudest at three in the morning. “Am I successful enough? Clever enough? Funny enough? What does my job say about me? Should I have pushed through and gotten that degree? Am I good looking enough? edgy enough? Christian enough? irreligious enough? What do they think of my spouse? My child? Of me not having a child? Of me being single? Do I make enough money? Is my life all about money? am I socially aware enough? politically astute enough? green enough? do I go on too much about myself? too open? too closed? Am I interesting enough on first encounters? Can I blend in or do I stick out like a sore thumb?” it’s the area that suggests it would be better for you to retreat into a dark quiet cave by yourself, out of sight from everyone else’s obvious perfection, where you can nurse your wounded inferiority in peace.
The insecurities I thought had left with the passing of my twenties had decided to revisit. This time, a decade older and hopefully a little wiser I know that just because I feel something it doesn’t mean it’s true. This time I know that I can’t give room in my emotional landscape for these feelings to play ruler of my mind, this time I know that I need to call them what they are, hold up the light on them and send them packing. This is when I need to gird myself up, kick into action, take the sword of the spirit in my hand and kick some trash talks butt!
We all face uncertainties, areas where we question ourselves or our abilities, maybe similar to mine, maybe very different, but no matter what the struggle, we have to engage with it, expose it for what it is and change our mind.
So this morning still feeling somewhat insecure I sung “In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; This Cornerstone, this solid Ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, Here in the love of Christ I stand”
This must be our truth, we are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) He is our rock, and fortress (Psalm 18:2) we are accepted and loved by Him (Ephesians 1:6) and the emotional lies, no matter how strongly we feel them, are defeated by the truth and power of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
That doesn’t mean the same insecurities won’t arise again tomorrow, or next month, or even a decade from now, but when they do, lets not give them any real estate in our hearts and minds. sometimes our feelings are just that . . . feelings, and it’s the truth that will set us free and enable us to live our best lives.