Thursday, 9 October 2008
Yes To God Tuesday - Chapter Three: Ms Confidence...
After many attempts at writing my post for this chapter, I decided to read through some other posts and then write mine. Now, it’s not that I was stumped by this chapter; it’s more the fact that my brain capacity has been somewhat stilted this week. I'm pleased to say that I didn’t even get through the first paragraph of Naomi from Among the Gum Trees post, and my writer’s block disappeared and I knew my direction for this post.
Naomi summed it up nicely in paragraph one on how I feel about confidence – “I now believe that having confidence means that we know that no matter what, God loves us. Plain and pure and simply, He loves us and therefore we live in confidence - confidence in Him, and confidence in who we are in Him.”
I certainly do believe this and God has proven to me over the last year that He is all that I need to be confident in my life and all that I do. Naomi writes how she has known that but not lived it, and I can honestly say that I have known that too, to a certainly degree, and definitely did not live it, but I now, in my 39th year of life, know it, FEEL IT, and live it.
Before that…well, I spent my late teens and all of my adult life (yes, ALL of it, until the last year) searching for confidence in the wrong places. People and possessions do NOT give you confidence. These things make you think that you’re confident in a temporal sense but they do not go through your skin and plant confidence in your soul where you really need to feel it. Only a firm belief and trust in God can do that.
I used to be the kind of girl who had to have everything organised and perfect; I had to know what I was doing step by step of the way; whether that was in my relationships, my finances or my home life. That is a really unhealthy way to do life as I found out. So now, I’m less organised than I ever used to be and have become a ‘face the fear and do it’ kind of girl.
Lisa writes that “The reality is that no matter how confident we as women want people to think we are, there are moments for all of us when the layers are not quite thick enough to keep us completely insulated.” Deep down inside I get scared and I put on a brave front to face the world from time to time, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I discussed my confidence with my best friend here yesterday and she agreed with me in that what you see is what you get with me. I don’t pretend that I’m ‘all that’ in the confidence stakes, but I am confident. I don’t pretend that I’m not vulnerable, as I will openly admit that I am. I get nervous just going outside my front door some days!
I like to look nice and be presentable when I leave the house, but there are days when I just don’t care, and that’s cool with me; I still feel confident in who I am. I like to have my house clean and tidy, but again there are days when I just don’t care; but that doesn’t’ mean that has to effect who I am as far as my confidence goes. I am confident in the fact that at that very moment in time I am loved – 100% - by my creator and that no matter what I look like, or whether my house is spotless or not, He will still love me and enable me to be all that I am for Him.
“A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.” I never used to think that I was strong enough for the journey, but my journey, especially over the last 3 years, has made me strong. Even now when I have my bad days (or weeks) I have faith that by the end of the trip I’m going to be stronger than what I was in the beginning.
One sentence that Lisa wrote really stood out to me - “Sadly, in our society, the way many women view our sexuality seems to be the litmus test about how confident and strong we are.” Society has made it so that women feel that have to look a certain way and act a certain way to be confident, and more importantly, to feel popular and loved. This is so wrong! I know all too well how the search for acceptance and love – for confidence in self – is targeted in all the wrong areas. The idea that looking a certain way, being popular with the guys (sprinkler girl has it SO wrong!) and gaining confidence through physical relations with others is not how God intended it to be. You will only feel confident until your looks fade, the guys (might I add, the shallow guys) move onto the next chick who is wearing a smaller bikini, and you’ve ‘lent’ yourself to one too many for the sake of a temporary feeling of being loved and appreciated and that feeling is gone. I know this because, outside of the sprinkler and the bikini, I have lived this!
God is my confidence. He has given me the confidence and abilities that I have now to live my life for His purpose, not mine. I will not, and I know this for fact, be a confident woman by putting on a made up face, by wearing the finest clothes, by being popular with the ‘in’ crowd, or by belittling other people and negating their ideas with mine. No, no and no!
Proverbs 3:26 sums it up nicely - “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” The snare is getting a temporary high – that feeling of worth - from a false confidence that worldly pleasures and appreciation gives. Only a God-filled life can give us the true confidence we need. Amen to that!