NightLight: See As God Sees

The following question from an emailer hit straight to my core, and I think it applies to moms and non-moms alike. ————–

I grew up in a very dysfunctional environment, to say the least. I was able to rise above and remove myself from the situation and am now married with a beautiful little boy and consider my life quite normal. Even so, I have some lasting depression and self-image issues that I’m trying to work through.

I think I was running away from my past for so long that I do not know how to just be content in life. When I had my little boy, who is now 2 years old, depression and self doubt started creeping in slowly, and at times it is overwhelming. I question everything I do as a parent and always wonder if I am good enough for my child and if he will love me or hate me, as I feel everyone does.

My question is this: how do I deal with these insecurities as a parent and overcome, how do I love myself, how do I work on seeing myself as God see’s me?


How do you deal with insecurities?

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Reply March 19, 2010

Did you know that each believer is considered a gift to Jesus from God the Father? That was news to me this week. It is in John 17:2, 6, 24. Also John 10:29. A gift brings joy. And therefore, believers bring joy to Jesus. You bring joy to Jesus. This is biblical thinking. My thinking usually went something like this...Jesus loved me enough to die for me, but God and Jesus don't love me enough to be really joyful/happy/crazy over me because of sin 1, sin 2, sin 3, and generally falling short. They just tolerate me. My thinking is changing and I'm praying the Holy Spirit will stop me when I have thoughts that reveal a belief contrary to those verses in John. I think this is part of the "renewing of our minds" that lead to transformation that Romans 12:2 speaks of.

Reply March 19, 2010

You need to write down the things that God says about you that are true. If you have accepted Him as your Savior then He is always with you because He lives in you, and it's His life that He is living through your body. That said, you have access to all the resources and attributes that Christ is. You are kind, compassionate, caring, honest, intelligent, and beautiful. You find your affirmation, approval and accpetence only from the Father. You have all the resouces you need to have healthy fulfulling relationships. You receive everything from the Father and He supplies your every need. You literally need to write these down so they apply to you, for example, "Lord, you are in control of every situation and circumstance in my life. You have all the answers. You have done it already. You have everything covered. Nothing I do makes you love me more. Nothing I do makes you love me less. You are my affirmation, approval and acceptence." etc. Then you need to start repeating these things over to yourself until they become they things your mind goes to when you are stressed or worried. Until you fill your mind with the truth it will have nothing to counteract what it has always thought in the past. It will take awhile but eventually you will renew your mind so the truth rings true.

Melissa Brotherton
Reply March 19, 2010

I too struggle with times of depression. I worry that I will pass it down to my children. Many of your doubts and insecurities are familiar to me.

The only way I've found to deal with it is to fully lean on God. Not just ask Him for help, not pray about it every once in awhile, but lean so that if He was gone I'd fall down.

I have to remind myself through prayer and reading the Bible that my identity is not found in my husband or my children. Only in God and discovering His love for me can I be made more secure. I don't say this lightly. It's not easy. I still struggle with it.

Just yesterday I wondered why God allowed me to be a parent. I felt like I was just going to mess them up. But I called out and God answered. I have to remember to say sorry to them when I mess up and to hold them with a loose hand. They are not mine...they are His, and He's more
protective of them then I will ever be. He loves them
more than I ever could. I just have to trust.

Reply March 19, 2010

The night my first child was born, I was sleeping in my hospital room when a nurse came in with him. He was crying. No, screaming. I would become accustomed to this over the next three years, but that night it was horrifying. She handed him to me ( I think it was around 2:00 AM) and said, "He wants his mother." I thought, "What am I supposed to do about it? Don't you work here with babies EVERY night?" Variations of those thoughts bowl me over at every stage of his development. He's a teenager now, and I feel unqualified most every day! I've struggled with depression and an eating disorder on top of feeling inadequate to parent. I've learned to talk about my feelings with my husband and a few very patient friends who beat me to motherhood. I've learned that it's okay to get help - be it spiritual, emotional, or medical. Above all, I've learned to CHERISH the times that everything feels right. Hang in there, moms! God is absolutely, without a doubt ON YOUR SIDE.

Reply March 19, 2010

I think we're all probably working on answering this question for ourselves. It's hard. We all have deep insecurities, and I find that there is something particular about being a parent that draws out all kinds of guck from your innermost self. One thing I have sometimes done is write up little index cards with scripture verses that speak directly against those lies that I believe about myself, or verses that encourage me in the plans and purposes that God has for my children... I stick them around my house, like little love notes, and just work at exchanging demoralizing thoughts with God's words of truth and wholeness. It might feel a little silly at first, but post-it notes are awesome for that. Stick them on your mirror, in your underwear drawer, inside books... The very first one I ever 'posted' was, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have called you by name, you are Mine.'

Reply March 19, 2010

Hi Friend,

I don't have all the answers. Sometimes i feel very overwhelmed and inadequate as a mother and i think we all have moments and seasons of depression in life. Can I recommend a book that I found of great value and that I use with my clients who are dealing with depression? it is the best by far that I have ever seen.

I'm praying for you today friend. you've hit on a nerve that i think, at least in part, all women struggle with.

Please cling with all your might to the fact that God chose YOU to be the parent of your one else. it's truth.

Reply March 19, 2010

My insecuritues were dealt with once and for all when I went through this study here:

Blogged a little about it here:

It is not an easy study but it gave me a freedom from the past that still effected my marriage parenting and many other facets of my life! God Bless Ms. Amber as you realize how valuable you are to your savior!


Reply March 19, 2010

Thank you, amazing ladies, for your comments. I actually didn't write this. An emailer sent it to me, but it is because I have struggled so much with this very thing that I posted it.

I know God made me like this for a reason. I'm tender. I struggle easily. I don't even know how to go into it, but I see here that I'm not a lone in it, and that within itself is so very comforting.

I hope you don't get tired of hearing me talk about my mentor. She has told me many times that sometimes I need to say the truth our loud to myself. Faith comes from Hearing and hearing by the Word of God. "Oh be careful little ears what you hear," we used to sing.

What I'm listening to has everything to do with how I perceive my position with God and my influence over my children.

Reply March 19, 2010

Ok... I love your blog... now this idea of getting rid of insecurities... I love that this is a topic in your post because I am involved in a young adult ministry at my church and right now we are having a girls study (separate from the guys) and we have just started going through Beth Moore's new book 'So Long Insecurities'... wow.. it hits me in the core of who I am. I would encourage you to read it!

I would also encourage you to try and find a local church that is going to host a simulcast of Beth Moore's conference which will be all about this new book of hers. It is on a saturday - April 24th and I know here in Kansas City we have a local church that is hosting one... but seriously... encourage any lady you know to read it... we're 4 chapters in and the Lord is really working on my core being through this study.

Insecurities are real. They are often hiding deeper root insecurities.

Thank you for sharing... I often gain encouragement from your blog.

Reply March 20, 2010

deep sigh.
I don't have answers . But I always have those questions.
I do know by now, that trust, humility, willingness to forgive and ask for it, grace, and just trying again new every morning, come to mind as the short answer.
the long answer would include wailing, sink to the ground crying, barely getting out of bed days, my husband, deep faith ( not necessarily church or religion), and finally realizing that time was proving my walk mattered.
And writing, and blogging.

Reply March 20, 2010

The past 10 months of my life has been spent trying to unweave the tangled mess of lies, insecurities, and self-doubt that I have used to disguise myself for the past 21 years, so your post hits so close to my heart that tears are beginning to form as I type.

This I warn you, though: I don't have any sure-fire solutions.

I also have a question: Have you dealt with the past that you ran away from for so long?

One thing that the Lord has shown me through this season of my life is that pain has purpose when you are a follower of Christ, for all things work for the good of those who love Him (Jesus) and are called according to his purpose [see romans 8:28]. Dealing with my dysfunctional past and getting closure on things, people, and situations that have hurt me has been a crucial step in restoring belief in myself. I attend Celebrate Recovery, which is a Christ-centered recovery program, through a local church. And I can't tell you how incredible it is to walk into a room and not feel like a freak for having junk in your life. It is so refreshing to be in a room full of women seeking the heart and mind of Christ who are tackling their pasts head on, while looking towards the future with hope and joy. There is so much power in speaking things. There is so much power in confiding in others and being able to recognize and fight lies together.

I begged to be healed. I cried out to the Lord is anguish. I pleaded for mercy. I just wanted to better. I started getting consumed with trying fix myself and taking steps to get out of this pit I had dug for myself. But when push came to shove, I had to let the Lord heal me. I had to wait. I couldn’t fix me.

There were weeks that all I wanted to do was cry because I knew how badly I had messed up and I knew how long the road would be to get better. I knew it would take me enduring so much of my past again to get to where Jesus wants me to be.

Scripture has been indispensable in this entire process. There are a few verses that I cling to about who I am in Christ, as well as scriptures reminding me about my call as a Christian - to have a body (and mind!) that is a temple of the Holy Spirit. A friend of mine described fighting lies to me like this:
Each lie that gets put into your head is like a hair stuck on your shower wall. The Word of God is like the water that is washing you to make you clean, a pure and spotless bride. Every time a hair gets stuck to the wall, you have to fight it with water, the Word. You take that shower water, cup it in your hands, and start fighting that pesky hair to the death. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, that hair comes off with the first gush of water you throw at it. Other times, it takes multiple tries, minutes even, to successfully rid yourself of the hair and be freed from that annoyance. So it goes with lies. Sometimes, one sitting in the Word of God is enough to remind you of who you really are and who God really is. Other times, you have to keep coming back, refilling and refilling, even when it seems like no progress is being made.

Cling to the Word, sweet friend, and don’t be afraid to be frank with God and others about what’s going on. I’ve found that most of the self-doubt and even self-hatred that I deal with can be handled if I press into the Lord [find rest, my soul, in God alone. Psalm 62] and have a vulnerable conversation with someone I trust.

Reply March 21, 2010

This hits me to the core too, Amber. I am so grateful to the reader who braved the question.

ESPECIALLY the part about being content. I could write pages about it probably, and get nowhere. And as far as depression, self-image, and self doubt: even though I feel like God has been restoring me for years in this area, when it comes to my kids I am often still gripped with panic and anxiety and dread thinking of all of the ways that I might screw them up. I fear a great number of things for them too (what I would call normal parent fears), but sadly more often I fear that they won't like me. It makes me a bit queasy just to admit that out loud.

Bekah, your words captured what I was struggling to find words for. I have said the same thing many times myself. The pain has a purpose. God wants to heal and restore. Nothing is wasted. I also love the picture of the hair in the shower. I used to feel defeated every time I felt an old struggle come back around. It kept me in despair. Eventually God started to show me that even though I was still struggling against the same old things, I was struggling less. Maybe for just a day or two, instead of months at at time. Or now I can say hours instead of months, even years.

For me, the only way I survived was being able to see myself as going through a healing process, and managing to cling to at least some of God's promises along the way. Still I struggled alone for a long time- just me and God. It wasn't until I was able to start stepping out of isolation and talking to others that God was able to move forward and really start healing the damage. I really cling to James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."

Like Bekah, I have also found Celebrate Recovery to be wonderful place to heal and grow in Christ. I can't say enough about it. Again, I could write pages. :)

I wrote a blog post long ago that I think captures the heart of my struggle with self doubt and depression:
Eventually I learned the importance of allowing myself to receive love- from God and from others. It sounds simple but the truth is I did not know how. I still don't much of the time. Receving love= receiving grace= receiving healing and becoming "a new creation".

On that same blog, I have tried to committ myself to hashing out my painful past and similar struggles. I do a poor job much of the time but feel free to visit anytime.

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