What if I told you that sometimes my insecurities get the best of me?
That was, unfortunately, the case this week as I walked into Sephora, sat down in the chair, and admitted to the make-up whisperer that I need more. More coverage please. I’m trying to fight the signs of aging with all the best creams and potions, but these wrinkles, well, they’re fighting back. So, instead of growing old gracefully, I gave in and decided that I’ll just cover it up. I know it’s vain, but I don’t want to look old. The make-up wizards can smell this fear like lions hunting their prey. Before I knew it, I had an arsenal of tools I can’t afford to, literally, punch this insecurity in the face. I sat there looking in the mirror, at the much less wrinkled appearing face (thanks to the whisperer) thinking, “what am I doing?”
I’m desperately trying to break-up with those student loans that have been hanging over my head for almost 10 years, and here I am actually considering a temporary moment of happiness over financial freedom. Why?
Why do I do this?
This, the dread of old, is just one of the many insecurities I face. And, this time of year, when the touring schedule gets ever so busy, summer approaches, and fatigue begins to set in, so do all the things I find wrong with me. I’ll provide you with a short sample:
- I don’t tan well or really at all. I long for golden, sun-kissed skin, but, when I look in the mirror, paste is all I see.
- I feel stupid a lot. Like last week, when I left the alarm on in my house the day the cleaning lady was coming. I did the pre-clean the night before and left the check on the counter, but turned the alarm on. As I was driving like a maniac to arrive at my house before she got there, I repeated “you’re so stupid” a thousand times.
- I don’t really have what some would call “the cool factor”. At my husband’s shows I sometimes feel like this is magnified. My wardrobe, for example, is mostly scrubs and mom clothes – you know, the clothes that are always covered in someone else’s bodily fluids. And, even if I buy the trendy things the kids are wearing, I’m like a fish out of water.
- I feel uncomfortable around what I would call the “super moms”. You know the mom who always has “it” together. Her cookies are homemade, her hair is always perfect, and her car is always clean. I’m over here running into daycare with my store-bought treats for the class party, hair in a pony-tail, with sippy cups literally falling out of my car. How does she do it?
- I sometimes feel like I don’t have a lot in common with other women and I’m uncomfortable in a lot of situations. I’m married but my husband travels a lot. So, I must take my tribe with me on most occasions because we don’t have family nearby to watch them, and I haven’t mustered up the confidence to rob a bank so we can pay a sitter. Therefore, I show up to most things, kids in tow, exhausted, and not really identifying with anyone at the table.
Do you get the picture? Or should I go on? We can call it worry or anxiety, the curse of comparison and, of course, insecurity but it’s all really fear at the core.
Fear that I will not look certain way – or maybe that I will look a certain way.
Fear that others think I’m stupid or that I’m actually stupid.
Fear that I will not be accepted.
Fear that I don’t have what it takes as a wife and a mother.
Fear that my kids will find out I have no idea what I’m doing.
Fear of failure.
Fear that I’m not enough.
Sound familiar? Paralyzing, when you lay it all out on the table, isn’t it?
So what? Doesn’t everyone feel this way? Fear is normal, right?
Well, of course it is normal and necessary. Fear is meant to save us from things that may harm us like bears, snakes and lions. But fear was never meant to control us and keep us from becoming the person God created us to be. Unhealthy fear causes us to begin to do exactly what I’m attempting to do with my make-up: cover up, hide and control.
We change our personalities to fit those around us. We manipulate people for our benefit. We attempt to control the outcomes for our own protection. We buy things we can’t afford. We fix – we change – we wear a mask. But it’s never enough. The more we hide, the more we need to hide and the stronger the fear becomes. We trade peace for temporary satisfaction that only leaves us longing for more. We choose to live with and manage the fear instead of actually doing something about it. Therefore, we attempt to fill a spiritual void with earthy things – so the cycle continues.
So how do we stop this madness? How do we live our authentic selves without all this insecurity, worry and fear?
Well one of my favorite verses is found in 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety (your fear) on him because he cares for you”. Now read that again. The word “cast” has always stood out to me. One definition of cast is to throw forcefully. Or, for some of the rednecks out there like me – to chuck (no joke, that’s in the dictionary). Regardless of how you say it, cast (in this case) is a verb, which requires action. We must actively and continually cast, or throw, our cares to God. Not passively or calmly hand them over to God – cast with force. Give it up, people. Not half way. Not “just this once”. Lay it all out on the table – all the fears – all the anxiety – all the worry – all the insecurities – all the time – continually – CAST YOUR FEARS!
God was so serious about this fear thing that he mentioned it over, and over, and over in the bible. “Do not fear”. “Do not be afraid”. “Do not worry”. You see, He knew that we would struggle with fear. And, He knew the outcomes if we allowed this fear to control us. He knew that it would keep us from being the person He created us to be. It’s like He’s begging us to allow the fear to draw us closer to Him and out of hiding. He’s urging us to CAST OUR FEARS and let Him control the outcomes.
So there I sat, looking in there mirror and began to cast. I prayed quietly to myself as not to terrify the whisperer and said “no” I will not trade my peace for temporary satisfaction. I will not be controlled by this fear. I will buy what I budgeted for but nothing else. Now, does that mean I will stop slathering that magic wrinkle cream on my face every night or stop wearing make-up? Girl, please – I may even go back, when I can afford it, and buy more potion. But, I will not make that decision based on fear and insecurity. I will cast before I buy, so to speak. And, the next time perfect mommy waltzes into daycare with her homemade treats and beautiful flowing hair, I will still likely feel a wave of insecurity. But, I will cast all that insecurity on Him, for He cares for me – and I will know that I am enough.