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“What are you doing here?” I heard from a few people when they walked into the living room where the bible study was being held and found me sitting in a plush oversized chair.

The same reason you are! I wanted to say but instead I smiled and said, “No one is immune.” At least I hide it well! ;)

That was the first night of the Beth Moore So Long InsecurityBible study.

so long insecurity

When we went about the room telling about what prompted us to partake in the study I told them the story of faking my beloved Sweetgraw’s death. I was a communications major and a junior in college when I heard about a rare opening for a disc jockey (DJ) at a popular local country music radio station. It was a weekend spot and somewhat of a no-brainer doing the top 20 hits and community news, etc. Obtaining the job would have been a great addition to my resume and given me exposure to the industry.

One interview and a few call to a few of my professors and references I got the job. I was to begin the following weekend. My heart raced with excitement and then pounded with fear. A part of my interview was to go in front of the microphone and give a news and entertainment broadcast. In the room with the interviewer and the microphone I overcame my nerves and did the best I could. Apparently I did well enough to get the position. However, once I hung up the phone and allowed reality to sink in I began to realize how many people would be hearing my voice.

I was terrified! Immediately a rush of negative thoughts flooded my brain and convinced me that I would fail. Your voice isn’t good enough for radio. You aren’t good with improve to fill the space. You don’t know how to do the panels and you’ll mess up. Hundreds of people are going to hear your voice and wonder why they chose you. Etc, etc, etc.

The only way I could overcome the anxiety was to conjure up an excuse to get out of the job. Two days after accepting the position I called my boss and informed them that I would not be able to come in on my first day that weekend. “Um…” I stumbled with getting the lie to pass my lips, “my grandmother passed away and I need to go home. In fact, I’m not so sure I’m going to be able to do this job at this time. I’m sorry.” I hung up the phone and then immediately felt regret for throwing my poor, perfectly healthy and still vibrantly kicking 88-year-old grandmother into a grave.

Please, Lord, don’t let anything happen to her!” I prayed imagining the worst as if I’d put a curse on her life.

I relayed this story to the group because despite what God has led me to do now with speaking in front of thousands of men and women in person, there is still a hint of that negative talk that rushes through my mind every time.

At World Youth Day in Madrid 2008.  An impromptu lesson/talk given on the streets!  Talk about an opportunity!!

At World Youth Day in Madrid 2008. An impromptu lesson/talk given on the streets! Talk about an opportunity!!

Knowing there was a group of ladies willing to admit to whatever their own insecurities were and a guided biblical study to help us build tools to shut out the negative talk, I was all in.

The obvious irony of this story is that when God called me to speak in front of my first group a little over 8 years ago, it was 800 middle school and high school students and I was terrified. All of the same anxieties flooded my system and the negative talk nearly convinced me to back out. Walk away from the opportunity and play life safe. Praise be to God that He had me in a place of full committment and trust in His will for my life and there was another voice that began to override the negative thoughts: “Breath in the Spirit and breath out God’s word.”

“For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:20

This is what I hear every time before I go up in front of a small or large group to speak. Yes, I’m taking the bible study to acquire more tools to have in my back pocket but I will say one thing that we discussed last night in our session that I believe to be true – I pray I remain with just enough insecurity that it leads me to rely fully on God. The day I am not nervous is the day I need to do a personal inventory of the control I’ve taken back.

What are your insecurities? Are they founded on negative thoughts and keeping you from taking chances and walking through the doors God opens for you? Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Blessings Shannon