Spiritual Growth and Encouragement for Christian Women

7 Steps to Being Secure in Who You Are

7 Steps to Being Secure in Who You Are

Ugly, worthless and unlovable, that’s what my mind repeated over and over again during sleepless nights. What happened? My life didn’t start out this way. I was happy, healthy and living my dream. I was married to a man who loved me and was crazy about our three small sons.

But the happily ever after ended when a retinal disease invaded my life. The progress began slow at first.

Then, in a matter of 18 months, the small portion of eyesight I had left closed in completely. Desperate searches for a cure ended in nothing. What remained was the reminder that I’d never see again.

Never. Why me? Why now? Our small sons needed me. How could I be a normal mom? What kind of wife would I be?

The answer to that question came with cruelty. My husband came home from work one evening. He sat across from me at our kitchen table. “We have to talk,” he said, “I can’t go on with this marriage. I have someone else in my life.”

I stared in his direction. Paralyzed. Who could blame him? Who would want to be married to a blind woman?

That woman, once confident, poised and driven was gone. My self-confidence had been shoved into the garbage disposal of life. At 31, I was emotional pulp ready to be discarded.

Maybe your mess has nothing to do with blindness. Maybe uneasiness about who you are came from lies that play in your mind since you were young. And that reminder repeats: the mistakes you made can’t be corrected. The abuse you endured made you a victim. You can’t recover from that rejection. The unfairness that seared left you emotionally disabled. Or, maybe you can’t identify the reason for that lack of self-confidence, the same one others seem to have.

Good news. The reason doesn’t matter. Here’s what’s important: that we walk out of the prison of insecurities. And with a new kind of boldness, take these seven steps to freedom.

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1. Release and let go the world’s lures

1. Release and let go the world’s lures

We don’t even realize it, but without mercy, we’re bombarded. From the billboards along the road, to the TV commercials and ads on social media, they dictate our path. They tell us what mascara will make us sexy, what diet will make us thin, what partner will make us happy. All those ads add to the pressure to get what we don’t need. To buy what we can’t afford. And to desire what’s not important.

 Pretty soon the pressure rises like the temperature in Orlando’s summer. In the heat of stress, we look in the mirror and see pitiful imperfections.

But all changes when we look away from the lures and look up instead. Rather than discontent, we find contentment and gratitude for who we are in God’s eyes, how we were made and with a smile in our heart, we confess to the Lord: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14

What God did in us, for us and through us is enough.

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2. Rejoice in the present

2. Rejoice in the present

The events of the past influence our perception of who we are today. But they don’t have to determine our tomorrows. Those past experiences are divided in two categories: those for which we had no control. And those of our own doing. Similar to preparing the laundry, we sort them out. That’s when God’s grace comes in. Though we don’t deserve it, His grace washes yesterday’s stains.

 No longer lamenting what was in the past, we begin  living in the richness of the present instead.

With His kindness and compassion He erases regret, guilt and self-pity.

“With everlasting kindness, I will have compassion on you,' says the LORD your Redeemer." Isaiah 54:8b

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Moses is the example. When God instructed him to get His people out of Egypt, Did Moses pull his shoulders back, hold his head high, and grin with courage at the challenge? He didn’t. Instead, he hid under the cloak of his insecurities, quickly reminding God about his stuttering problem. But God didn’t accept that excuse. Nor did He remove Moses’ flaw. He used him just the way he was—with his self-imposed insecurity, with his shyness and unfounded inadequacies.

God will use us too, how we are, where we are. The plans He prepared ahead for us will be fulfilled either in spite of our deficiencies or because of them.

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

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4. Rest in His solid promises

4. Rest in His solid promises

Whether rejection, or physical disability or abuse of any kind shakes our world, His love remains solid. He remains trustworthy. And He remains so personally strong for us individually; right when we need Him. Right where we need Him.

And ever so intimately, He whispers this promise to our soul: “...Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

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5. Remember God knows our secrets

5. Remember God knows our secrets

Remember God knows our secrets. No one might notice the wounds and hurt that stole our security. We tucked them away. Yet, no matter how we try to cover them, in private, silent moments, they taunt us. But God is aware. He’s familiar with the details that caused restlessness, the ones that stir shame, regret and sorrow. They all call His attention. He’s waiting for us to release them to Him. He’s ready to ease the pain and bring relief for the heartache.

They’re safe because “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13

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6. Regain boldness

6. Regain boldness

Others seem to thrive. They meet their goals. They live their dreams. And what do we do? Sink into the poor-me hole? Never... Not anymore. We now have Jesus, the master in restoration. The Divine source of confidence. He invites you and me to sit beside Him and, with faith-filled boldness ask Him to fill us with His wisdom—to appreciate what He has done, what He will do and how He will fill what we think we lack.

That’s when trust grows and doubt fades.

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12

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7. Reject lies

7. Reject lies

We may feel inferior because we got caught in the compare snare. We covet gifts others show off. We focus on what we can’t do, don’t have or shouldn’t try. That mindset emphasizes the negative. They blind us from seeing beyond our flaws. That’s because they are the deceptions courtesy of Satan. He cheers each time we believe him. But we triumph when we declare that we are who God says we are. We are how He sees us. We have the potential of which He spoke before we were born. We expect the best because that’s what He will give.

And we rest in the arms of His love because, “He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

And it’s in His singing that I found the melody of confidence. No more slave to the poor-me mentality. My blindness didn’t define me, dictate my path or determine my destiny. God did.

And He determines yours too. In your weakness, He’s strong. In your deficiencies, he’s powerful. In your flaws, He’s faithful. And in your doubt, He’s compassionate. Who you are is as important as whose you are.

And you’re His. Looking into the mirror, we don’t see someone who’s blind, lame, wounded, rejected or insecure. We see the image painted by Christ’s love. We see the richness because of His strength. We look at the confidence wrapped in the freedom He gives.

That freedom is real and permanently ours because “… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 7:34

And through that freedom, the view becomes clearer. No more longing to be like someone else. No more wishing we were different, better or greater. In Christ we surpassed it all.

With that promise, let’s dance in victory. Knowing that His power is at work in us, reassurance is born. Contentment comes. And new joy appears, blossoms and overflows.

Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker, author and founder of JC Empowerment Ministries. Her passion is to teach and coach you to overcome fear, thrive in relationships and reach personal and professional success. Learn more at www.janetperezeckles.com

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