As women, we all struggle with it to some degree, right?
Whatever you want to call it, none of us are strangers to this insidious disease that plagues us all. It may be that we refuse to take a chance and try that new thing because we are worried about what others will think of us. It could be that we decline the invite to join that Bible study for fear that we might actually have to talk in front of others about our faith or the messy parts of our lives or, heaven forbid, our lack of biblical knowledge will be readily apparent. Or it may be as simple as missing out on making memories with our own children at the beach because our pride rears its ugly head and gets the best of us when we think of putting that bathing suit on and letting our cellulite peek out. In each of these scenarios, we pay dearly by missing out on amazing experiences and incredible memories with our people.
How much is my self-consciousness costing me?
How much is your low self-esteem costing you?
How much is our lack of self-confidence costing us?
My good friend, Allison, has written about exactly this. She is such a breath of fresh air in my life. Allison is always honest, always hilarious, and for as long as I’ve known her, always ready to point others toward God. She is a thirty-something, mom of three who communicates about this struggle VERY well. She has a way with words and I feel confident that her words will resonate as deeply with you as they did with me.
“Mommy, I want YOU to ride with me on all the rides.” That is what my five-year-old daughter stated while we were standing in line at a water park on vacation. Because it is every woman’s dream to stand barefoot, in all the germs, in the sweltering sun, carrying a 900 pound tube up 30 flights of stairs in a bathing suit. In front of the Lord and everyone else. Talk about bringing your self-confidence down just a titch.
I’ve struggled with my appearance and how I view myself for a very long time. I’ve tried all the diets, the work out plans, pretty much everything that is out there. Every time I wound up in the same boat. Depending on how the diet or new “lifestyle” worked, it was either a sinking boat or a boat with a slow leak…
When I became a mom, my goal shifted into trying to be a certain weight or being able to play in the pool in a bathing suit WITHOUT being self-conscious about how I looked. If you’ve ever struggled with your appearance in any way, you know that it isn’t easy. You are extremely self-aware and obsessed with how YOU look. It is exhausting.
Back to the water park. My daughter didn’t care that I didn’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model. She didn’t care that my thighs touched or that my stomach wasn’t flat when I sat down. She wanted me there. All of me. She also wanted me present. She didn’t want me worried about sucking my stomach in, wondering if I was tan enough, or if I looked like Karen in a bathing suit.
In that moment, I realized that I was the problem. It was my own insecurities that were controlling my thoughts and actions. It was ME that had missed out on things because I was too concerned about what others may think. And that, my friends, is straight up selfishness.
Thanks to social media and everything else in this day and time, we let others be the judge of our perfection. We allow that to be the focus of who we are. Instead of making memories and living our best lives, we sit in our self-centered boat and sink. Instead of experiencing the Lord’s goodness, we sit and think about all the things that He did wrong with our bodies or who we are as women. The Lord has created us in HIS image. We should walk in confidence that we are who He has created us to be. I don’t think He intended to create a cookie cutter population of women. He created us to be different, to be happy and satisfied in HIS love and be confident in Him. He looked at us (yes, even you) and said, “It is good.”
Not only has He created us in His image, He has entrusted us with tasks to carry out the works of His kingdom. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” In other words, we need to get out of our self-centered boat and get serious about focusing on Him. Not who we look like or who we DON’T look like. The world we live in today makes it hard because it’s all about us, all about making ourselves better. But, if we really believe what the Bible says about us being perfect in His sight, then we need to get out of the self-centered, sinking boat!!!
I truly believe that the Lord wants us to be full of life, enjoying every day to the fullest! He loves us that much! However, we have to get outside of ourselves first. Which is not easy. It’s a process. It’s a process that I’ve been working on for a while now. Even as I write this article, I’m stepping on my own toes. But I will get there. And so will you. With His help!
So here’s my advice: Get on that bike or slide down that water slide with your kids! Join that new class, sing in the shower, or whatever it is you need to do to get out of YOUR comfort zone, do it! We were created in HIS image! Let’s live it out!
You can follow Allison on Facebook here. She is guaranteed to make you laugh until you cry AND make you think more about Jesus with the truth bombs she drops. You will not be sorry for the follow!