I am a very insecure person. Just ask my husband, pastor or therapist. But the of the (many) things I am insecure about is my faith. Weirdly its not the actual faith in God part. I have been solid in that since childhood. I KNOW there is a God and that He is always with me. I may have ignored Him at times, but even in those moments I knew He existed.
My insecurities really are around my expression of my faith. Here is why:
1) I worry that I sound crazy…because I do…even to myself. Let’s face it: anytime someone said they have a message from God, they sound nutzo. We don’t take them seriously. Just smile, nod, and move on before they get their crazy on you. I am what I call a “touchy feely” Christian. I know God because I can feel Him. I’ve learned over the years to recognize when He is doing something in my life. He has a certain voice…or just vibe. I know His character because of knowing Him over the years, just like you would a lifelong friend or sibling.
Because I can’t give proof, or even describe it well, I sound end up sounding crazy. Saying “I just know” is not proof of anything. A lot of people “know” stuff, and end up shooting a president or drinking the Koolaid of some cult. When stuff is based off of feelings it’s really hard to take serious. Do I actually feel God or just have a hormonal imbalance? I am confident about what I know in my heart, but I also know that no one else has to take me seriously about it. I wouldn’t necessarily take others seriously (I am completely judgemental at times, it’s plain horrible, I know. I am working on it.) so why wouldn’t others feel the same about me?
So I hesitate big time in expressing how I know God, because so much is based off on feelings.
2) I can’t back it up with scripture. To be blunt, I always worry if my understanding of theological issues (salvation, sanctification, why God is the way He is, etc..) is correct. I am not a theologian. I don’t explore the deep questions of the universe. I am a simple girl with simple questions. On top of it, I have the hardest time memorizing scriptures. My husband is amazing in the way he can tell you different stories of the Bible and connect them with other scriptures in different books of the Bible… he is a Bible encyclopedia. And for the record, I find it very sexy (I know you think “That’s really weird”, trust me I know, but yet it is).
But back to me. I start off my knowledge about the Bible with “There was this one story…with Peter….Paul??? Maybe a Saul….? And he said this thing….and there was a talking dinosaur.” Okay, maybe I at least know there were no dinosaurs in the Bible, but you get my point. I try my hardest to read the Bible every day and get a lot out of it when I do, but in general, scripture isn’t my thing.
Because of my lack of knowledge or decent memory of the Bible, I really fear that I misunderstand certain biblical truths. You can’t get more correct than from the source (Bible) but when you don’t know the Bible super well, it causes problems. I am working on this, but it’s hard. It makes me hesitant to express my faith and beliefs for fear that I will either not explain them appropriately (lots of use of “a thing” and “that person” and “maybe said”), or be flat out wrong. I grew up in Catholic school where you literally pass or fail religion. I think I still carry some of that fear of getting an F around with me.
3) I hate preachy people. There was a time I knew God but wasn’t Christian. People who were preachy, pushy, and came off as judgemental, I ran from. It kept me away from coming back to the church on multiple occasions. I am terrified of doing that to someone else accidentally. I am much more a lead by example and show your faith through the life you live type person. If you look at my Facebook page I talk a lot about my involvement at church, but less about my actual faith. I think evangelize-by-example is okay, but sometimes my fear of driving someone away makes me insecure about saying anything about my faith or being truthful with how I feel in the moment. That is not okay. I need to trust more in others around me that maybe they have more patience, understanding, and love me enough that if I do border the line of preachy, that they’ll love me anyways.
With all this drama going on with my son, it has made me care much less about insecurities. I am more confident in myself and don’t really have the emotional capacity to care about what people may thinking. It’s been a huge blessing that way. In that I have started being a bit more honest on Facebook, and definitely much more out there in this blog. Today, someone I respect immensely said publicly that the faith I have been expressing during this time of crisis through talking and on this blog is an example of “real faith.” So I must be doing something right then. I’ve put myself out there, expressing my faith in ways I never have before, and people seem to be responding, to care, to love me anyways. It’s amazing. It hasn’t taken away my insecurities, but I feel much more courage to get past them now. Just to be me. Part of being me is expressing my faith, which is such a pillar in my life.