Why you can't afford to be an insecure mom

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Today we have a guest post from the fabulous Arabah Joy!

Arabah writes: 96th Street subway, uptown side, Oct 2009 - 15 Photo Credit {Creative Commons}

The day after I started writing this post, something odd happened.

It was Sunday and I woke up so aware of my mommy-failures, shortcomings, and the general sinfulness of my pathetic little heart, that I could hardly get out of bed. It was so bad and I felt so terrible, I asked my husband if he thought it would be okay if I stayed home from church. He wasn't keen on the idea. However, as the morning went on, he noticed that truly something was going on and he suggested I stay back to do business with the Lord. Y'all, we are the sort who don't miss church unless someone is sick. So I knew God needed to do some kind of deep work in my heart.

I just didn't know it was about this. This little post on confidence.

As I spent time with the Lord, He showed me that insecurity is much deadlier than we take it for....and He used me as the object lesson! The Lord spoke to my heart. "Beloved one, you need to know that insecurity is more than a bad feeling. Insecurity is an invitation for Satan."  He then brought to mind one of Satan's names: "Accuser of the brethren." When we give insecurity an ear, we open the door for Satan to do his work~ that of deceiving, killing, stealing, and destroying. Put another way, insecurity is a cover-up for deadly and destructive devil play. That's the bad news.

There's good news too. The Bible clearly gives us the tool to conquer insecurity and walk in full confidence in the Lord. From Moses' example in Exodus 3-4, we see that there are three main types of insecurity:

1. Identity Insecurity

This is how we define ourselves. To recognize it, listen for internal "I am..." and "I am not..." statements. What identity insecurity may look like on a mom: "I am a failure. I'm messing up my kids." "I am a throwaway. My kids would be better off without me." "I am fat. My family is ashamed of me."

2. Ability Insecurity

This is when we focus on our shortcomings, our weaknesses, our inabilities, our unmet expectations of ourselves. What ability insecurity may look like on a mom: "My child is deprived because I can't provide.... for him/her." "Normal moms are doing ... with their children, but I am struggling just to keep things together." "I just don't have what it takes to parent these children."

3. Credibility Insecurity

This has to do with how we think others perceive us. We want to appear competent, have a proven record of success, and be acknowledged by our peers and others as credible. What credibility insecurity may look like on a mom: "I wonder if she thinks I'm a bad parent because she saw me ...." "If I don't discipline/educate/nurture/feed/etc. my child this certain way, I won't measure up to the others moms." "Who will listen to me when I have kids who...?"

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, I have really good news for you! Right here in Moses' encounter with God, God gives us the tool to nix insecurity. Here it is:

Focus on God.

That's it. There is no fancy formula, no need to spend three years learning Hebrew to figure it out, just the simple instruction to intentionally focus your thoughts on God, not yourself. At the core of insecurity is an inward focus on self. The cure is to make God your confidence by focusing on His person, presence, provision, and grace. No matter how we've blown it or how lacking we are, He is sufficient.

How to become a Confident Mom:

{A 10 Minute exercise that will change your life}

1. Get three index cards. 2. On the first card, write "When I feel insecure about my identity..." 3. On the second card, write "When I feel insecure about my ability..." 4. On the third card, write "When I feel insecure about my credibility..." 5. On the back of card one, you are going to summarize how God dealt with Moses' identity insecurity. {We can follow the same strategy!} When Moses gave God an identity statement, God's reply was to instruct Moses to focus on His name, His presence, and His attributes. (Read Exodus 3:11-17) One of my favorite ways to focus on the names or attributes of God is to go through the alphabet, assigning a name or an attribute to each letter, and then meditating on each for a minute or two. {Example: A for Adonai; B for Bread of Life; C for Compassionate} On the back of your card, write down several of the names, attributes, and promises of God that will specifically counteract your identity insecurity. What you are trying to do is create a tailor-made game plan for conquering this insecurity. 6. On the back of card two, you are going to record God's solution for ability insecurity. This is basically His sovereignty in creating you, His faithfulness to complete the work He started, His sufficiency given you, and His promise to teach you everything you need to know, each step of the way. (Read Exodus 4: 10-12) You may want to review Psalm 139 as part of your game plan for this insecurity. 7. On the back of card three, you are going to write down how God addressed Moses' credibility insecurity. Here, God tells Moses that his validation will come from God Himself. Wow. We need not worry about what others think of us or look for their approval. God will give all the validation we need. {Read Exodus 4:1-5} This insecurity can be particularly strong among moms... especially if you have a child with special needs or outside the "normal" box. A personal strategy I use for this insecurity is to use James 4:10, which says, "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up."

We have the promise of God Himself to lift us up and to validate us. Therefore, we should be using every opportunity we can to humble ourselves, yes? Criticism, disapproval, slights, and the like, are great opportunities to go low.

Now you have your game plan for when an insecurity is triggered. Keep your cards handy to serve as a "cheat sheet." Whenever you feel insecure, pull out your cards, ask God to help focus your mind on Him, then implement the strategy He gave Moses. The Word of God is powerful! So kick that insecurity to the curb.

Arabah Joy and her family have served as missionaries to East Asia for the past ten years. {Please pray for them as they return to the field this month?} She has been married to Jackson for eighteen years and is the mother of four children. She has also authored a guide on how to increase energy. You can find her writing at Arabah Joy.