When Tangling Words Catch You Off Guard
You’re in for a treat this week, friends! My friend Carey Scott is our guest blogger today, and I love her immensely for many reasons. She’s always a breath of fresh air in my life with her honesty and wisdom, and Carey lives so authentically that she makes me feel brave enough to do the same.
I know you’re going to adore her, so welcome Carey!
“Are you saying no because of your weight?”
Those words caught me off guard and stung. I’m always amazed at the freedom some feel to say they words they do.
Rather than respond with a full-frontal attack, I used gentle words so I could hide the hurt. “No, I just don’t want ice cream right now. Thanks, though.”
In that moment—at a dinner with old friends that should have been filled with joy and celebration—I found myself in a very tangling situation. I put on a brave face and pushed through. The last thing I wanted to do what ruin the evening for everyone else. But honestly, I’m so tired of just pushing through. Even more, I’m frustrated that I’m still so easily tangled.
Isn’t there a point in our lives when insecurity doesn’t knot us up anymore?
The shaming voice inside tells me I should be able to overcome it. And so often I agree. I’ve known Jesus for most of my life and have seen Him heal my heart more times than I can remember. I know what the Bible says about how much God loves me. I believe that He created me on purpose with purpose. I am a Biblical Life Coach, and speak and write about issues surrounding a woman’s self-esteem.
I know the worth I hold to my Creator, yet here I am again questioning my beauty. My value. My significance.
The struggle to see the truth of our worth isn’t new. Chances are you’re intimately aware of the places you don’t feel like you “measure up.” And dare I say it’s a battle we’ll most likely carry to the grave. Because part of the human condition is wondering if we’re good enough. Those insecurities cause us to take a sobering look at our life to see if we’ve been a success. We want to know we made a difference—our lives, our words, our actions—during our time here. We need to know we matter.
So we wonder… Am I raising my kids the right way? Have I been the kind of wife my husband needed? Am I doing enough to create healthy community and love on others well? Am I a good friend? Have I volunteered enough hours? Am I nurturing my relationship with Jesus enough? Do I handle our finances like I should? Am I as encouraging and affirming with my words as she is? Can I still pull off that little black dress even when things jiggle and wiggle a bit more? Do my opinions and ideas matter?
We want to know that we have contributed to the world in significant ways. We want to know that we are important. We want to know that we’re beautiful in our own way, and that others see it too. And we need to know that no matter what, we are valuable. So when a careless comment tightens a tangle that’s already been tightened around our heart—a tangle that makes us feel unlovable or unworthy—it can leave us feeling less than.
Here’s where it gets so frustrating. I had an expectation of growing out of those insecurities. I assumed that once I was well into my adult years, the need for worldly acceptance and approval would go away and I wouldn’t be so easily tangled by the same old people and the same stupid situations. And while some of my insecurities aren’t as easily triggered as before, words still hurt. So when she made the comment about my weight being what kept me from the ice cream desert, I felt those familiar less than lies flood back into my heart.
But here is the good news…God looks at us differently. He doesn’t measure our value by the way we look, what we’ve accomplished, the money we have made, the health of our body, or any other worldly measuring stick. God values us simply because we’re His. Here’s proof: “You are the ones who make yourselves look right in other people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For the things that are considered of great value by people are worth nothing in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:15 GNT)
In other words, the world is wrong—plain and simple. And because of that, we can’t allow society’s standard of what is worthy of love and adoration be our truth. We just can’t listen to it anymore.
Sweet friend, here is my challenge to you:
… Ask the Lord to untangle the expectation that you must earn the love and approval of others.
… Let Him heal those places where words have hurt you by replacing them with His truth.
… Ask God to loosen the knots of insecurity that make you feel unimportant and insignificant.
… And live in the freedom that you were created on purpose and hold immeasurable value to your Heavenly Father.
Because when we do—when we truly untangle—words won’t hold the same power over us anymore. So when someone questions why we’re skipping desert (or we get triggered in some other way), we’ll remember that God sees the beauty and complexity of our heart… and delights in His creation!
Carey Scott is the author of Untangled, a book where she bravely shares her story of abuse, the insecurities birthed from it, and the freedom she now has through Jesus. She is also an international speaker who loves to have honest conversations about real life. She discusses the struggles women face the most, always reminding them of their immeasurable value. Carey lives in Northern Colorado with her family. Learn more by visiting CareyScottTalks. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you, Carey! Definitely words I needed to hear, in a family situation I’m in right now. I need to keep my mind on what God thinks of me and keep my heart pure before Him. Thank you so much for your words!
Peace and grace to YOU, Jane!
Thanks for the beautiful reminder of who we are to God. We matter to Him and long ago He wrote a big story that includes each of us. Your post encourages me to spend some time with Him this week knowing I’m not defined by the perimeters of this world. My identity is in Him. Blessings Carey!
Thank You, Joan! Thanks for your sweet comment. 🙂
Thank you Carey. I know when someone hurts me deeply I get the urge to make things right. They often don’t deserve me opening myself up again, often laced with panic & feeling desperate. God truly is all I need.
Yes, Wendy! God IS what we need when our hearts get tangled. So, so true. 🙂