something beautiful. (insecurity: part 2)

It’s been a while since I talked about Beth Moore’s book “So Long, Insecurity”, so here we go.

It’s high time we got our dignity back. Let’s just be real, here. How long has mankind (or womankind, for that matter) stood by the wall and said, “Oh, it’s cool. I don’t need my security. No one else out there has it. I’m good”? Whoa. I feel like there are secure people out there, even if they’re by backroads in Timbuktu. They’re there somewhere and I plan on joining them someday. Take the journey with me. We’ll only get there through the Father, but He’s ever willing to lend a hand.

Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity…”. Now that’s good Joe.

Now, read it again. But really READ it this time. Read each word.

Think about it. Ponder away, my friend.

—————————————————————–

Let’s break it down, shall we? I guess I should say “unpack.” I love when speakers say that. It makes me feel like we’re going camping. Which is intense. Get it? Intense…in tents…yeah. Alright.

She is clothed with strength and dignity.

She

Beth talks in her book about how Scripture has a bit of a preference for male gender references, which is no big deal to her…or to me, for that matter. Sure, the body of believers is referred to as the “sons of God”, but we’re also “the bride of Christ.” I feel like we’re equal in that stature. In this passage, however, God uses “she” which is clearly, significantly female. This passage is meant for the female journey.

Is Clothed

“We are not nearly as likely to react with the same level of insecurity when we remember how well covered we are by God” (BM). God’s love covers us like a security blanket. That feeling of being overexposed is almost unbearable sometimes. Do you know that feeling? When it seems like there’s a spotlight on you with a little dry-erase board propped up by your side listing everything you don’t want people to know? I’m pretty visual…so that’s what I’m seeing in my head right now. Walk with me, here. We forget that God’s love is so vast and unmeasurable, it covers us and then some. There’s leftovers! There are scraps for us to use on other people. I don’t like referring to leftovers of God’s love as scraps…but it goes with the visual.

With Strength

Strength is a huge part of the journey towards security. “Nothing makes a woman feel weaker than insecurity” (BM).  Ain’t that the truth, ya’ll! Oh, I went there. Insecurity has a way of making us cower back into the corner and wait for the storm to pass. There is nothing weak about Jesus Christ, though. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Renew! Fresh and new every morning, yet strong and everlasting. “If Christ is your Savior, sister, you are completely covered by a cloak of strength” (BM).

And Dignity

Did you know that the word translated “wife” in most versions of Proverbs 31:10 is a word that also simply means “woman”? This section is commonly titled “The wife of noble character.” In the context of verses 10-31, the woman was married, so the translation of “wife” worked well. However, these verses work for an unmarried woman, as well. Win for the singles! We get to have dignity, too! We can be women of noble character. That tagline doesn’t come after a wedding. The Bible talks about how God crowned us with dignity (Psalm 8:5), which is really cool. “He wrapped it as a crown right around our minds, just where we need it most” (BM). However, dignity isn’t something we always feel like a warm beanie on our heads. It’s something we have to claim because it is, literally, our God given right.

You are clothed with strength and dignity. I am clothed with strength and dignity.

There are a lot of gifts that are given to us from the Father. Many of them, we’ll never stare in the face and accept. Security is definitely one of those. There’s an enemy out there that wants us to flee from strength and dignity, and sometimes that enemy is the one looking back at us in the mirror. Why do we run from security, friends?

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

-Caitlyn

Listening to: Christy Nockels. She’s the woman.

*(BM) means the quote is from Beth Moore’s book, “So Long, Insecurity.”

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curse you, Eve. (insecurity: part 1)

I’ll have some choice words with her when I get to Heaven. We’ll need a mediator.

I’ve been a part of a Bible study that meets on Tuesday mornings. We’re going through Beth Moore’s book “So Long, Insecurity.” It’s been awesome so far. At first, it was difficult for me because I wasn’t exactly sure what my insecurities were. It’s hard to fill a hole when you can’t find where it is, after all. As I read the first chapter, I immediately discovered what I struggle with: validation and acceptance.

Everyone wants to be loved in some way. I like when people like me, pure and simple. I tend to go out of my way to please people and make sure everyone’s happy. I’m sure my parents are nodding as they read this. I’m that way to my core and I always have been. I used to be lacking in confidence, and I still am to a point. Where does confidence come from? Magazine covers and movies? Hollywood and runways? Yeah, for a lot of people. But as Christians, where should our confidence stem from? From God, of course. What’d you think I was going to say?

Our confidence should come from our validation in Christ. His sacrifice alone proves we are worthy of love. He loves us no matter what we do or think. No one on earth can offer that same promise.

How do we do that, though? It’s easy to say: My confidence is in Christ. But how do we reach the point where our heart agrees with our souls? We have to find who God is. When we do that, we’ll start uncovering our identities in Him. My prayer is, “I am who You created me to be. I’m not concerned with anything but glorifying You.” At first, I may not have fully believed that prayer, but I wanted to be able to say it whole heartedly. And in time, that’s exactly what I believe. I don’t care what anyone says about me. I only care what God has said about me and His plan for my life.

Satan uses insecurities as his battle cry. He is the writer of insecurities. They’re simply lies that Satan has fed the world that the world, in turn, feeds to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7 [The Message] says, “If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.”

Insecurities cause us to question God. We wonder if He knows what He’s doing, if He really knows us. We lose sight of the gift God has given each of us and our view of the world gets all wonky. His voice is the one we need to hear. It all comes full circle back to the Fall of Man in that Garden of Eden. Eve believed the lies of the serpent that God was holding something back from her. She fell to the ways of sin and we pay the price for it every day. As nice as it would be to push all the blame solely on her, that’d be a lie. We’re pretty guilty, ourselves. We choose to believe the lies of the world rather than trust in the truths of God. Why are we like that?

At the end of this post, I’m posting a video of one of my favorite songs. (One thing about me is that I have a lot of “jams”. This is definitely one of them.) My favorite line in this song is “Why are you looking for love?/Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough?/To where will you go, child/Tell me where will you run?” That’s one of my insecurities all tied up with a pretty ribbon. We are constantly searching for our prince charming or true love, but the kicker is…He’s already here! Our culture feeds us the lie, ladies, that only a man can make you happy and fulfilled, but true fulfillment lies with the Father, and the Father alone. Why do we tell ourselves any different? I’m excited to see what this Bible study uncovers about me and I’ll write about my discoveries in insecurity as we go.

-Caitlyn

Listening to: “By Your Side” by Tenth Avenue North

the combination of a student retreat and a rap song.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of going with Agone Student Ministry, from First Baptist Church of Bowie, to Camp Copass for their Spring retreat. The theme was “Back to Basics” and we studied these verses:

“I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.” Hebrews 5:11-14 [The Message]

Lately, I’ve been struggling with having a daily quiet time. My friend, Alexz, and I have been working through Beth Moore’s study called “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things” together and have been able to meet every week to discuss the daily readings and hold each other accountable. The problem is, we’ve both been finding it difficult to actually do the readings every day.

We kept focusing on setting goals like, “If I do at least two of these daily entries every week…I’ll be okay” or “I did two last week…so I’ll do three this week.” The problem is, that’s not the point of doing a bible study.

God wants us to find time for Him every single day. Whether it’s 30 minutes or 10, He deserves it. If we have to wake up earlier or stay up later, He’s worth it. At the retreat, we talked about how if we give God 1/100 of each day, that’s roughly 10 minutes.

Revelation 3:15-16 says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Wow. Spit us out of His mouth. I’ve read those verses before over the years, but I’ve never been so caught off guard by those words. God doesn’t want us to sometimes focus on Him. He’d rather us either choose Him every day or not at all. In Lecrae’s song “New Reality”, he says,

“Well cold water we drink, hot water we cook
But lukewarm does nothing it just sits and it looks
And that’s you imagine these as the words of Christ.”

Cold water has a use. Hot water has a use. But lukewarm water? It sits there and has no purpose; it doesn’t help anyone. The majority of Christians out there are in this stage of life. We talk the talk, but ignore the whole walking part.

Instead of focusing on completing a certain number of daily bible readings a week, focus on spending at least 10 minutes every day working through the studies. Start your day with God. Dedicate the day to come to Him. God’s really been using multiple things to get my attention in this area. Music, the retreat, a speaker at DNow in Van Alstyne, everything around me seems to be illuminating the importance of spending time in His word every day.

You can’t fight a war without training, experience or knowledge, after all.

We don’t deserve God’s constant love or His omnipresence, yet He’s there for us. He deserves our everything, every moment of every day, yet how much are you giving Him?

-Caitlyn

Listening to: “New Reality” by Lecrae ft. Chinua Hawk

a song about Myspace.

I have a tendency to think certain songs were written for me. Literally written for me. I met Britt Nicole a few years ago and had a really good conversation with her. Then, all of a sudden, she wrote the song “Hanging On”. To this day, I think that song is about me and the chat we had. There’s another song I can strangely relate to:

“MySpace Girl” by The Afters

Now, I have met The Afters, as well. But, that was after the release of this song, so I don’t have any claim to it. Why can I relate to this song? Because it explains my walk with God.

Go with me on this one.

If you haven’t heard it before, click on this link in order to get acquainted with the song, first. And if you already know the song and you haven’t ever seen the music video, click it. It’s pretty entertaining.

Are you ready for this? Here we go.

“You asked me what I wanted…/I replied, ‘I’ll have some fries’/So mesmerized, my heart was over driving through.” When I was younger, I would pray for various things, such as help on a test or help with a friend. God wants to give us so many things, such as his love and grace, but sometimes all we ask for are little things here and there. We hyperfocus on whatever it is we’re asking for and when he delivers, we move on to something else.

“I searched within 500 miles to find/Any clue just as to who I’ve fallen for/’Cause you’ve got me and I’ve got time.” When I went to church camp for the first time, I felt God’s deep and perfect love scoop me up. I wanted to know the source of that love and everything about Him that I could. If He had a Myspace, I would have friend requested Him. Then after a while, the high went down and I forced God to wait until I was ready to really follow Him.

“I saw your picture on Myspace/Maybe someday we can turn it into our space, baby/I don’t care how long it takes/I’m saving space in my top 8 for you.” I got to a point in my life where I was ready to follow God and truly pursue Him, but wasn’t sure where to start, so I saved Him a seat in my heart. I caught a glimpse of what my life could be like fully circling around Him,  but thought I had to be an adult so I could make choices like “should I go to church this morning” and God would love me more. I kept looking for the future so that I could really let God in and be a part of my life. I fed myself the lie that because I was young, I couldn’t make a change or really connect with God, but the Bible says in 1 Timonty 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Don’t let anybody, especially yourself, feed you the lie that you aren’t good enough or old enough to really pursue God.

“The second time you were so nice/I loved the way you told me to enjoy my day/But I know what you meant to say instead/Was really that you wanted us to run away.” When I came to the realization that God had a purpose for my life (Jer. 29:11), I ran back to His ever-open arms. God doesn’t greet us with a “where the heck have you been” or a “it’s about time” when we come crawling back, but rather He welcomes us with love and forgiveness. God doesn’t want us to repeat these situations, though. He doesn’t want us to have a life where we pursue our own interests, then come back to Him, then repeat. He’s not a shampoo bottle. He wants us to fall completely in love with Him; to live a life with Him forever.

“I said ‘Let’s go, I’ll pack my clothes/Just promise me you’ll wear that purple dress you have”/You look so cute when you’re confused/You backed away and asked me how I knew about that.” Remember in this situation, God is the “I”. This is the stage I’m at in my life. I’m ready to really fall in love with God and I’m actively pursuing Him. I’m in the lusty stage of a relationship with Him, which I feel like is a sin…because it’s lust. It’s like I have a super huge crush on God. Stop laughing. It’s the only way I can think of describing it. God’s gung-ho about our love and has spoken to me through many avenues lately. Through Beth Moore’s bible study called “David: Seeking a Heart Like His“, God’s been speaking to me daily. I’m amazed at how what I’ve been studying has weaseled it’s way into my daily life and I’m shocked at how God knows more about my heart than I do.

“I know you’re scared/I know our love is crazy/And I’m so crazy/You make me crazy for you.” This summarizes my weaknesses. “Crazy” is a good word to describe His love, because that’s exactly what it is. And yes, I’m scared of the magnitude of that love. God’s love is beyond words. John 3:16 tells more about His love than anything else I can think of and it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” For all you parents out there, think about sacrificing your only child. Can you imagine loving anything else enough that you would sacrifice your child to protect it? God loves us so much that He was willing to do that. He wants us to spend an eternity with Him instead of an eternity in the hands of the greatest fun-sucker of all time.

This entire post hit me while my IPod was on shuffle last night. Part of pursuing God is that you find His beauty in everything, even a song about Myspace.

And The Afters, if you’re reading this…I know this blog is stretching the entire premise of the song into the stratosphere, but I hope it made you chuckle…even just a little bit.

Are there any songs you guys can manipulate to be about God, even when you know they weren’t written for that purpose?

-Caitlyn

Listening to: Obviously I’m listening to “Myspace Girl” by The Afters.