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WAIT, the never ending post.

But, He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.
~2 Corinthians 12:9
Shortly after my heart was transformed by the love and grace of Christ, I came across this verse of scripture, and it all but jumped off the page and into my heart.  I had no idea some twenty years ago that God would literally use this truth over and over and over again in my life.  Positively, it has been my life verse.
It hasn’t been a “feel good” verse for me.  I’ve battled it through the years because somewhere early on, I bought into the lie that I had to appear as though my life was pieced nicely together like a beautiful package that the world could handle.  
One of the “weaknesses” that I’ve battled has been insecurity, and it has led me down desperately destructive paths in my younger years.  I found myself giving my value and worth away to just about anything or anyone that asked for it all in the guise of wanting to be accepted.
Again and again, I was left disappointed and unfulfilled because there is nothing in this world that can truly satisfy.  And, slowly but surely, every single time I found myself this way, I’d surrender another part of my insecure self to the Lord.  
This is where I’d love, and I mean love, to tell you that I’m all fixed and I no longer struggle with an ounce of insecurity.  But, that’d be a lie.
I can tell you that it’s not the same struggle it once was.  
God has become bigger and people (and their approval) have become smaller.
Here’s what I know to be true:
The more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize how much more I need him.
The more I surrender my life to him,  the more I realize has yet to be surrendered.

He uses everything.  He wastes nothing.
He weaves everything in our lives together and forms this beautiful tapestry out of our broken mess.
And, so I wait.  I wait on the Lord, my heart takes courage, and I wait on the Lord.  (Psalm 27:14)

Life with God is a paradox.  
…the world says our status comes from who we are financially and socially 
while God says that the poor are the richest in His kingdom.
…the world says our power comes through control, money, fame, and influence 
while God says power comes through service, sacrifice and humility.
…the world says our freedom comes from the law and obeying it
while God says freedom comes from understanding and living under his grace- acknowledging daily that our relationship with God isn’t about our vain attempts at good works but instead the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Friends, I’m in the middle of transition.  My oldest child will be twelve years old in a few short weeks. He’s officially in middle school, which is ironically bringing out the inner middle schooler in me!  Any small amount of pride that I’ve ever had in parenting has flown the coop.  The fact that my husband and I were in youth ministry for the better part of ten years means absolutely NOTHING.
We are idiots.  We know nothing.  We feel powerless in our own strength.  Together, we are a heaping pile of insecure mess.

The paradox is that God says we are now in the perfect place for him to do a great work.
And, our hope is in Him.  We will surrender ourselves to him daily and WAIT on his power to be perfected in our weaknesses.

{thankful for}
256. Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of my faith.
257. My children, who show me my great need for him.
258. My husband, who stands desperate beside me as we pray these kids of ours grasp grace from us.
259. My heart friends, who remind me of the truth on those drive-way pacing, fetal position hard days.

Lissa - this is so good. I have been so deeply insecure as well and looked for my security in all the wrong places. I too have only found what I'm looking for in Christ. I'm glad you're sharing this and speaking the truth.

Ash - My heart feels what you have. Insecurity has always been a huge struggle in my life. God is my only way to overcome it! Which I have witnessed his goodness working all throughout my life! Praise be to him!

kerrie of sea cottage - That is a verse written on my heart as well…one I live in daily. I say 'live in' because I put myself in the embrace of those words. They are living and they comfort me. The fact that His strength is made perfect in my weakness is pure encouragment. I like your breakdown of what the world says compared to what Christ says. I understand your changes in your first child entering teens. It really truly is a trying time. My husband and I were youth leaders too while our four children were babies and toddlers. One thing I learned through it was that most all of the pre-teens and teens were in deep need of love and acceptance. I also learned that most of the leaders did not know how to love them. I came out of it knowing I did not want my children involved in youth groups. Well, my children wanted to be involved and not just involved but they became leaders within the groups(worship, small groups, etc) As much as I tried to remain near enough to protect them while letting them fly on their own, they were still extremely wounded. My oldest has a heart for everyone and so he would bring in youth off the streets. Well the adult leaders felt so out of control(meaning they did not know how to lead non-church youths) that they rejected them including my son for bringing them. We were eventually asked to leave the church. This kind of rejection really damages a young heart. It damaged the entire youth group and most of the kids stopped going. Eventually the head youth leader was asked to leave as well. My point is…the pre-teen and teenage years are difficult no matter how good of parents you are. My oldest ran away that summer. I prayed like never before. He returned not only to us but more importantly to God. He learned that he could not ever be separated from Jesus again. And while he sought him desperately he told us that God told him he needed to return to us along with returning to Him. Now he has Jesus tattooed on his body. The trials I have gone through with my children have taught me deeply how LOVE is ALL. Apart from love we are nothing. 1 Cor 13. I didn't mean to write a book here…but just so you know I never ever thought I would go through the heartbreak I've gone through with my teens. I really didn't. But God is with us. Each of us belong to Him. My children belong to Him, not me. Their life(and death) is in His hands. I am to remain surrendered to His will and living Mark 8:34-36. Lowliness, kindness, and forgiveness are our friends. Do not be afraid, trust and lean on Him.

GLENDA CHILDERS - I am looking forward to hearing more about your journey.

Blessings, dearest, on your parenting efforts. Our kids are grown and delightful … and I can barely remember now … the stress they caused me in middle school. Now they tell me I am beautiful and bring me lovely presents. Your day will come, too.


Julie - Looking forward to your series… I definitely struggle with insecurity. My oldest is in middle school and I've often thought I would have had my own struggles and insecurities worked out by this point in my life.

Megan - I love when you write "He uses everything, He wastes nothing." Great truth there friend. I have learned so much humility in parenting and just when I think I've found my stride, I am humbled once again. Middle school is scary territory for us as parents and I find myself dreading it in the fall. But then I remember that this is all a big part of His plan and that He is the author of their story, not me. Hugs to you friend and I look forward to reading every word you have to say.

Michele - No better place to be than knowing what is true, the enemy loves us to believe lies so we need to remind ourselves daily what do I know to be true??? Gonna get it tatooed across my forehead one day :] So grateful and honored that I get to walk this path with you, pace the driveway now and know you will be there for me when I need to pace the sidewalk next.

janet - I remember when my girls started middle school..They are both grown and married now..But when you walk with God you can conquer anything,even middle school..What a beautiful post..

Elizabeth - It is hard to believe that you could be insecure. You are so beautiful, inside and outside, I think. I had to read your post a couple of times, it is very profound and has given me a lot to think of and I am looking forward to part two.

Tricia - To me, you always seem so put together and on the right track. But, I can so relate to what you're saying, Tara because, I too, have long struggled with insecurity. I think as I've grown older and wiser though, it has subsided or maybe changed since I'm more aware of it now. For me, part of it comes from the same things you talked about, the things that society values aren't the same things that I hold dear and because of that I often feel disconnected from other people. Over the past few years, I've really felt that God is slowly making changes in my life and that lessens some of what I feel. I look forward to part two of your series :)

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I absolutely absolutely absolutely adore you. And your heart. I know with out a doubt, that you and I would be fast friends if we knew each other in real life.

theelizabethhighsmith - waiting with you, sweet friend and praising Him for shining through you!

Kim B. - It IS a struggle living in a fallen world & not constantly falling ourselves!! Middle school is HARD! I've been there with 2 boys & the 3rd one starts in the fall. BUT…we have the power of prayer & God's grace to get us through it. May I suggest the book, "The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie O'Martian? REALLY helped me in my prayers for my boys :)

Rebecca @ heartland farmhouse - ugghhh middle school…..makes me insecure just thinking about it.
"The more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize how much more I need him.
The more I surrender my life to him, the more I realize has yet to be surrendered." a big AMEN! i hear you & i agree. thanks for bravely sharing your heart beautiful gal.

Nicole - i love your honesty. it's so beautiful.


maggie@tea cozy house - Wow, what a great post, I too have and do still struggle with insecurity and then I remember that verse, and praise God. I could have avoided many mistakes as a young woman had I known in my heart that all I needed was him. Thanks for sharing your heart and being real. My boys are still young but I know teenagers can be trying. I am not looking forward to my sweet boys becoming teenagers.

LLH Designs - I am loving every word you wrote…loving your vulnerability. Thank you!!! I love what you said at the end…that despite being in youth ministry, your parenting wisdom has flown the coop…that you know nothing! I feel the same way! Yet God is ENOUGH!!! So much more to say, but it's late on a Saturday night. I can't wait for all the other parts!


hometown girl - your have grabbed me again, i can see myself in so much that your write. sending you a big hug & prayers. susan

Cat - Wow! I go out of town and don't read for a few days and THIS is what I miss! ;) Can't wait to read more and I'm with you girl….insecurity rears it's head more than I'd like to admit. I'm praying for you while writing this series. Pray for me, too! I'm writing our story! Love you!

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