“I don’t need you to envy me, I just need you to be proud of me.”
The words poured onto the screen as she typed them to her mom. At forty-something, she felt like a little girl again, revisiting her life-long quest for the words, “I’m proud of you.”
Can you identify? I can. I seek approval from others – my parents, husband, siblings, children, co-workers. As a mom, I realize how insecurity has affected my parenting.
- Wondering if I don’t raise my children “right,” they will turn out “wrong” and I will be labeled a “bad parent.”
- Wondering if my kids aren’t in every sport or activity at the earliest age, they’ll fall behind, and my insecurities won’t be padded by their successes.
- Wondering if I don’t look a certain way, I won’t be accepted by other moms.
- Realizing my insecurities lead to pride when my children succeed, because I’m the one who made them that way.
- Realizing my insecurities leave me clinging to my rights as a mom because if I let go, I can’t guarantee the results.
- Realizing my insecurities cause me to hover over my kids because when they depend on me, I feel loved.
- Realizing my insecurities turn to anger when my child embarrasses me because their actions define my worth.
My list could go on.
When I began parenting , I was overcoming identity issues and insecurities from a long-term eating disorder. Being a mom defined me. Motherhood was going to fill all the gaping holes in my heart. But the challenges of motherhood left me fighting against myself and the child who was supposed to fill my hopes and dreams.
Every fiber of my being has been challenged as a parent over the last twenty years because my identity was formed in my children rather than God. After walking in hard places, I’ve learned my children don’t define me. They don’t add to or take away from my worth as a woman. My security is who I am in Christ. Being a mom doesn’t fill my insecurities. Only Jesus does.
Where do your insecurities lie? Do you look to your children or your successes as a parent to fill the voids in your heart? If your confidence isn’t rooted in your position as a child of God, you’ll be devastated when others judge you because of your child’s failures.
Believe me, it will happen. Been there, done that.
When your expectations are shattered, you’re left alone with broken pieces – just you, yourself and God.
But Jesus rebuilds. He takes the broken pieces and glues the insecurities together with Divine holding power that can’t be shaken. He fills the gaps with grace and mercy that’s missing when confidence is dependent on what others think of you. Security comes in knowing your value is not in your family, your children, or your role as mother, but in simply being His.
Where is your security today? Your children will fail you. You’ll fail your children. But you’ll stumble less when your confidence is rooted in His strength, not yours. Rest in knowing your value is complete in being a child of God.
In that alone, He says, “I’m proud of you.”
Dear Jesus, will you pour the truth of your grace into each woman today reading these words who needs to know their value in you? Will you give strength to the weary, hope to the shaken, and grace to the insecure places? Thank you that our worth is in You alone. Amen.
What insecurities do you struggle with?