I was extremely insecure as a young girl. Maybe it was the glasses I wore since first grade. Maybe it was the braces that I wore along with the glasses. Maybe it was the extra weight and teen acne that I had on top of the glasses and braces. Whatever it was, it plagued me.
The only thing I had going for me during those tough years was that I did well in school. I got rewarded for this with my parent’s approval and the recognition by my classmates as being one of the smart kids. I always looked at others as being better than me. Prettier, more athletic, funnier, more popular. I could never measure up. Because of this, I retreated into my schoolwork and somehow figured out that if I did well that I’d have something going for me.
I remember my mother saying to me time and again, “I don’t know why you don’t have any confidence. You have so much going for you.”
What “so much” did she see that I didn’t? Where was all of this personal bounty that escaped my eyes?
Instead of asking my mom this question, I simply fired back with “I don’t know” or some other inane response. In looking back, I wish I would asked my mom, “What exactly do you see? Or, maybe she could’ve just told me. Maybe she could’ve seen that I was stone blind to the qualities she saw in her fifth child and sat me down to set the record straight.
I didn’t ask. She didn’t offer.
My dad tried to “man me up” by always asking me “What’s your last name?” as if to imply that this name alone carried with it so much weight and confidence that I should just bask in its glory. Well, maybe that worked for him because he was a well-known, well-respected musician who had worked hard to earn himself a name.
What did I do? I was just a girl from a small town on Long Island. Who was I?
So many moms today are struggling with the same thing. They define their worth by what they do or what they are able to accomplish. They compare themselves to other moms who they think are doing it better. These comparisons lead to feelings of deep insecurity, doubt and fear that they are messing up their kids because they’re not doing all the things their so-called perfect counterparts are doing.
This insecurity leads to having a competitive spirit – a ‘win or lose’ mindset in which they over schedule, overdo, and over expect, leaving them exhausted and feeling hopeless. They neglect their own well-being in order to be able to have a seat at the table of the “Perfect Moms Club”.
Well, there’s no such thing as a perfect mom. And honestly, what child would want that? How could they ever live up to that? It’s impossible and they’d spend their entire lives trying to do so and end up, yep…right where their moms are right now.
Hopeless. Exhausted. Insecure.
Is that what we want for our children? If we’re to break this cycle, then we have to be willing to face the scary demons of our present and past and fight them. It won’t be easy and it’ll likely be a daily battle, but guess what, you don’t have to do it alone.
When I finally realized that my ‘hamster on a wheel’ efforts were leading me nowhere, that I was not gaining any ground in the uphill battle to beat these demons, that’s when I began to see some real changes in my life.
I direct you to Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I can’t tell you how many times I say this to myself when insecurity or fear make a cameo appearance in my day threatening to derail my joy. I remember that I don’t have to fight alone. I have a real warrior on my side. And guess what – He wants me to win! In fact – that’s the only thing God wants for me.
Why? Because he didn’t create me to fail. He didn’t create me to be weak. He created me to see myself as He sees me.
This vision that God holds for me is likely what my mom saw in me a lifetime ago. I didn’t see it then, but my eyes are opened now.