4 Facts About You That Insecurity Doesn’t Want You To Know

4 Facts That Insecurity Doesn't Want You to Know

By: Amy Dalke

I don’t know about you, but some days I just wake up at the bottom of an Insecurity Pit.

And it’s on those days that I have to preach the gospel to myself, or I will otherwise spend the day as a pit-dweller, which pretty much means that I’ll spend the day measuring myself against others, and reminding myself of the 58 reasons that I’m ill-equipped and under-qualified.

Insecurity is a bold-faced lie that creeps into our life from all angles. 

We have insecurities about everything from our bra size, to dress size, to the size of our homes. 

We wear insecurity on our shoulders as we muddle through friendship issues, mother-in-law drama, and parenting fails; and insecurity is the filter through which we interpret every conversation.

Insecurity is a pit-dwelling trap, and nobody has time for that. 

But it’s not like we text Insecurity and invite her over for coffee and muffins, nor do we go looking for a pit to jump into. Which means something tricks us into that pit, and we need to figure out how to avoid it next time.

Here’s the deal: if the way you see yourself is rooted in insecurity, then your view is vastly different from God’s. And the key to avoiding the pit is to live based on how God sees you.

Since God’s thoughts about you outnumber the grains of sand, there’s no way I can pack all of that awesomeness into 600-ish words. But this is a start:

4 Facts About You That Insecurity Doesn’t Want You To Know

(1) You have been adopted as a CHILD OF GOD. (John 1:12; 1 John 3: 1-2). I know. How clever of me to tell you what your 2nd grade Sunday school teacher told you.  

I might as well say, “Hey, don’t be insecure. You’re God’s child. He’s got this.” #FistBump #PrayingForYou

But actually, when you sink your mind into the implications of what “being God’s child” really means, you will discover that true faith isn’t grown in a cotton candy patch. 

Throughout scripture, God’s people are the underdogs who have no hope of winning and every reason to fail. They are the Least Likely and Most Ordinary who dare to believe God is who He says He is.

Their lives aren’t defined by their trials or successes, but they have a deep sense of security in the middle of hard and painful and unfair. 

This is the life God invited you into as His child- the great adventure life of faith. The difference between facing Hard as a child of God, is that you know who holds your future and faithfully directs your life. (And that happens to be God, who runs the world.) 

(2) You are ACCEPTED in Christ (Romans 15:7, Colossians 2:9-10). We can list every reason why God shouldn’t accept us. But I forget that nothing I do surprises him…and I start thinking how disappointed He must be. 

But, hello, God knows more about us than we know about ourselves…flaws and all.

And He accepts us anyway. 

This means that even when life throw us for a loop, or when relationships fail us and disappoint us, we can still rejoice in Christ’s complete acceptance of us.

(3) You are CHOSEN to bear fruit (John 15:15). It took me a long time to grasp the awesomeness of this verse. Mostly because it’s hard to relate myself to parts of a tree. (Or really the whole gardening concept in general.) 

Nonetheless, knowing this will change your life: God purposed you to live in this time, in this place, in this generation. And He custom-made you with skills, strengths, and gifts so that He can uniquely impact others through YOU. 

Yes, YOU. (Even though ____, even if ____, and even still.) 

(4) You are a CITIZEN OF A HEAVENLY KINGDOM (Philippians 3:20). I know, I know. You aren’t dead yet, so what does your eternal address have to do with it? 

Actually, heaven has everything to do with this very moment. Jesus-people have been born into the Kingdom of Heaven where we enjoy the rights and privileges of our new homeland right here and now.

We are ambassadors of this heavenly kingdom, and God works in us and through us to bring heaven’s work to earth in every step we take. 

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The enemy knows that when we know who we really are…we will be unstoppable.

Satan is well aware that God has defeated him. But if he can trick you into believing that you’re the loser, then he’s won a small battle. 

And to keep winning, all he has to do is keep you focused on who you aren’t.

If insecurity is masking your true identity in Christ, then ask God to show you where your thoughts have gotten tangled in a lie. He will lift you out of that pit, one truth at a time.

(Also please feel free to kick insecurity in the face with every new inch of victory you gain.)

Amen.

Back to School Anxiety: 30 Days of Fear-Fighting Prayer

By: Amy Dalke

30 Verses for Fear-Fighting Prayer

During my school age years, I was ecstatic for every first day of school. Which probably comes as no surprise to you.

This thrill was based on a love for new clothes, a fresh box of crayons/markers/pens, and a fashionable TrapperKeeper. (And not much has changed, except the TrapperKeeper.)

When I became a mother, I assumed my child would automatically share this excitement for school. But no. Not at all.

Therefore you can understand my chagrin when school supply shopping fails to conjure up any sort of happy feelings in Luke. In fact, he would rather clean toilets than shop for anything (also puzzling to me); and the very mention of the first day of school brings a wave of anxiety.

This annual event is officially #74 on my list of Things I Assumed About Motherhood That Are Actually Just the Opposite. So when Luke’s first day of Kindergarten rolled around, his fear was absolutely foreign to me. I had NO CLUE how to handle his mega-anxiety about school.

Technically, his very first day of Kindergarten was great. We took his picture in front of our house, posted it on Facebook per the usual, and eagerly walked into the classroom to greet his teacher and find his seat. (The only tears shed that day were mine because that’s how I roll sometimes.)

The second day all fear broke loose, and by the third day, my sweet 5 year old had to be peeled from my arms by a teacher’s aide. I distinctly remember his heart-wrenching, terror-filled cries as she carried him away from me, “Mommy, please. Please don’t leave me! Please…!!!

#ihatekindergarten

Needless to say, I sobbed all the way to my office for five straight days which was just awesome. And thus, the first day of school officially became my least favorite day of the year.

Frankly, it was more like the first weeks of school that I came to dread because they represented a string of of sad mornings filled with Luke’s pleas for home school (What-huh?) and red, tear-streaked faces for both of us.

And so it went through 1st and 2nd grade. Days and days of Luke’s fretful, anxious tears, coupled with my own emotions that boomeranged from sadness and defeat to frustrated anger. It was basically insanity all over the place, and that’s an understatement.

Then last year, Luke sheepishly (and tearlessly!) accepted the start of 3rd grade; and he only had a couple of random anxiety-ridden mornings all year long. (Thank you, Lord.)

Today…he heads off to 4th grade. And y’all, he’s excited. For the first time ever, he has confidently talked about the upcoming year. He’s even fixed his hair the last five days in preparation. (Which is a whole new thing in itself.) (Don’t ask, because I don’t know.)

So what changed? And why am I telling you?

Well I wish I could share a formula that spells out all the things Larry and I did right in parenting to overcome Luke’s anxiety. But that would just be a joke.

Instead, I can offer you real life proof that prayer really does change things. Every positive parenting effect I’ve had has come from the time spent in conversation with God. Not because I’m some super-holy prayer warrior, but because parenting literally drives me to my knees.

Over the last four years, I have prayed daily for Luke to overcome fear and anxiety, and I’ve begun to see the fruit of courage ripen in him little by little. (Thank you, Jesus.) I am flat powerless to fix Luke’s fears myself, but God is all-powerful to do that very thing.

You and I can follow methods and practice various therapeutic exercises with our kids to help them deal with anxiety, but there’s a point where our control (?) of a situation comes to a dead end. So we might as well hand over “control” to the only One who has it in the first place. Because this is exactly where God works wonders.

If your child struggles with anxiety, please know you aren’t alone. I want to give you a big hug and share some of the verses I’ve prayed over Luke specifically about Overcoming Fear. So I created a printable image that gives you one fear-fighting verse a day to pray over your child for 30 whole days. (Don’t miss that link below.)

My prayers are mostly scripture-based, and I’ve given you 3 examples of how I pray these scriptures, with hopes that you’ll print them out and pray them back to God in your own words.

Praying with you,

Amy


Scripture-based Prayers for Overcoming Fear

God, I know you have given  _(child’s name)_ a spirit of power and love, and you’ve given him a sound mind. Cause him to lean into you when he’s afraid so that he won’t be overpowered by fear and anxiety. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Lord, you are with _(child’s name)_ everywhere he goes…so I pray that you would fill him with courage and strength. When he faces scary situations, let his heart well up with your holy bravery. May _(child’s name)_ never let fear or discouragement get the best of him. (Joshua 1:9)

Father, may your perfect love cast out every ounce of anxiety in _(child’s name)_ heart. Cause him to be so rooted and grounded in the love of Christ that he lives fearlessly by faith. (1 John 4:18, Ephesians 3:17)

Click here for the printable (pdf) document of 30 Days of Fear-Fighting Prayer

30 days of fear-fighting prayer

5 Steps That Help You Draw Closer To God’s Vision

by Gail Armatys

Football fan or not, this year’s Super Bowl rookie and game winning play maker can help us all draw closer to God’s vision for our lives.

The New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in the last 20 seconds of Sunday’s game to become Super Bowl champions. This game was ultimately won when the Patriot’s rookie player, Malcolm Butler, made a pass interception in their own end zone. If not for that catch the game would have ended differently. As it turned out, Butler made a play that brought fans to their feet, confetti to the ground, and left everyone shaking their head at the pass play the Seahawk’s offensive coordinator called from above.

What did young Butler have to say about his interception as he walked off of the field still breathless? “I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true. And I’m just blessed.”

God's vision, blessing, malcolm butler, super bowl,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUEarj7hrjE

What vision? A vision he got from his mom. When he called her the day before the game, she shared her sense that Malcolm was going to do something fantastic. In an interview with Good Morning America Malcolm shared the details and was recorded saying, “I prayed on it and went out and played as hard as I could…and it turned out great!

Yes, Malcolm, it sure did!

A phone call to his mom and their combined faith wasn’t his only advantage. Malcolm also credited his preparation for the game which allowed him “to recognize what Seattle planned to do on what turned out to be the Seahawks’ final snap of the game.”

There is a whole lot going on in this story and if we read between the yard markers, there are lessons to be learned from Malcolm Butler about drawing closer to God’s vision for your life.

  1. Preparation

Malcolm prepared for this game for years; physically, mentally and based on his statements, spiritually. He jumped hurdles and persevered, sacrificing his time and preferences believing something good would come of it.

Like Malcolm, there are often many steps to take before we find ourselves ready to receive and accept God’s vision for our lives. Some of these steps include overcoming obstacles, hurts, and fears, learning to love and serve others, pressing on, living expectantly and surrendering our will to God…not all easily accomplished. And most of these experiences require repeat testing. But, if we ‘set our face’ toward the goal of seeking God’s vision for our lives, we can surely expect it and receive it. Never as we demand or require it, but always as our hearts are prepared and surrendered to his loving timing and will.

  1. Encouragement

Malcolm received insight and encouragement after a conversation with his mom. In biblical times, Esther received it from Mordecai, which not only saved their lives but the lives of the Jews. Ruth’s encouragement came from Naomi, which led her to marry Boaz – which several generations later ‘begat’ Jesus. (Thanks, Naomi.) Good things come from intentional encouragement.

Surprisingly, the vision God has planned for our lives can be hard to see on our own. He doesn’t hide it, but we sometimes need encouragement while he waits for us. There are specific assignments in our days that culminate to bring about our unique vision. Sometimes we are blinded by details, self-will, or busyness but there are others who may see where we cannot and encourage us toward our vision.

  1. Prayer

In an interview, Malcolm said that he ‘prayed on it’. He prayed on the words he heard from his mom that told him he would do something fantastic. Unfortunately, he doesn’t tell us what he prayed. Did he pray hoping that she didn’t misunderstand? Did he pray that he not fail in being fantastic? Or, did he make excuses to God saying he wasn’t ready for the job of being Mr. Fantastic? We don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet before he ended his prayer he included ‘ your will be done.’

My guess is that Malcolm hoped he would be used to do something incredible in the game, believed with all hope that God could make it happen, and desired God’s will above all.

Only God knows when we, and perhaps others in our lives, are ready for our vision to be revealed and realized. Only God in his grace brings clarity when it’s time.

  1. Expectation

From what I’ve seen, heard and read, Malcolm’s faith didn’t happen the day before the game. His relationship with his mom drew upon their shared faith. He relied on God through the years as he worked hard to play football first at a community college, then a university, and finally the pros. His faith developed as he persevered, learned and trusted. He probably had a pretty good idea that when his mom shared stories of God working, the usual would indeed turn fantastic.

I can’t say for sure about Malcolm’s experience, but I know when I trust, pray and wait obediently God’s promises do not fail.

  1. Praise

There are lots of football players that make key plays in big games but I wonder how many of them tell the story of God’s hand in their success? Malcolm did it in two sentences.

I also wonder if in the moments before the game with promise of something great awaiting him God knew the faith of Malcolm’s heart. Did God share this vision knowing all along that in his humility, Malcolm would unashamedly bring God honor on center stage before the entire world?

In the end, I think that might matter most. For although Malcolm’s vision of doing something fantastic has been defined by the world as a super play for a Super Bowl win, I wonder if really the ‘something fantastic’ didn’t have more to do with bringing attention to the Source of the opportunity just as Malcolm faithfully claimed.

Purpose Steps

  1. Keep seeking God’s vision for your life with a pure heart.
  2. Be encouraged by God’s word and others.
  3. Pray for clarity and for God’s will.
  4. Expect God to follow through with his plans.
  5. Praise God for all that he has done.

Purpose Prayer

Father, sometimes I just don’t have a clue as to what you have me here to accomplish. I pray to know the vision you have for my life. Please give me a pure heart and right motives as I seek your purposes. Help me to keep doing what you’ve given me to do each day fully expecting to catch a glimpse of your vision for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Listen to your HeartSong Here!

While I’m Waiting/John Waller

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb7TSGptd3Y

I Am Woman, I Am Invincible, I am Tired

By: Gail Armatys

HeartSong Life Coach

I didn’t know it, but I was in need of a Calgon moment.

imagesCAXLIKW5

Some of us certainly remember the product and the commercials that began running in the 70’s. If you were born in the 80’s it could ‘ring a bell’ because you vaguely remember telling your mom you think she needs one of those moments. (Probably not a good move.) If you are younger than that, well it’s what you and Wikipedia might call ‘vintage’.

Calgon, a bath product, was supposed to make you feel like you were living in the lap of luxury – not a care in the world. The tag line was, ‘Take me away, Calgon’. And it was spoken as though the harried momma crying out these words knew a quiet bath with Calgon was the last, good hope for her life to go on. That moment in the tub, with the bubbles, the scent, the soft water – that was the Calgon moment!

A Moment of Another Kind

I’d been working on a project that had a self-imposed deadline. The more I attempted to accomplish the work, the greater the barriers, hurdles, obstacles, the devil and his pranksters – they all kept me stuck – one after another. Day after day, nothing I did or tried was working. Computers, ideas, those helping me.  Nothing was coming together.

My frustration was mounting but all the while, believing God would fill me in on the details, I managed to keep going. Trying a different route – a new way. I am good at persevering but the mountain I built and that was mine to climb kept getting steeper. I was starting to STRESS!

It’s become very clear to me over the years that while I do not stress much, when I do it manifests itself in a rather passive way as more of a physical, internal tenseness. Do you know what I mean?  I usually don’t take it out on the cat or the dog. The husband?  Maybe.  Well, this time – the husband – definitely.

In a one minute phone call that my hubby took time to make in order to see how he could help; I lost it.  Nothing directed at him.  But every tiny bit of frustration came blowing toward him – out of my mouth like a cannon.  BAM!

Funny thing. My husband knows about Calgon moments, and he also knew I needed one. He had hinted at it. Our dog probably knew it.  And the cat, well of course, cats are not only above everything but they know everything. So she knew it. I knew it, too.

In a moment, my frustration sprayed like shrapnel – brief as it was.  Thankfully, no damage was done. The apology was quickly given and well received. But it wasn’t over. I had basically just been loud for a few long seconds. The momentum of my project hadn’t changed…until God saw to it mine did.

God In Control

My special momentum – changing moment came in the form of a 24 hour flu bug with headache, nausea, and fever. I was made totally incapacitated for a day.  I hurt so badly that I couldn’t stress about anything.  There would be no work or frustration about the work not working.  I couldn’t control it.  I was finally in rest mode.  Made to be still.

This, my friends, was my Calgon, take me away, moment.  Not like the commercial at all.

Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10

images-5

Here’s the reality of it: God knew all about our need for Calgon moments long before Calgon began its advertising campaign. And, he knows precisely when to for much needed moments of rest if we don’t take the opportunity to do so ourselves.

As I lay feeling crummy with a cool rag on my head, body shivering, and head pounding, I slept. Interestingly enough, it was the best sleep I’d had for awhile. Not surprising though. That’s how our loving God works. He graciously gives us the freedom to make our choices, politely suggests and nudges, and when necessary allows some stress or pain in – or even lets us cause our own – until we come to a place where all we can do is rest…in him.

Stressful situations, decisions, issues – big or small, he knows what we need and resting in him is at the top of the list. We can even do it in the tub with a little Calgon. Just be still. Rest.

Thanking God For Our Calgon Moments

Oh, and one more thing. We may be familiar with the ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ part of Psalms 46:10.  Rarely, though, do we hear the end of the scripture.  ‘I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ Maybe what he is telling us is this:  Not only are we to take time to stop and rest in the knowledge that he is, after all, God but also that he is in control and on our side. And for that, we shall praise his name.

Purpose Prayer

Father, thanks for always being on the lookout for us.  For leading us and nudging us  this way and that – and for stopping us when all we really need is to rest and know that you are in control.  We praise you for that and for your love, grace, and mercy that take us away with you so we may know you more and come back refreshed ready to follow you in our journey.

Purpose Steps

  1. Recognize and write down what/who is stressing you.
  2. Ask yourself why the source of the stress affects you?
  3. Take time to be alone with God.  Rest. Be still.
  4. In faith, pray for wisdom, knowledge and breakthrough, releasing control of the situation to God.
  5. Praise God for answered prayer, that he is in control, and for Calgon moments.

Listen to Your HeartSong:

Click Here: Be Still My Soul (in You I Rest)/Kari Jobe 

Live the Song Written on Your Heart.

 

A prayer, just for YOU…

Written by: Amy Dalke

A prayer for YOU today…

Father, You alone know the way that we take.

And sometimes, we aren’t so sure where You are leading…or why we have to go that way.

Colorful sunrise on the sea. Sand beach and silent water surface.

Your unfailing word says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Because You are FOR us, we do not fear. Even when we sit in the midst of uncertainty, we will trust You. We believe that You work every single situation to our good…to Your glory…and we know that Your glory is always – always – always for our good.

You created us to carry Your glory to all the world! So give us the wisdom to come to You emptied of ourselves, so that our glory buckets can hold every ounce You want to pour into us.

Bring light today where there is darkness in our hearts.

Where there is despair, replace it with hope and joy.

Plant Your grace into every corner where sin abounds.

Let Your unfailing love be our strength in the face of fear.

Let Your glory unfold in us richly today, so that everything in our presence is touched by pieces of heaven.

And Lord…more than ever before, let us grasp the truth that You are for us, not against us.

In Christ’s name, AMEN.

 

Hope will get you through it

Written by: Vivian Wilson

Life is a series of learning experiences starting from the day we are born. Much of what we learn early in life is necessary for living.

First we learn to turn over, then crawl, walk, and run. We learn to talk and feed ourselves and dress ourselves, to name a few. But then there are things that we choose to learn, such as another language, how to paint, how to dance, how to play an instrument or a sport. The things that we choose to learn require a teacher or a coach, someone skilled and knowledgeable about the subject. Someone who knows and is able to communicate the essential information in order for us to acquire some level of proficiency in the craft or skill that we want to learn.

It is also true that there are things that we all need to learn in our spiritual lives as well. Some things we can choose to learn. For example, how to study God’s Word better, or how to pray more effectively, or memorize scripture more efficiently.

But there are also things that we need to learn that we are not even aware of until God puts His finger on those places in our heart that He desires to change.

God wants us to love Him because He loves us so much, He wants us to know Him, He is shaping and molding us into the image of His Son. He has given each of us our own personal trainer and instructor in the person of the Holy Spirit.

It is our responsibility to trust that He knows every detail that will accomplish His goal, to be obedient, and diligent to follow His instructions, surrendering my will and all that I am.

In his book, James tells us in chapter one, verses 2-4:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Clearly, one of the ways God shapes us is through trials. We will all face them, they are inescapable and they are designed for each of us in order to make us mature in our faith. When we surrender to our Instructor and allow Him to teach us to love better, to forgive, to humble ourselves, to serve, to give, to encourage, to help, to bless others, we will grow in our maturity as children of God.

If I may, here is a thought about surrender. It is a temptation at times when in the middle of difficult circumstances, to resign ourselves to the way things are, thinking that we are surrendering our will. But resignation says, “you are without hope, you are powerless, you have no choice.” However, surrender is an act of the will to make a choice and to quit striving and rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father, and allow Him to do His work in you, while drawing you closer to Himself.

When the trial we face is a very difficult one or not, it is good to focus on the hope that we have in Christ rather than the present pain or hardship we are experiencing.

Hope will allow us to see the end of the trial even in the midst of it.

James 1:12:  Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Romans 15:13:  May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

No, my sisters, trials are not pleasant, but in them I want to learn to be joyful and grateful, looking beyond the present with hope of having new skills and knowledge with which to serve God and others better when He has finished His work.

What do you think God wants to teach you?

Have you surrendered to Him?

Are you focused on your circumstances or the hope you have in Christ?

with you, a work in progress,

Vivian