Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Behind Those Eyes - Chapter 3 - Miss Confidence


I just finished reading chapter 3, Miss Confidence, in the Bible Study Behind Those Eyes. (hosted by Lelia)

Lisa Whittle's quotes will be in purple today.

When reading this chapter, I realized that Miss Confidence is a part I play quite often, although it is getting more and more difficult as God has given me many lessons on how my only sure confidence is in Him.

I found it interesting the way Lisa linked confidence with vulnerability on page 46.

Confidence is so often afraid of rejection - either because of past hurts or past experiences - that she prefers to stay in her confident shell and not let the soft side of her emerge. But she soon begins to realize that it's very confined in there.

In her book, Strong Women, Soft Hearts, counselor Paula Rinehart talks about this issue in her chapter on vulnerability. She says:

The strength of vulnerability is a curious mixture of discovering your heart and sharing your real self, as best you can, with people God has put in your life. You can't shut down on the inside without quelling the very passion that makes the journey worthwhile. Those walls around the heart take buckets of energy to maintain and God has better things for his children to do. When we close off our hearts, we dishonor Him.

So while my friends may admire me for my strength and counsel, the truth is I admire them...women who are open and vulnerable and real and genuine and without pretense. Those are the things that truly take strength.

I agree with this and often have felt the same way. Even though some people might consider me to be open and vulnerable, open...yes, sometimes, but vulnerable, not really. There is an element of strength that goes with vulnerable that I have lost along the way. Being afraid of rejection and having experienced it, I find myself trying to hide behind Miss Confidence so that people think that I am OK, when in fact, I am not.

I love this - God says that when we put our confidence in the right place (in Him), our lives will be blessed! Amen to that! God has given me many challenges to remind me that my confidence is and should be in Him. I have been tested in this as I have had a husband who has traveled a lot in his work. I have been tested in this during a time of unemployment. I have had to know that I only need God in my life on the three occasions that He has taken our family cross country on job relocation where I had to leave all that I knew, family and friends, and rely only on Him. Recently, the loss of my best friend has tested me to my very soul in realizing that He is my very best friend and all I really need.

The definitions of confidence on page 55, are definitions that I am choosing to adopt as I bury the self confident and fake Miss Confidence and live with more confidence in God.

Fearless
He has my best interest at heart and will take care of me.

Strong
He is with me at all times and will help me walk through and bounce back from even the most difficult trials.

Empowered
I can do all things through Him as He gives me strength.

Independent
He is my everything. He is all I need.

Emotionally Healthy
My desire is to please Him above all things.

Accomplished
Everything I do is through Him and for Him.


I made a list of everything that it would cost me to admit my vulnerability and everything it would cost me to deny it. I have to say, I was surprised. The biggest thing I would loose if I chose to be vulnerable is pride. If I denied my vulnerability I would loose authenticity, intimacy, opportunity for help from God and others, and the opportunity to change. (just to list a few)
Hands down, being vulnerable has many more positives.

Why are we so afraid?

Is it hard for me to admit vulnerability to others? You bet. Some of them are kind of easy at times and with certain people. But some of them make my skin get hot, my palms get shaky and wet, and I really, really don't want others to know. Why? Because I am afraid. Afraid they will reject me. Afraid they will hurt me. Sometimes they will. But most of the time, they won't. And am I afraid to admit them to God? Hilariously, yes! Even though I know He knows, I am afraid that if I admit my vulnerabilities, He will ask me to change...sometimes that is scary, sometimes that is difficult, and sometimes I just want to stay comfortably where I am.

A confident woman is a strong woman. I love the poem on page 52.

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
But a strong woman shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure-surefootedly...
But a woman of strength knows that God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
But a woman of strength wears grace.

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.

~Anonymous

As I continue to walk with God, may I be more confident in Him. ~Amen


7 comments:

Laura said...

Hi, LIz! We are home from NYC and what an amazing journey! Thank you for your prayer for us. The Lord really spoke to me through it all. I am not much of a traveler (my confidence is not good enough!) so this was a stretch for me!
I really enjoyed this chapter of Behind Those Eyes. I too loved the realization that confidence and vulnerability are related. We sometimes hide behind the funniest things, do we not? I'm working on letting Him be my confidence...
Blessings to you, friend!

Connie said...

This was the one that I related to most...

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.

The Lord is speaking to all of us...love your insight.

Connie

Lisa said...

Liz...
I am so blessed by the fact that you made that list about vulnerability! That is an important exercise to help you see YOURSELF and discover for yourself what playing the confident game has and does cost. And to hear what you discovered thrills me. I am praising God for how He is challenging you to do the hard work! Friend, you will not be sorry.

One step closer to freedom from pretense!
Lisa :)

Carol said...

Hi Liz,

Thanks for all the encouraging comments you've put on my blogs. I love that you made the list. I wasn't that brave. Isn't it amazing that the only thing lost is something we wouldn't want anyway.

I never put vulnerability and confidence together before, I love how my eyes are being opened. Thanks for sharing your thought.

Carol

LynnSC said...

Hi Liz,
This is a great post. I loved the part where you realized that...


"The biggest thing I would loose if I chose to be vulnerable is pride. If I denied my vulnerability I would loose authenticity, intimacy, opportunity for help from God and others, and the opportunity to change. (just to list a few)
Hands down, being vulnerable has many more positives."

Wow! Now that really speaks to me. Thanks so much for sharing this with us...
lots of things to ponder.
Lynn

Tammy R said...

Liz,
Love you insight on this chapter.

You are so right about being vulnerable would mean to lose your pride...I'm with you!

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

What a good thought making that list. Maybe that is what I should do. Being vulnerable is so hard for me and I think it al relates to "loss". You got me thinking....

In His Graces~Pamela