“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So Long, Insecurity - Week 4
Uncut and Uncensored

photography by Anthony

I am currently reading So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore and I am participating in the So Long, Insecurity Discussion Group on the Living Proof Ministries blog.  I decided to open my blog up to anyone who wanted to post their answers to the discussion group so that we can encourage one another in a somewhat smaller group. 

These are my answers to the questions posed for Week Four based on Chapters 7 and 8.
Italics indicate either the question that Beth Moore posed on her blog or that the passage is found in the book So Long, Insecurity.

1. What part of Chapter 7 hit home with you most and why?
Actually, it was the letter from the pastor's wife on page 130: "Insecurity Can Make Us Give An Entirely Wrong Impression."  (I have included the excerpt of this letter at the bottom of this post.)

Why did it hit home with me the most?  Because I am the one who longs for this pastor's wife to acknowledge me. The way I think I need to be acknowledged or affirmed.  I naively think she has it all together.  She sure looks and sounds like she does.  It would never occur to me to think she is insecure in any area of her life or that I intimidate her (even if she told me so herself).  So if I think she is not interacting with me (the way that I want her to)... I think something is wrong with me... and I become even more insecure... and put even MORE pressure on her... and become even more desperate.  As a Christian woman, I want to have another Christian woman to look up to... perhaps be my mentor.  I immediately think it must be the pastor's wife. 

My heart hurts that I have thrown my weighty expectations on her.  And I am glad to know that perhaps it is not too late to make amends.  And that through my own stumbling I can shed light on this subject. 

2. Based on your journey so far in chapters 1-8, list your own personal top three reasons why it's time to deal with your insecurity. 
A.  I don't want insecurity to keep me from the abundant life and ministry that God has prepared for me. (Ephesians 2:10)
B.  I want to be an example to the women that are in my sphere of influence.
C.  I am tired of being held hostage by my insecurity.  Especially when it taunts me after the fact... "who do you think you are" or "why did you say that" or "NO ONE wants to hear what you have to say."

3. Based on Chapter 8, briefly describe a recent trigger of insecurity and whether or not it got a rise out of you.
I recently shared some of my childhood experiences at our women's retreat.  As one woman said, "My heart leaped for joy while you were up on stage, because you were showing the pure you, uncut and uncensored."  Uncut and uncensored.... Yikes!  Almost every woman that attended the retreat has since thanked me or affirmed me or hugged me.  I have so felt the love.

But there was one... Well, at least one... that I know of... I found out secondhand (from a gal who had not attended the retreat) that one of the precious sisters that had attended the retreat was distraught.  The precious sister was under the impression that I was sharing my past under duress.  Which I assured this gal that I had volunteered to share, but then this gal said that experiences like my past should not be discussed in such a large group.  Oh, no!  Shame covered me like a blanket.  I could feel its weightiness.  I couldn't breathe.

See!  I shouldn't have shared... I was too sensational with details... I was only thinking of myself and not those listening.  How could I have been so thoughtless?  And then the tears... and almost the ugly cry.  It took a little time... some affirmation and prayer from my beloveds... reminding me that I wasn't the one who wanted to get on that stage... It was the Lord's plan.  I was obedient.  And He will handle the rest.

4. Also based on Chapter 8, what does dignity mean to you?  
Having value.  Being valued.  Respect for life.  I am God's "prized creation."  I am created in God's image.  Worthy of respect and high esteem.  "Our possession of dignity is not always something we feel.  It's got to be something we know.  Something we emphatically claim... She is clothed with strength and dignity.  Believe it, sister."

Excerpt from So Long, Insecurity:  Chapter 7 - "Don't Let It Fool You"

Insecurity Can Make Us Give An Entirely Wrong Impression.

I am a pastor's wife.  My insecurity can definitely get the best of me.  I'm not real good at small talk and tend to be standoffish because I don't think people will like me or want to get to know me.  Therefore I give off the wrong impression to the other women at church.  They see me as being a snob.  Oh, if they only knew I'm scared to death of them.  I feel so intimated by them because I don't feel like I have much to contribute to their lives or even the conversation.  I am trying to work on this, and it isn't as if it consumes me night and day.  It has been this way for so long, it is just who I am:  Hi, my name is ...., and I'm insecure.


Shaya said...

Thank you Sheri for sharing your heart once again...I love reading/hearing your words. So often what you have to share resonates within my own soul and I am challenged and encouraged! Lovely lady, know that you are loved, appreciated, valued!!! Thank you for being willing to throw down those insecurities and be used. Hugs.

Patti said...

Oh friend, the Lord had a divine appointment for you at the women's retreat. People get uncomfortable when things start to get real sometimes because it forces them to look into their own lives and see their own past and hurts. You are my hero! :)

I am SO excited to start reading this book soon...I was thinking that if you do another Bible Study this summer (please please please) that Christopher and Ems can have a playdate! I bet he could keep her occupied! (maybe....) :)

elizabeth embracing life said...

Sheri, This is a good chapter, especially on the heals of your time on that stage exposing some very deep hurts. I think if it was me I would have run off the stage, or made a funny, but you were bold with your heart in front of everyone. God is digging deeper, pealing layers, and there His beautiful Sheri sits ready for the next moment she can be used.