Fear and insecurity are insidious.
They form in unlikely places. They germinate easily. They propagate with the slightest encouragement and always thrive in the same environment – darkness.
I recently sat with a woman I’d known for years. Not a friend, per se, but an acquaintance. One I had shared friendly greetings with, warm hellos, but a woman I didn’t really know.
It’s amazing how much we don’t really know.
Health issues had plagued her body and brought real physical limitations. But even more than that, insecurities had ravaged her heart. She was less than others, she knew it. And she was convinced everyone else knew it too.
At one time she wondered what everyone thought of her. She answered the question for herself. Truth was replaced with lies and darkness incubated the whole process. And it grew.
It became painful to see other people, knowing what they thought, knowing how inadequate she was. Those very thoughts festered and grew and claimed property in her heart and mind until they felt all-consuming until they weighed her down with a load she was never meant to carry.
And she broke.
In a single moment, it all came spilling out. Lies seeped from dark places and became exposed as she shared what she knew to be true. And as it lay there, in the open and in the light, we began to sort it out for what it was.
It’s funny how light changes things.
Together we began to see these hideous and distorted lies for what they were. It took no convincing; it was obvious. Laughable, really.
Truth does that for us. Light does that. Shame cannot live and lies have no shelf life, in the Light.
Unfortunately, none of us are exempt from this harboring of fears and insecurities, these fears growing in dark and lonely places. This woman was not a rare case.
Darkness blinds us all. Darkness allows us to believe what it not true, know what is not real and, like a tumor, like cancer, it grows and claims the healthy spots of our heart.
You will be convinced you are inadequate. You are not enough. You are a failure as a mother.
You will be convinced everyone else has it together. You don’t measure up. You are a fake.
You will be shamed, marginalized and left for dead. In the dark.
We were never made for that.
But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Ephesians 5:13
That woman I sat with, through tears and through prayer, she saw Light. Lies were replaced with truth and she walked away with a holy boldness, a joy and confidence I had not seen in her before. Light does that.
Might I encourage you, friends, to not harbor fear in the dark?
We all fight insecurities at times, but don’t let them grow unattended.
Filter all of those thoughts through the Light.
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I’ve read hundreds of books in my life, many of them very good. But few have made me laugh so much, given me so much hope, and made me so eager to share its pages with my friends. ~ Elisabeth
Katie Westenberg is a wife, mother and writer who is passionate about living life bravely for the glory of our Creator and encouraging others to do the same. She enjoys country living in a small town, time spent with friends and family, and saying YES to adventure. She writes at ichoosebrave.com.