formation friday: security

blog formation friday securityi am kind of liking this formation friday thing because it causes me to think about God & not just rant and rave every week! i know it’s not for everybody but for right now it’s making me happy.  the other two posts so far in this series are here and here.  have a great weekend!

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years ago i was in a conversation with a woman who was feverishly trying to convince me that she was secure and had healthy self-esteem.  it was a strange interaction because i never said she didn’t.   i had only shared some of my own feelings of insecurity and doubt and for some reason it triggered in her the need to tell me how strong, secure, and “free in Christ” she really was.  she was so adamant about convincing me that she was secure that she had no idea how insecure she really sounded.

i had a thought then that has lingered for all these years–secure people don’t need to convince people of their security.

in fact, secure people don’t need to convince anyone of anything.

they embody a groundedness that doesn’t need to get all worked up about things when others see things differently.

insecurity breeds defensiveness and a need to convince.

i do not want to be an insecure person; i want to be a secure one.

not secure in knowing all the right answers to the questions, but secure in feeling loved and okay-just-as-i-am.

for so many of us, security often remains elusive.  we care too much about what other people think.  we feel unloved and unlovable, we defiinitely don’t feel okay.  we’re always feeling too much or not enough.  we only see our flaws and never our strengths.  lowly worm theology is easier to come by than being the beloved.

i sometimes wonder what God thinks of all of the insecurity that has been bred in his name.

one of my top 10 favorite passages of scripture is in psalm 40:1-3.

“i waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

he lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

he put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”

he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

often, as a spiritual practice, i try to put both feet on the ground, sit up straight, and take a few really deep breaths, noticing my feet on solid ground underneath me.  it helps turn my attention away from what feels like sinking sand underneath me and remember that i’m okay.  that God’s with me.  that my heart may be overwhelmed, but there’s a rock that’s higher than i underneath me (psalm 61).

at the refuge, we write on little rocks a lot (it’s a running joke) for all kinds of spiritual reflections and markers in our faith. today, if you can, think about what words or phrases you’d write on a rock (a big one!) that describe how God might be bringing you security right now–no matter what it is–that helps give you a firmer place to stand.

i know for some of you that feeling may be elusive.  that’s okay, but maybe what you can meditate on is what you wish your rock would say as a next step.

my rock is: “kathy, i’m with you always. always. always.”

what’s on yours?  what do you need to remember today?  

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coming next week: some ex-good-christian-women fun (if you or someone you know is making this transition toward greater freedom, would love to have you join us for our upcoming ex-good-christian-women’s-online group starting october 1st at liveittothefull.com. it’s going to be a good one!) & two more for the what’s like… series–what it’s like to lose a job in this economy & what it’s like to have cancer.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

22 Comments

  • Oh, I hate when someone or something hits the most sensitive button in me and sends me dissolving into a puddle. Wait, did I say hate..love…no hate, can’t decide. I read the word “security” and started crying, before I even read anything else.
    Sinking sand is what I perceive is going on in my life and has sent me on a mental trip of grasping at whatever might make me feel secure in the moment. “He set my feet on a rock” are words to take into my head today and replace with “sinking sand”.
    my rock: “Mary, I am your source, I will not abandon”

    Thank you for sharing this Kathy:)

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  • Thanks so much Kathy. My rock would say “dear irene…you are beautiful and forgiven”

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  • I live in Rock City. That’s not the real name, but it could be. I need to practice this with some of my students. My rock today would read, Live from the heart.

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  • Yea, and AMEN. Thank you for these good words and clear reminder of where security is truly found. I love that you choose these verses to stand on, not to preach with or at. I am so deeply tired of proof-texting being used as a weapon to say, “I’m right, you’re not.” So I will put my feet on the ground right next to yours, Kathy. And I’ll write on that rock: “By the grace of God, I am so not a worm. I am beloved.”

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  • Hahaha! I have a running joke with my friend and co-leader Kelly about writing on rocks too! In fact, I run in lots of writing on rocks circles, including Convergence. 🙂

    I love your spiritual practice of putting both feet on the ground and breathing deeply. I think those physical actions are so important to truly root us in our mental and spiritual practices. Connecting the mind with the body, as it where.

    My rock would say “you are my beloved and you are enough.”

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  • Pingback: beautiful thoughts on identity « matters of the heart
  • I’m choosing for my rock the words of Julian of Norwich …”all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”. These words came to my memory as I read this post.

    I recently started extreme beginner yoga, and in mountain pose, a basic standing still pose, I felt I was standing until the instructor said “ground your feet into the earth.”. Total difference. As you wrote about setting your feet on a rock, that image came to mind … Not just standing, but pressing strongly into, The Rock. That picture helped me.

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    • oh i love that julian or norwich quote & sometimes when i’m really a mess i draw on them. it’s amazing, the mind-body-soul connection, too. wild.

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  • Oh Lord kathy!

    You a have been a lifeline to me. I can’t tell you what this past year of ex-megadom has been like (you probably already know) but I want to say a huge THANK YOU for this blog.

    I have laughed.

    I have cried.
    I have felt encouraged.
    I have crawled back from the dark night of the soul.

    Did you ever have any idea that you would impact another soul so deeply (especially someone you have never met!)

    So THANK YOU again.

    Blessed to read these posts, so much so that I have finally come out of lurkerdom.

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    • well that was a great email to wake up to. knowing that some of this nuttiness i write here makes a difference means a lot to me so thank you for sharing. i, too, am glad you have come out of lurkerdom and it’s so great to meet you and hear about healing & hope. you are definitely not alone on this road!

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  • i love coming here to comment and seeing so many people who feel free and secure to post transparently because a certain someone has the kahunas- metaphorically speaking- to risk being herself because she wants to spread love!!!!! My rock would say- I have you held tight and My love is always there- no matter how much it feels its not
    Le tme know if what i sent you can work mky friend. Love you for who you are!!!!

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  • Good thing you said we get a big rock – I seem to have a lot of words on mine! Here’s what I would write: “While finances and emotions are an inescapable part of my life, they are not firm ground to stand on, and I shouldn’t look to them for security. God, being your beloved, your child, wrapped in your tender-hearted care, instruction and discipline, never to be abandoned or truly alone – this is the firm ground you have given me to stand my life upon!”

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