Unrestricted Summer Series

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As we kick off our Unrestricted Summer series, I want you to know I read (and reread) your comments slack-jawed. Truth be told, I expected crickets and silence but instead, you poured out your soul. I was giddy. I said, “Amen” and “girl, me too” finding myself completely pumped because each comment echoed, “I am so ready to be free from this.”

 

That statement alone is the beginning of something powerful.

 

Freedom begins with bringing our issues into the light, we “out” them instead of ignoring them. We make a pact with God and our tribe here that we are ready to move forward.

 

We’re ready to be honest, but even more than that, we are ready to let go.

 

I promise you this I will address everything in each comment for the next three months. If it takes longer, that’s cool, too.

 

This comment, in particular, stood out to me:

 

“I would love to dive deeper into how to shirk our prideful need for approval from others. How do we stay focused on God when we live in a world where checking our number of LIKES on Facebook can become an obsession…?”

 

Girl, you are so right. We live in this “check to see how many likes” obsessive and approval-seeking world. And, since we know this is the world now- overly connected to a screen- we need better tools when we feel like we are accepting this world’s ridiculously low ranking scores.

 

 

So…what do I do with my “disease to please and my “approval idol?”

 

First, let me say this, all of this comes from a sweet and sincere place.

 

You want to make others happy.

 

You want God to be pleased with you.

 

You want to make a difference in the world.

 

All of that is good. But, when our security is based on the affirmation and approval of others we are going to be a HOT AND UNHAPPY MESS.

 

Wanting to please others leads to overthinking everything and second guessing every single move you make and every word spoken. It’s like the worst playlist ever on repeat.

 

Insecurity used to be a constant companion of mine. Because of my disease to please, I found myself in the pit of depression and had “performance anxiety” in every facet of my life.

 

I was tense, worried, and miserable until I called it out.

 

Okay, so you’re super sweet and want everyone to be happy with you. Um, have you met all the people? There are “people” in your life, work, and SWEET JESUS even in your home and church that will never be happy with your effort. Enough will never be enough. Your kind acts and well-intentioned heart will most likely go unnoticed when others respond and process life with a negative filter. It’s like goggles that have a laser focus on a few things that were less than perfect instead of highlighting the twenty things that were amazing. That has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Since you can’t please them, you can simply love them and take them off your radar. Their input cannot be your measuring stick. Like, ever.

 

You may feel unnoticed by others, but God sees that beautiful heart inside of you and he rewards us for our faithfulness. Does that mean your blog will go viral or that struggling business of yours will skyrocket to success overnight? Maybe, maybe not but I can assure you knowing your worth even in the delayed not yet” and “maybe” is the best reward ever.

 

 

Insecurity has been woven into the fabrics of hearts from day one. We become fixated on feedback, but it’s the negative feedback we seem to always feed until in grows bigger than the vast blessings we’ve forgotten to notice and count. The Harvard Business Review said it takes six comments for every one negative comment. That’s a 6 to 1 ratio that lets you know that we are all playing into the measuring game.

 

Look, you might go daaaays without hearing someone say one nice thing about you, or gift you with affirming words that help with the sting of that one-ugly-comment.

 

So what do you do with that?

 

 

You deal with the mean girl in your head, first. If your inner voice is talking truth that’s awesome, but if she is talking trash…she has to shut it.

 

 

 

Take those thoughts captive instead of entertaining them. (2 Cor 10:15)

 

We can deal with our insecurity-driven life by looking to our only source of real security in Jesus. His love for you is constant, not flighty. God’s grace-filled love, truth, and even conviction and correction as believers is because we are loved and we are His. That never changes, darling. Never.

 

One day your life will be faith-filled, not insecurity-driven. Your decisions will not be fear-based decision, you will live with a soul on fire for the gifts God has given you. You will spend them unapologetically and wildly. And, those comments that used to torment you will become easier to let go of and hold very little weight because you know who you are in Christ is not dependent on how others view or respond to you. You consider the source and make a choice to let it go because you know your source.

 

 

 

He is your constant source of stability;
he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;
he gives all this to those who fear him. (Isaiah 33:6-8 NET)

 

 

So, you feel like you have more issues than Vogue…you’re in good company. Been there. Done that. But, I’m over it.

 

 

I have a prayer for you below, pray and leave me a comment. I will post a video blog as a follow up to your feedback and comments. Let’s keep the conversation going. There is so much to cover on this. I’ll share my heart and part of my story and struggle with this and how I kicked insecurity in the face. I want to point you the power in Christ we have. Almost free isn’t freedom at all.

 

Keep going, sweet friends.

 

Much love,

 

Jennifer

 

 

Prayer:

 

Lord,

 

Today I will be fierce and faith-filled. Fear will no longer control my life, thoughts, and responses. I need your help letting go of the words that have hurt me. I want to please you. I want you to be my source- not the opinions and approval of others.

 

 

Help me to let go of_______________________________________________.

 

I believe you are able to free me from my approval addiction.

 

Help me to forgive________________________________________________.

 

Help me to forgive myself for_______________________________________.

 

Thank you for blessing me with____________________________________________________________

 

 

 

I’m ready to move on.

 

 

In Jesus Name,

 

 

AMEN

 

 

15 thoughts on “Unrestricted Summer Series

  1. I’ve entered a new season! I’m laying down the fear of rejection & picking up confidence (the one in Jesus that we’re not to throw away). This blog’s prayer was perfect. I plan to right it down and pin by my mirror! I’m ready for this new season! I’m ready to set aside things besetting me & holding me back from fulfilling my Commander’s assignment! By His Grace this is possible! Thank you so much for your encouraging ministry! I look forward to staying in tuned with this summer’s series.

    1. I love that, Barbara! I am a huge fan of using prayer journaling and index cards with scriptures or prayers and putting them somewhere I can see them. I am really excited about this series and that it’s resonating with so many of you here. Praying for you, this is going to be a great summer for you! xo

  2. Oh Jennifer! I’m both honored and appreciative that you chose to “help me” by addressing my tangled insecurity! Your post was packed with myriad, glinting nuggets! I can’t even pick one to showcase! Can’t wait for what you’ve got for us next!

    Thankful for your willingness to minister to each of us with such care… whether it be to answer all our posts or address our personal “monsters” directly in your posts! You have a heart of gold and I’m so glad Christ has chosen you to deliver his good news to us today and throughout this series!

    1. You are so precious, Allison! I just love your comments! Thank you for your sweet encouragement and feedback. I’m pumped about this series and excited to do a follow-up video/fb live on this topic! Praying for all of you and thinking about this ride we are all on. Big hugs!

  3. Love this title, Unrestricted Summer, having been placed in the fire where God is burning away all that is not of Him this is encouraging. Walking in the fire with him and not feeling the roaring flames sent to kill, still and destroy me knowing his peace is carrying me through this season.More important than that is it really isn’t about me at all but all about HIM. Thank you for being open and honest about your struggles so that we can also openly express our need to be open and honest first before God then with others. You rock girl keep speaking what God has spoken to you and continue to rock our worlds. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. God bless you looking forward to your next blog.

    1. Thank you for your awesome comment, it made me smile. Girl, you are on fire!! This world needs more of that. Big hugs!

  4. I just the title of this series!! It hits home ,hard! I need to let go of trying to gain my mom’s and sister’s approval . I need to forgive them and move on. They are who they are , it’s up to them to change. I can’t change them , that is God’s job, my job is to pray for them and to love them. I have boundaries in place. I need to forgive forgive myself for letting their abuse go on so long . I an looking forward to your next blog. Bless you.

    1. Dee, I am praying for you right now. That is so hard when there is deep hurt with moms/sisters. Boundaries are huge, they mean you care enough to have them in place for the future health of the relationship. Praying you find freedom and joy in letting go and moving on. It’s hard when we want so desperately to “fix” others, that’s something we all want to do as women and nurturers.

  5. Wow! Thank you for doing this, very much needed at this point for me. God is leading me into new territory, where my approval addiction and insecurities have to left behind ….it’s pretty scary……and hard…..but with three girls watching my every move, it’s a must. Thank you for your encouragement.

    1. Girl, so true! It’s a must with those three beautiful girls watching, they are so blessed to have you! <3

  6. I have dealt with insecurity for most of my life. Now that I’m a mother of preteens and getting older myself, I NEED and WANT to let it go. I don’t want to transfer my anxiety, fears and insecurities onto them. It has held me back from so many opportunities throughout the years, and I don’t want them to miss out on anything that may be presented to them. Most importantly, I don’t want them to have to deal with such an exhausting and futile thing. I’m so afraid as their mom, I’m messing up. I must admit I get an amount of momentary satisfaction in the approval of others. I know that’s not where I should look for approval, and I don’t want them to seek their identity in that either. I want them to know they are loved and enough. Thank you so much for this series! I’m in such need of it 😊

    1. Motherhood, for me, was a huge motivator in making sure I was dealing with my insecurities. Fear was a HUGE thing for me, I didn’t want my fears to become a family tradition. I think we all feel like we are messing up in certain areas as mothers, but I honestly believe that our love and true desires will be what matters most. They don’t need perfect mothers, they need godly, flawed, loving, and willing to admit when they are wrong mothers. Your heart is beautiful and in the right place, so excited to go on this journey with you. It’s going to be so good! Big hugs!

  7. Dear Jennifer, dear Sisters! I prayed this prayer under tears and trust again that doors will open to new territory and so will for you, I pray.
    Love from your german sister Katharina

    1. Thank you so much for praying for our friends in this community, sweet Katharina! Praying this series blesses you.

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