In Others’ Words: Grasp (Guest Post by writer Pepper Basham)

2 hands quote by Pepper Basham 7.17.13

 

Just the Way You Are, my work-in-progress (WIP), is the story of a single mom whose ex-husband not only left her for a younger model, but also left her with a wealth of insecurities. Throughout the story, she’s constantly struggling with being good enough to be loved, and certain she’s one breath away from failure.

So she’s in a constant state of turmoil. Sounds like a horrible way to spend an afternoon, much less every day of your life, doesn’t it? 🙂

Insecurities are the worse sorts of dream killers. They hold this amazing ability to cause inertia — to squeeze our effectiveness out of us like a sudden rush of cold air to our lungs.

Insecurities keep us from seeing God’s work in our lives, and particularly God’s goodness, because we are plagued with self-doubt.

So let’s break down “insecurity.” In all honesty, it’s just another word for fear, stemming from an inner worry that if we become vulnerable:

  • We’ll fail
  • We’ll be rejected

The only cure for insecurity is the right perspective: to realize we are loved by God. This is true in my WIP — and it’s true in real life.

Christ became vulnerable for us. He was rejected so we don’t have to be. His love defines who we are, so that even in our weaknesses, we are made strong.

When we let go of our fears and trust in His love for us, we reap the beautiful rewards of peace and joy. Not only that, but our vision clears so that we can see other gifts that God has for us too.

In Just the Way You Are, my heroine realizes God loves her just the way she is — because of Christ. She can never fail too greatly or fall too far. His love will hold her, heal her, restore her, and strum a song of praise within her soul.

God encourages us to ask, seek, knock. Why? He longs to give His kids great gifts. To shower us with His love in tangible and intangible ways. Letting go of our fears opens our hands to the blessings — His strength, courage, faith, hope — and so many others.

It’s amazing to know that you are loved . . .  Just the Way You Are.

In Your Words: How have you experienced God’s love in tangible and intangible ways — knowing He loves you just the way you are?

God loves you Just the Way You Are Click to Tweet

Are you holding on to fear? Click to Tweet

Pepper_3734 Pepper Basham writes romance peppered with grace and humor. You can find her on her personal blog, Words Seasoned With Salt, or at her group writing blog, The Writers Alley.

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18 Comments

  1. July 17, 2013, 6:19 am   /  Reply

    My women’s small group is doing the Bible Study So Long, Insecurity, by Beth Moore. In last night’s group discussion we learned that a lot of our insecurities come from a perceived threat. A threat of failure, loss or being displaced (among other things). I love the truth you’ve shared, Pepper. When we know who we are in Christ, and when we know who Christ is and His promises to us, we are in a better place of security knowing He’ll never fail us, leave us or displace us. When we know the truth, we can face the perceived threats with confidence, instead of insecurity. When we know He loves us, despite how worthy or unworthy we feel, we can be secure in who we are.

    • July 17, 2013, 7:02 am   /  Reply

      Beautifully written, Gabrielle. I wish I could keep a firm GRASP on that concept all of the time, don’t you? I’ll remember it for a while, and be in awe and wonder, and then something will happen and I forget. I think that’s what must make Heaven…heaven – because we are going to be bathed in a constant flow of the awareness 0f God’s love. WOW!

  2. July 17, 2013, 6:44 am   /  Reply

    God gave me an abundance of self-confidence which sounds good, but that self -confidence can be a trap when I use it to depend on myself (which is more often than I like to think). And that’s when insecurity sets in. As long as I am depending on God and doing what He gives me to do, failure isn’t an option. The outcome is in His hands. Win, lose or draw, it’s not up to me. It’s taken me many years to get to this point.

    • July 17, 2013, 7:03 am   /  Reply

      Amen, Patricia! So true! Self-confidence can never give us the type of security that God-confidence can 🙂

  3. July 17, 2013, 7:44 am   /  Reply

    Pepper Basham on Beth Vogt’s blog–how fun. And this is one of the most fabulous posts ever, Pepper. I have to echo what Pat said…I tend to be rather confident. All that Sound of Music watching as a kid (that “I have confidence” song Julie Andrews sings)…but when I slip into being confident in myself and then get hit with the realization that I really can’t do things on my own and I’ve been trusting in the wrong thing, well, that’s when insecurity traipses in. And it’s not a pretty picture. Confidence in the right thing–God and his love for me–that’s an awesome thing. Confidence in the wrong thing…not so much.

    • July 17, 2013, 8:06 am   /  Reply

      Oh Melissa,
      You’re a kindred spirit. I was a Sound of Music junkie. Here’s an interesting twist – I exhibit a whole lot more confidence than I actually have. I love the idea of being confident, but the little nibbling thoughts of ‘not good enough’ make a ‘nah, nah, nah’ chorus in my head. It’s a beautiful realization in the middle of all my negative internal monologues to remind myself of the truth of God’s love – and to find confidence in Him. I think, for me, it’s an opportunity to speak the truth of God’s word into my life (and my head) to get me back in the right thought pattern.

      Our thoughts are powerful. They carry with them not only the fantastic pen of creativity, but also the destructive hammer of self-doubt. I think it’s why the Bible encourages us in Philippians 4:8 to ‘think on these things’. True, right, noble, lovely, pure…. wow, if those are confidence builders, I don’t know what are!
      Geez Louise, I’m starting another blog post. Sorry!!!! 🙂

  4. July 17, 2013, 8:09 am   /  Reply

    I’ve seen the severe mercy of watching the dreams that I thought defined me wither and die, and only then could I see that God’s concern was not with what I wanted to be – but with what I could do for others.

    The process is ongoing, and has been by turns frustrating and heartbreaking, and I’ve only rarely felt anything approaching clarity, much less an epiphany.

    The preponderance of evidence says that there is a God, and that He is working to some end in this world, and that end is good. It may not be ‘fun’ for me, but it is something that I have to accept.

    In that acceptance, I am in return accepted, and loved.

    • July 17, 2013, 8:42 am   /  Reply

      Andrew,
      Deep thoughts here. We are all ‘works in progress’ for certain, in the hands of the Master Author, and there’s a massive amount of comfort in knowing the ‘Author’ of our souls is a loving, faithful Father who does work out good in the end.
      I read a quote once, and I’m sorry I can’t remember who wrote it, but it said something like “God isn’t as interested in making us happy, as He is in making us Holy”. That was a profound thought to me. And it added purpose to all the detours, roadblocks, flat tires, and car crashes in this road of life.

      What a lovely phrase “In that acceptance, I am in return accepted, and loved”
      WOW! Beautiful.

  5. July 17, 2013, 8:27 am   /  Reply

    So happy you’re visiting today, Pepper! When I read that quote from Just as You Are, it stopped me in my mental tracks … the truth of it is so profound. And your blog post delves into even more truth — and more promises! Love you, my friend.

    • July 17, 2013, 8:43 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for having me, Beth -my dear sweet friend.
      And I’m sorry if I’m adding a new blog post with every comment 🙂

  6. July 17, 2013, 10:19 am   /  Reply

    Pepper, your beautiful words truly resonated with me today. Especially: “When we let go of our fears and trust in His love for us, we reap the beautiful rewards of peace and joy.” YES. Blessings!

    • July 17, 2013, 1:25 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks, Donna. I’m so glad God used this to encourage you today. It’s certainly a good reminder for me too 🙂

  7. Andrea Cox
    July 17, 2013, 2:34 pm   /  Reply

    Pepper, thank you for this wonderful article. Which is, in fact, one way I know God loves me just as I am. He knows I’m not too keen on the whole marketing thing. He knows it’s freaking me out as I polish up my first proposal ever. But He sent an encourager (you!) into my path today to show me that He loves me even though I’m freaking out. Even though I’m not too keen on the whole marketing thing. He loves me. And that’s all I need to know. He’ll help me handle the marketing when it gets here and, even if I fail at it, He will still love me.

    Lovely to meet you, Pepper!

    Andrea

    • Pepper Basham
      July 17, 2013, 6:00 pm   /  Reply

      Oh wow, Andrea. Your words touched me! I LOVE to be an encourager to others -and I’m humbled each time God (in his sweet love) allows me to be an instrument of encouragement to others.
      Praise God that he loves us when we’re calm, freaking, or failing. Oh man, what a great LOVE!!

      • Andrea Cox
        July 19, 2013, 11:48 am   /  Reply

        Yes, what a great love. I love the way you phrased that. 🙂

  8. July 17, 2013, 2:58 pm   /  Reply

    The greatest lesson I learned in the last 5 years came from a very wise man who has taken mission teams all over the world to share the Gospel with the forgotten. I was having a rough day and asked him something about my self worth. He told me that when God looks at me, He sees me through the eyes of Christ.

    So, I need to remember that who I see in the mirror is not the standard by which God’s love is measured.
    The ‘Enough Scale’ that we worry over is a cruel and heartless master. Am I thin enough? Smart enough? Kind enough? Obedient enough? Pretty enough?
    All of that is the whisper of the enemy, chipping away at who God created for His purposes.

    When I look in the mirror, I may laugh at my hair, but I can also look at the girl God thought about when He pressed the Andes between His hands and dug the Grand Banks out the Atlantic.

    I am MORE than enough.

  9. July 17, 2013, 11:30 pm   /  Reply

    I needed to hear this today – probably everyday – but it seemed especially applicable now. Thanks, Pepper.

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