In just two days time, I’ll be bearing a bit of my heart here on this blog. I’ll be sharing my story, my part of the Thursday series – Verdict on Value. And once again, I find myself a little afraid. 🙂
It happens sometimes when you write, especially when the subject matter brings up conflicting emotions. You may feel confident at first, but then you begin to doubt and fear. You face your own insecurity.
Will the words really matter? Will others understand? Have I handled this subject fairly?
And the worst of all fears. What will people think?
That’s really what it boils down to: how others might receive those carefully penned or typed words, some that brought forth smiles and fond memories and others that brought forth tears and sorrow.
I’ve been learning my whole life it seems how to let go of that pressure, the pressure to be perfect. And not that anyone ever told me I had to be, because they didn’t, but that I convinced myself it was necessary, like so many other undesired sacrifices.
I wanted to be the good girl, the best girl, and if I’m being really honest there is still some little part of me that wants this, too.
I see it now even in one of my young sons. He yearns for praise. I often catch him bragging because he yearns for others to see how wonderful he is. And truly, he is wonderful (especially in this mama’s eyes), but it hurts me to see him striving so at such a young age.
At the same time it reminds me that I still struggle myself.
So, how can I help him to see the truths that I’m still learning to recognize?
I can only hope that being honest, taking down the facade, and admitting my own fear and insecurity will help him to recognize that we all fall short, we all do. Ever since the days of paradise and a forbidden apple eaten, we all fall short.
I can only hope that teaching him of a Savior who turns those weaknesses into strengths,
who has a plan for him,
who loves him just for who he is and not what he does,
who cherished him even before he was born,
who welcomes him with open arms when he fails – I can only hope that such knowledge will sink deep roots into his young heart much earlier than those truths began to sink into mine.
I’ve been reading Jennifer Dukes Lee’s posts about our Love Idols, and I’m realizing how early it starts, this yearning to be approved by this world when we are already approved by the Maker of this world.
Even from those early toddler calls of “Look at me, mommy!”, we want to be seen, to be valued, to be approved.
“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?
Or am I striving to please men?”
Gal. 1:10 (a)
Sadly, some of us Christ-followers, will spend our entire lives chasing that approval, all the while fearing that we just aren’t good enough.
We’ll miss the irony that we are already pre-approved by the most powerful Person in all of creation because of His Son!
If we could only grasp that early on and not waste precious years searching for something we already have in our possession.
But we can, friends.
We can begin right now.
We can ferret out those love idols in our lives and hand them over to our gracious and loving Father. We can cling to the hope of imperfect progress and proclaim the bold truths of Philippians 1:6!
We can share with others what we are doing and ask them to do the same. We can speak truth to our children about this pre-approval, bought at the price of a one and only Son.
I’m asking the Lord to help me lay down my fear and insecurity, my need for human approval and perceived perfection. I’m asking Him to work in the hearts of my children, that they will learn early on what it means to be cherished by the One True God, King of Kings, Sovereign Lord, the Most High.
I’m asking the Father to open their eyes wide to these truths.
And I’m asking for you, too, my friends, that you will see how fearfully and wonderfully made you are in the eyes of your Creator.
We who’ve been painted red that we might be white as snow.
I’m banishing fear for tonight in favor of truth.
Join me, will you?
For more information on the Love Idol movement, check out the facebook page!
I’m sharing this here:
The Time Warp Wife, Rich Faith Rising, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Wholehearted Home, A Little R&R,
Woman to Woman,Titus 2 Tuesday,Cornerstone Confessions,
Thank you! I struggle with the same love- idols in my life as well. I want approval and fear what people may think of me way to much. I want to be free! Have prayed about this for so long in my life. I believe that God is working in me and I am thankful for your story it helps me realize that I am not alone and He will complete the work that He started in me. God Bless! 🙂
Yes, Sandra, I think many of us have struggled in the dark for too long, thinking we were all alone. Because that’s the way the Enemy likes us – isolated and discouraged. I’m so thankful for the voices I’ve been reading lately that are adding to God’s message to me that I’m already His beloved. I look forward to that completion someday, too!
WholeHearted Home Judith Kowles says
Jen, this was a really sweet post.
Thank you, Judith! I appreciate the encouragement.
Lovely post, Jen. Being a words of affirmation gal myself, I hear you. Hearing words of praise is something I crave and long for, and any negative word turns my heart to mush. I know this is how I’m wired, but I know I need to listen to the Voice of the only One who matters.
Thanks, Jenn, I think that need is common to mankind, although obviously stronger in some than in others. 🙂 I appreciate you leaving me some encouragement here!
You hit on a topic we all struggle with and I’m so glad you took the time to share your heart. Part of the journey is learning to be honest and admitting our fears. Yes, i believe your son will learn from watching you grow in Christ. What wonderful knowledge that we are PRE-APPROVED!! Amen for that!
We are our own worst enemy sometimes – and Satan feeds those fears and insecurities.
I find freedom in Ecclesiastes where we are told that all of our work here is vanity. It has its purpose here, there are things we must keep busy doing – but those things are not the be-all-end-all and they don’t define me. What defines me is the things I choose to do based upon the Father who loved me enough to send His Son on my behalf.
Choosing based on His will, living in the protection of His love and under His law – those things give us confidence to tell the world and Satan’s ideas of who we should be to go fly a kite.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Donna Reidland says
Jen, great post! I grew up being “the good girl.” That became my identity. Of course, I wasn’t really, but that’s who I thought I was. It was a heavy burden keeping up that facade. God had to let me see just how “not-good” I was in my own strength before I could see my need for Him. But the flip side is the struggle you talked about here. Praying we all come to realize we are “pre-approved.” Love that phrase!
It’s a great phrase, isn’t it?! I can’t claim it though – it came from Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book Love Idol. 🙂