Who can’t remember times when you were afraid, insecure, questioning, feeling inadequate, wishing you could just disappear off the planet for a while?  Everyone experiences these times. It’s a part of being finite: you don’t have all the cards in your hand. Add to this our fallen nature, and it is only reasonable that we would be insecure.

I could describe a bundle of my life stories to illustrate. On my first day of kindergarten I stood timidly in my perfectly starched, yellow dress with its black bows and big flounce skirt, wearing my shining patent leather shoes with lacy white socks and holding a little white ball with red and blue dots on it. We were instructed to bring one toy on our first day, so I brought my ball. As I stood there just holding it and looking at it, my teacher took it from me, and I wondered why. What did I do wrong?  I also remember that clear up to high school I feared reading aloud in school or Sunday school.  I didn’t want my inadequacy to be exposed.

The day I had my first baby?  I remember the anxiety in riding to the hospital, nervously holding my husband’s hand.  Many hours later I peered into the eyes of my five pound baby girl freshly extracted from my womb and not yet bathed. Her eyes were wide open and our eyes met. Panic struck me.  It seemed she was looking right through me, knew everything about me, and I immediately knew I’d be a terrible mother.  Breath-taken, I felt I could never teach and discipline this beautiful creature. Confidence was anywhere but near or in me.

What are your stories of fear, intimidation, or panic?  Have you noticed how God can use these as milestones and turning points?  According to our school’s definition, confidence is defined as “having the assurance that God is with me to enable me to speak and act truthfully and lovingly, accepting the consequence of suffering or reward.”

Well, how could I have applied these ideas to my situations as a child or young mother?  For a child, this definition needs to be further simplified.  Don’t we Christian parents tell our children that God is always with them?  If they are afraid at night, we encourage them that right there in their beds, they can talk to God and He is with them.  That is teaching them to have confidence in God, which builds courage.

Often confidence is not something that requires words but attitudes – which enable actions.  Confidence: the assurance that God is with me; He enables me. The rest falls into place. The Bible contains lots of verses speaking of being confident or having confidence. Try on these verses for size and see how they fit:

“ For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught” (Prov. 3:26).

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust [place confidence] in man” (Psalm 118: 8).

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Tell me one of your stories. How has God fit you with confidence in and from Him?

Categories: Parenting, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Confidence

  1. Karen: I like this a lot. It brought back memories of specific incidents that have left huge marks on my life. Every once in a while I remember specific times in my life. It is okay to take old times and pack them in our suitcases to carry through life, as long as we don’t open them everyday.

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