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Burnout, Growth, and New Beginnings


Burnout, Growth, and New Beginnings

Emily Taylor, Hannah Beers, Cassie DeClerc, and Kaytee Mitchell are pictured at the Daughters of the King conference in Van Buren, Missouri.

Have you ever experienced burnout? I'm talking the kind of exhaustion and disappointment that lasts through a bad day and into a season. Burnout is living overwhelmed. I am writing to you today from the end of the burnout season. 

Two years ago this week, Insecurely Movement launched. I was a college freshman, living in a bright new world plagued with insecurity that affected everything around me. On a late night in February 2013, for the first time in my short life, I saw a way out of living a life of insecurity.

I lived 18 years with a voice questioning my validity as a woman, friend, daughter, leader, and a follower of Jesus.

As you read this, it is important to understand the war that insecurity waged against me. I am ambitious, brash, and driven to a fault. I pride myself on my ability to push through any crisis with a brave face. I like to succeed . . . all the time. I am the oldest child in my family and a fiercely protective sister. "She is intimidating" is a far greater compliment to me than, "She is beautiful." 

Josh Buckner, spoken word artist, and Nii Abrahams, writer, are pictured at the You Are Loved conference in Strafford, Missouri. 

That being said, I don't like showing emotion or weakness. Tears don't fall in public and jokes are a remarkably simple defense mechanism. My battle with insecurity did not present itself in off-handed comments about how I look or social media posts asking people to rate my appearance.

Rebel: Insecurely Day was a day that encouraged people find a plain white shirt, write their biggest insecurity on it, and wear it for a day. At Insecurely Movement, we believe that once you admit your insecurities, they lose power. 

No, that was never my battle. If it is yours, I join with you in pursuing freedom. 

My battle presents itself in relationships. "What do they think about me?" "Why do they even want to be around me?" "She obviously isn't (insert name here)." I lived 18 years with a voice questioning my validity as a woman, friend, daughter, leader, and a follower of Jesus.

When Insecurely launched, it was a series of these photos and weekly blogs. These photos illustrated that we are the same person regardless of how we look. 

Here I was, in April of 2013, with a lifetime of insecurity and a new mission to abolish it entirely. In a whirlwind of a year, people came alongside me, dedicated to sharing the message of Insecurely Movement. My dear friend Joshua Buckner wrote a spoken word that inspires everyone from YouTube commenters to prison inmates. Our social media grew and we planned and executed events. The website got a makeover, our staff reached eighteen people, and we were invited to speak at conferences around the state. We were doing exactly what we were called to do. But, it was not enough. 

I let myself believe a very simple lie. "I can't do it." Insecurely couldn't file for tax exempt status.  Insecurely couldn't create a business bank account. Insecurely couldn't gain thousands of Twitter followers. Insecurely couldn't devise a series of resources. Insecurely could not do it. 

I became so focused on what Insecurely could not do, I forgot what we could do.

Jon Hamilton, a pastor at Central AG in Vero Beach, Florida, spoke the words that illustrate the fault with this concept. "God did not tell us everyone would respond well to our ministry. He called us to be faithful." 

That brings me here. Insecurely Movement is back. We are back to share in the journey. We're back to do what we were called to do. We're back for you. 

That's what this whole thing is about anyway, right? We're here to make the trek together. The twenty-somethings that make up Insecurely are no experts. We live life just as you do. We spend Friday nights watching Netflix and complain entirely too much about Mondays. We go to job interviews and take final exams. We wait too long to do laundry. We eat Taco Bell when we shouldn't. 

The girl I was, immersed in insecurity, is still in here. I hear her voice all too often, but she reminds me of something new. Today, that girl reminds me of the struggles that so many of us deal with, of the guilt and pain that saddle themselves to you. She reminds me that there is a whole population of people who are still too deep in insecurities to break the surface of speaking up and out. She reminds me that each person is susceptible to insecurity, and to love people with a compassion that only Jesus could have mastered. 

We're here to come alongside you in the journey. Will you let us join?

God did not tell us everyone would respond well to our ministry. He called us to be faithful.
— Jon Hamilton, pastor

Hannah Beers is the founder of Insecurely Movement. She is a senior advertising and public relations at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. After graduation, Hannah plans on entering into public service. To connect with Hannah, follow her on Twitter.