I’m twenty-one years old, and I struggle with being insecure.
This still comes as a shock to me. I had always assumed that when I was “grown up,” I would no longer have to deal with accepting myself for who I am. Every day, though, is a matter of letting go of my own insecurities and finding my security in Christ.
My insecurities began, like many people’s, in middle school. I was shy. I sported hormonal acne-prone skin, slightly greasy hair, and a large gap between my two front teeth, and my fashion sense was a bit – undeveloped (to put it nicely). I had just started a new school, so I was struggling to make friends. In my eyes, the girls at my new school were perfect – they had close friends, cute clothes, and even boyfriends. And then there was me, with no friends, old clothes, and very boyfriend-less. As a result, I felt much less than perfect, undeserving of close friends, and fairly worthless most of the time.
I began to compare myself to those girls whom I viewed as perfect. I would see girls with silky blonde hair and begin to hate my own brown locks; I would see girls with flawless skin and, consequently, coat my face with makeup to hide the acne bumps and red splotches. I wanted a model body and an outgoing personality and for people to love me, just like they loved those seemingly “perfect” girls. The comparison battle was an endless cycle. Slowly, without realizing it, comparing myself became an addiction. Every day, I would compare myself to girls at my school, in books, in movies, and in magazines, imagining exactly what I would change about myself in order to be more like them. I began to feel unhappy, disappointed with myself, and thoroughly insecure.
Truly, comparison is deadly. Once we begin comparing ourselves to other people, it becomes almost impossible to stop. Even after my skin cleared up, the oils in my hair disappeared, and my braces worked a miracle on my teeth, I continued to compare myself. I never felt beautiful. I spent all of my time wishing that I was someone else altogether. I desired – even prayed – for a personality transplant, for a supernatural plastic surgery, for whatever it would take to make me anything other than myself.
It was my senior year of high school before things started to change. I finally began to quiet myself before God, and that made all of the difference. He began to whisper to me the truth about who I am. His voice was never loud, demanding, or accusing. He said lovingly that He sees me as a flawless creation, whole and fully perfect in every way. My personality, my looks, and everything about me was designed for a reason, even if I can’t see that reason yet. I finally caught a glimpse of how much it hurts the heart of God when I wish to be anyone other than myself. His voice was a sweet undertone in my day, gently speaking truth to my heart and breaking my addiction of comparing myself.
I can’t say that things are easy now – they aren’t. Comparison truly is like a drug, and it is one that does not loosen its grip easily. Every day, though, I choose to walk in the fact that I was designed by a perfect Creator who does not make mistakes. I am perfectly and wonderfully made. I am chosen. I am called. It is those truths that allow me to be secure – secure, fully and totally, in Christ.