UPDATED January 26, 2018 I’m updating this important post from my friend Carrie Crawford, who spent her first day in heaven today. When her cancer returned this summer, she was bold and beautiful, ever encouraging each of us to “fully receive the love the Father has for you.” As you read her words (and hopefully, take her advice), please remember her husband, Jarrod, their three young sons, her parents Cheryl and Shawn, and all who loved her in your prayers.
ORIGINALLY POSTED October 19, 2015 Did you ever make a new friend who had been there all along? Carrie Crawford is one of those friends for me. We have a long history but a short friendship; we crossed paths many times but didn’t make the time to get to know one another until recently. I wish you had the opportunity to sit with her in the window of a pizza place with red checked curtains sipping sodas like I did. In the meantime, this guest post will introduce you to her heart and her faith. Carrie, thank you for sharing light and hope with us.
The Cure for Insecurity
Guest Post by Carrie Crawford
“I just don’t like who I am right now,” I said, unsuccessfully holding back tears. My husband and I were driving and conversing late into the night on our way home from vacation.There had been so many changes in my life recently and my expectations didn’t match my reality: job loss, new church and friends, sudden and unprecedented anxiety issues for one of our sons, and new breasts.
Yes. You read that right.
At age 35, I got the devastating news that I had early stage breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy and thankfully, that was the only treatment needed. But as I hit the 6 month post-reconstructive surgery mark, instead of looking in the mirror and feeling grateful to be alive, I murmured, “Ugggh. Yes, I am alive and well, but these scars are terrible.”
I tried to do cool, fun things with my kids on summer vacation, but felt mostly like a failure as getting a slushy at Dairy Queen was the most exciting outing of the week.
I deeply desired to finish writing my first book. I got a massive case of writer’s block, so I achieved nothing except for amassing guilt in my head over not writing.
All my relationships felt weird. From my relationship with God to my marriage. Weird, weird, weird. I had never felt so out of sorts before in my whole life. I was conflicted and anxious. So I hid.
Hiding is a response born in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, what did they do? They hid themselves with fig leaves fashioned by their own hands. And interestingly, they covered the parts of their bodies designed specifically for intimacy, vulnerability, and creation. We do the same thing when insecurity hits. Not with fig leaves necessarily, but we avoid openness and connection at all costs. We evade neighborly conversations, ignore phone calls and texts, and do whatever it takes to get by without being noticed or known.
I hated to admit my insecure, shameful feelings to my husband. In doing so, I felt weak. But his response gave me strength. He said, “Well, we all love you a lot. It’s time you start doing the same.”
It was only when I heaved my insecure thoughts out into the light of vulnerable confession that I started to see the darkness of insecurity vanish.
Think about this: Satan is referred to as the Ruler or Prince of Darkness, right? If we keep our insecurities in the dark recesses of our minds, we’re practically inviting him over to play. Thankfully, we have eternal access to the Light of the World, the Bright Morning Star. Jesus is WITH us to put Satan, the playground bully, in his place! And as believers, Satan has NO place in our minds, friends.
So, what are your insecurities? Are you feeling stuck like I did? Do you realize that insecurity doesn’t only hurt you, but also those around you? When you view life through a lens of insecurity and shame, it’s tough to give love or share your faith with others. You lose the ability to see yourself as you truly are; infinitely valued and loved by God. In turn, it’s harder to see the value of others.
My challenge for each of us today is to pray and identify any areas of shame or insecurity in our lives. The next part is the hardest: Tell a trusted friend. Have them pray aloud for you, proclaiming and reminding you of your God-ordained destiny. Even though you may want to hide, you have to press into Godly relationships, prayer, and His Word like never before.
If you truly want to follow the command of Jesus in Mark 12:31, to “love your neighbor as yourself,” you’ve got to fully receive the love the Father has for you and believe You are valuable to Him.
You can only give what you possess. Our families, churches, neighbors, and world need to see the secure, honest love of Jesus. Step out from under the dark insecurities that taunt you and come into His welcoming, love-filled light today.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:5-7