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Tori McMunn: Dark Made Light

Tori McMunn  

Growing up, I always thought insecurities meant weaknesses. They were just silly things that we couldn't handle and that we covered up to hide from everyone else. My weakness was worry.

Coming from a long line of what I thought was very strong, independent, Christian men and women, turned out that once I got older I found out my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all had their own weaknesses. They hid secrets and lies that no one talked about very much. I figured I shouldn't talk about what worried me either so I bottled it up inside. I thought for far too long many nights.  I would lose sleep and have sudden fears during the day because I was worried of whatever was on my mind. Sometimes it would come out in tears or anger. It was a constant battle in my mind. The fact that my parents fought made me scared to tell them what was wrong. I figured it would make their problems worse. I was able to share minor details with friends and I allowed my grandparents in on my struggles with communicating with my parents. But it still never solved anything completely.

Finally, the summer after I graduated High School, my family went through the darkest time of our lives. Many secrets were made clear, lies then turned to truths,  and everything that had been bottled up trickled - actually gushed - out. All cards were on the table! It was my worst nightmare come to life. It wasn't until I had been at Evangel for nearly 6 months until hope started arising inside of me. A guest speaker was leading an alternate chapel one night. Although I don't remember what he spoke on, I remember a pulling inside of my heart to turn to Isaiah 46:8-9. I didn't even know if there was that many chapters in this book. I finally turned to what seemed like a random passage but this is what I read, "Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I Am God, and there is no other; I Am God, and there is none like me." I cried in amazement of what I just took in. God had told me to not forget but to let it go and give my insecurity to him. He is God!

After that night, it was like the battle in my mind had grown smaller. The things I felt I had to bottle up no longer made me weak. I understood that I'm not weak because my God is strong! Sure, I had to still face my insecurities but it felt more manageable because I wasn't by myself. God had been through everything with me. God continually works through our weaknesses to show us how mighty he is! He can take what we feel we can't handle on our own and actually make it manageable in his hands. I found out I couldn't do it on my own and that I didn't have to hide my worries. God had been there the whole time. And he is there for every single one of you! He doesn't want you to forget, but he does want you to let go so he can manage it. What ever the insecurity God is stronger!

My name is Tori McMunn and I am secure!

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Emily Taylor: Beauty is ________

Emily Taylor
B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Beautiful. A word every girl wants to hear, yet no one seems to really know what beauty is. There is not a set of guidelines written out for us to say, "beauty is_____." Although, every girl has a cultural ideal burned into her mind telling her what is not beautiful about herself and she is most likely willing to do what it takes to try to change that. Our culture tells us from the time we are born how to get prettier--or it at least tells us that we are not pretty enough. Our culture tells us that beauty is found in the physical. I would like to take a stand and say that true beauty is a spiritual. matter.
Jewelry, hair, makeup, and of course a cute pair of shoes are all things I like. Call me a total girl, but I actually really enjoy dressing up!  I like feeling trendy and when someone compliments me on a new pair of shoes, but for years I fell into the lie that those items were what MADE me beautiful and I was not beautiful without them. Culture has always told me the physical is where beauty comes from. Since the time I could crawl I have been playing dress-up. When I got a bit older I started playing with that little girl makeup--you know, the kind that is basically colored putty that can leave your face stained bright pink for a couple of days…yeah, that kind. When I was in seventh grade I started using the real stuff; one time I mixed several different colors of eyeshadow together and wore it to school. A boy in my class asked me if I had black eyes; needless to say, I never wore that eyeshadow again! By my freshman year of high school, makeup was a part of my everyday routine. To be honest, I don't know if I can remember a single day I left the house without makeup from the time I was a freshman in high school until my freshman year of college. I so easily fell into the snare that culture throws at us; I thought my beauty was found in the physical.
A couple of weeks before the Insecurely Movement started, God began to repetitively remind me of a saying I once heard, "Don't let a day go by where you spend more time looking into a mirror than into your Bible." Those words cut me deep, because I knew I was not doing so. I was trying to keep my appearance up to the world's standard and meanwhile neglecting the inner beauty of God's standard. Several different occurrences happened in the weeks leading to the Insecurely Movement that led me to believe that I really needed a heart change. God was redefining the meaning of beauty in my mind. I began to pray that God would give me confidence in myself no matter how I look on the outside, because true beauty is found from the inside. I memorized Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." I said this to myself everyday until it was instilled within my brain so that I was constantly reminded that my beauty must be found in my character, not my clothes or makeup.
Don't get me wrong. There is nothing bad about doing your hair and makeup and dressing with your own unique style! The breaking point is this: when impressing the world with your image is more important to you than transforming your heart to the image of God.
The Insecurely Movement has truly challenged and changed my heart. Since the Insecurely Movement I have left my room a countless amount of times without makeup. My outward appearance no longer defines me; my God defines me. I now can leave the house without makeup and still feel beautiful, because no matter how I may look on the outside to others, my true beauty shines from within!
God has redefined the meaning of beauty in my life, let Him do so in yours.
I am Emily Taylor and I am secure.

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Katie Stanford: Secure in Christ

As a child, I always wanted to be the center of attention. If there were people near me, I wanted them to be my audience. I would put my favorite music on and pretend that they were at my concert. Everyday I would run around outside pretending to be Pocahontas with my hair blowing in the wind while singing all of the songs from the movie. Needless to say, I was one weird kid! I grew up in a very athletic family. My younger sister was the type of person who could excel at any sport she tried. My mother was always the one to coach her, and they made an excellent team. I, of course, tried my hand at sports but was never able to live up to par with Brooke. As I grew up, my Kid’s Church pastor saw some potential in me and started teaching me human videos. I had found the place where I belonged. I started to do more and more human videos, and I fell in love with acting.

Summer in between my freshman and sophomore year, my world fell apart. My Kid’s Pastor resigned after dealing with a scandal in her personal life, and my older sister stopped talking to any of my family members. I didn’t understand. I didn’t know why everything was going wrong. I then started to get the terrible “what if” thoughts. “What if I would’ve encouraged Tisha more?” “What if I let Danielle know how much her family loved her and wanted her home?” “What if I told Tisha that I wanted to grow up to be like her one day?” “What if I let Danielle know that I longed to have a great sister relationship with her?”

These questions haunted me. With each day that passed, I started to feel worthless and forgettable. On the outside, I was acting like nothing was wrong. I became so numb to anything and everything, and I finally resorted to self-harm to allow myself to feel again. With every blow of pain I felt, I could escape into a world where I could control that pain. It was easy to take care of. In the end, all I needed was a band-aid. A lot easier to mend than any mental pain, eh?

As high school went on, the wounds slowly started to heal. I had accepted what I could not change. God and His amazing redemptive power healed my mind and restored my thinking. I started to not care what people thought of me, and I found myself a much happier and carefree person.

Of course I still struggle with self-harm and self-image, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a constant reminder of what God has brought me out of. Through His power alone, I can write this story, and I can honestly tell you that there is hope.

 

“What you say about yourself means nothing in God’s work. It’s what God says about you that makes the difference.” 2 Corinthians 10:18 MSG

 

I am Katie Claire Stanford, and I am secure in Christ. 

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Abbi Leathers: Insecurity for real

 Abbi Leathers

Insecurity: The oh-so-lovely gift from SATAN to pretty much the entire population of girls on this planet Earth (and boys too I guess, equal opportunity and stuff).

Okay but for real.. insecurity is totally straight from Satan. Want to hear about my never-ending battle with the nasty crap? (Sure Abbi, I’d love to!) Alright, sweet. Let’s just back it right on up to THE WORST YEAR OF ANYONE’S LIFE EVER: That’s right, you guessed it, sixth grade. Can I get an “amen”?! You know, that’s the year when you returned to school after summer break in your cool new jean skirt and leggings, and half the boys were still smaller than you and the other half grew about ten feet, started talking with that bass down low, and sprouted massive amounts of armpit hair that they insisted on showing off every chance they could with their jank, homemade cutoff t-shirts. You with me? Yeah, well that’s the same year when I learned all I didn’t want to know about pimples. I was only twelve years old when I went to my mom and demanded to learn about the wonderful world of makeup. I was in my last year of elementary school, and my dependence upon hiding my face had already begun.  And let me tell you, I got to be pretty good at it.

So basically, that continued all through the awkward junior high years and right on through the high school ones too. I’ve always struggled with my complexion, and I’ve literally tried every remedy known to man. And despite the fact that I’ll be twenty years old in just a few short months, my face still acts like it belongs to that twelve year-old girl in the sixth grade.

Since all that began, I can honestly say I’m not even sure if there has been a day in my life that I’ve gone without makeup completely. Over the years I grew to be embarrassed of my face and did my very best to hide it. I cut my bangs and never pulled them back in an attempt to hide half my face, and when someone would try to make eye contact with me, I’d quickly look away. I was the epitome of insecure.

Like most girls, I’ve also battled with a lack of confidence in my weight, size, hair, voice and pretty much everything else about myself too. I know what it’s like to grow up in a culture consumed by commercials with undressed Victoria’s Secret models and an obsession with sex. And I definitely know what it’s like to want to be desired. Been there. Done that. Still fighting that battle.

But I can honestly tell you that when I realized that the Creator of this entire, amazing universe desires me and is relentlessly pursuing me, well that’s when my perspective changed a little. As Christian men and women, we’re all for the idea that God is perfect in every way and Created the Earth and everything in it. But then we continue to hate ourselves and every feature we possess. But do you not realize that YOU were created by that perfect Creator? The Creator that makes no mistakes and does everything intentionally? The One who created the ocean and heartbeats, daisies and oxygen? Not only did He create those things, but he stepped back from it all in the end and said “Dang, that’s good,” (or something similar that.) THAT’S the God who created YOU. He made you on purpose. He made you for a reason. He makes no mistakes. And He’s your biggest fan. You are His most prized masterpiece.

Now do a brother a favor, and the next time you look in the mirror, try to see yourself the way your Creator sees you. Because He says you are beautiful, you are original, you were carefully made, and you are a masterpiece.

And maybe skip all the foundation. It’s actually kind of liberating once in a while.

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Nicole Finnell: Healing Process

Nicole Finnell

 

These are the words of the very things that shaped who I am. I have to dig deep to bring my insecurities to the surface. I’ve dealt with a lack of confidence due to both my appearance and personal experiences. Growing up, I was the slightly more than chubby girl with the slicked back hair and the face covered in acne. I spent a great deal of my time in books. I was a “nerd” who found her security in school. My brains were what gave me value. I found comfort in being the class clown because that seemed to be the only way I fit in contentedly with my peers. I found security in my humor. Until the summer before my junior year when the weight came off, the acne cleared up, and I learned that I didn’t have to wear a ponytail every day of my life. I became confident in my looks, I became okay with who I was and my personality stayed the same.

I enter into my junior year thinking this was it. “I’m finally free of the burden of worrying every day whether I was presentable and acceptable to the world.” Little did I know that I would soon meet my biggest insecurity. His name holds no significance. It was his actions that made all the difference. His words made me feel beautiful and his actions made me feel worthy. For the first time in my life I was being noticed by a guy. Within no time I fell head over heels for this boy, and with that, my self-worth would start to grow attached to the opinions and thoughts of this guy. Everything he wanted I did. Everything he disapproved of, I stopped. I wasn’t Nicole anymore. Instead of being an original, like I had been my entire life, I was a carbon copy of the person he wanted and created. As time went by, he got tired of me. A crushed little girl, I tried to move on pretending he didn’t destroy a little piece of me.

This same guy will be seen in and out of my life for the next four years. I was his fall back girl and I had a low enough self-esteem to be exactly that. Even if for the moment I wanted to be wanted and I longed to feel beautiful… So I let him use me. Eventually, I would become the secret; a hidden aspect of his life. I would feel as though I were not good enough, not pretty enough, not perfect enough to be a part of his reality, so I did my best to fit into his fantasy. I gave what was most precious to me so easily to this guy only to be left alone. Again. And hurt. Again. And feeling worthless. Again. It’s easy to see that I let my insecurities in my worth take control of me, leading to the insecurities I would struggle with (and still struggle with) because of these experiences. It has taken time, and still more time is needed, for me to fully recover from such a long period of being used as I was. Through the fasting and praying of dear ones, and the time spent seeking God through it all, I have come to terms within myself and about myself. I have learned to be content with me. I know I have worth, I know I deserve more, I know I deserve to be treated better, and I am fighting with all the newly found strength I possess to keep what purity, integrity, and honor I have left, knowing that my God is gracious enough to restore all that I had given away.

Today, I’m still in love with learning, I enjoy making people laugh, and I struggle with who I am on occasion. I wear the scars of my insecurities as proof of healing. God did more than put a band-aid over my wounds. He completely healed them. He is the God of restoration, and He fixed what satan was bent on destroying: my self-worth and my relationships. These scars are my testimony, my evidence of a great God who has done wonders within me. I can now face this guy saying I know I am worth more, I know I deserve better. I can honestly forgive him, and I can know he forgives me. I can look in a mirror with confidence and say I am beautiful. If this journey has taught me anything it is that I am more than meets the eye. I am not defined by the mirror I stare in each morning. My confidence and security comes from a God who says the world’s standards of beauty are severely screwed up. I am declared beautiful and valuable by the creator of the universe. No other source can tell me any different for their opinions are negated and considered void by a greater truth. I am Nicole Lynn Finnell and I am secure in Christ.

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Love, Cassie DeClerc

Cassie DeClerc Insecure. I don’t like this word; I never have and never will.

I guess I’ve always just seen it as being needy, or weak and I have always tried to refuse to be any part of that. I don’t like help from others and I don’t like relying on other people. I guess you could even say my goal has always been to come off rather secure. But let’s be honest, no matter how “strong” or “secure” you come off we all have insecurities.

When I was thinking about what I was going to write on here at first I thought, “It would be awesome to talk about some great God experience I’ve had where I learned to be confident, or say I have really embraced being a daughter of the King, or I have even learned that I am made perfectly in Gods image”, but the truth with that is, I would be lying if I told you I had that one experience.

Being insecure is a constant struggle. A battle. A war. Day in and day out. I get up in the morning and struggle from start to finish. I wake up and hate the fact that I have dark circles (graciously passed down from my mother’s side), my skin isn’t an even tone and it’s not flawless either. I don’t like the way my clothes fit half the time and the other half I don’t like my clothes.

I’m not secure in the way I look or my hair. I’m not the “funny friend” or the “cleaver friend”. I’m not the girl to that makes guy’s heads turn and I’m rather positive at times I’m extremely awkward. I’m insecure that my past has mistakes. I’m also extremely insecure that at the age of 22 I’ve never had a boyfriend. To be honest, my list of insecurities could probably go on for quite awhile…

The good thing? I am NOT my insecurities.

If you asked my friends they would tell you that I am OBSESSED with quotes (they’re my absolute favorite part of Pinterest). I have a quote for everything and if you give me enough time I can find one that applies to whatever we’re talking about. Quotes and pictures fill my room and especially my mirror. So when I wake up I’m surrounded by verses and quotes like Song of Solomon 4:7 “You are altogether beautiful my darling, and there is no blemish in you.” and the infamous “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” They may seem small and insignificant but to me they’re a reminder that I’m not the ridiculous lies I tell myself. The ridiculous lies the devil feeds me.

I am NOT my insecurities.  And you are NOT your insecurities either.

You are beautiful. Bright. Perfect.

Everyday I find myself fighting this battle and everyday I turn it over to God. It is a continual war and learning process. In the world I am not perfect and I never will be. But in God’s eyes, like Song of Solomon says, “there is no blemish in you”.

I wish I could tell each of you, to your face just how wonderful, beautiful and amazing you are. I truly do mean that.  You ARE beautiful. I pray for you daily, whether we are friends or complete strangers that as you read this you take it in and really believe it.

Finally, I’ve been praying and really thinking about this whole process. The whole (In)securely Movement a lot recently and here is what I’ve come up with:

Let’s not only learn to love our imperfections and ourselves but lets learn to love each other. I believe a lot of our imperfections come from us not liking things in others and turning them onto ourselves. Here and now I am challenging you: Lets cut the gossip and only speak kind words to and of others in front of them and behind their backs. What would society look like if we were constantly building others up inside and out instead of cutting them down?

Love,

Cassie

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Hannah Beers: Welcome to the Movement

My name is Hannah and I am the founder of the Insecurely Movement. Hannah BeersI've thought the same thing since I dreamed up this crazy idea: what will I write about?

I've asked every girl involved to dig deep and write their about their deepest insecurities, and I was going to let mine go unheard. But, I can't. I have to be honest if they are to be honest. I have to be honest to share the truth.

For years, I've spent my time striving to appear as if I am confident and secure in who I am. I swore to never let people see the side of me that I despised: the weak side. The side that feels inferior to everyone around her; the side that is susceptible to a single mean word or action; the side that makes terrible decisions that affect everything; the side that is ashamed of what she looks like; the side that, no matter how hard she tries, gets her heart-broken far too easily.

I cover up my insecurity with harsh words, obnoxious laughs, and snobby remarks.

To be honest, I feel inferior to nearly every person I meet. I'm not thin. I'm not incredibly outgoing. I'm not friendly. I'm not amusingly witty. I'm good, but not great.

Seem like a lot? I guess it is, but not to me. To me, it's the life I've always lived.

Now, I don't want you to feel sorry or sad. Like I said, I've worked my entire life to not be like this. I've crafted talents, developed some exceptional dry sarcasm, and learned how to use a curling iron. My darkest days are behind me, but only for one reason.

I am secure in God. He took this mess and ugliness that I called a person and turned it around. If there is anything I've learned over my life, it is that I am no one without him. I am useless without him.

When God turns you around, there's something interesting that happens. He opens your eyes to the ones around you with the same problems.

That very thing is what started this all.

I began to see girls lives just like mine, messed up and sad. I saw girls who made life-altering decisions all based on the fact that they felt disgusting and worthless. I saw little girls starting to develop the very traits that pointed to the same place: disaster.

If you know me personally, you know that I am not an exceptionally compassionate person. On the inside is another story, but on this exterior I created, I can't risk it. Those of you who know me probably scoff at this idea that I'm somehow considerate towards insecurities. But, it's not about me. This whole thing has nothing to do with me.

God has taken this mediocre photographer with a knack for Photoshop, a heart for broken girls, and a surrendered life and started this.

Welcome to the Insecurely Movement.

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Welcome

This is the Insecurely Movement. Whether you've come upon this website by mistake or by will, you are here to experience this revolutionary new way of thinking.

Insecurely is not a movement to proclaim beauty, although it does do that.

Insecurely faces its names: insecurities.

Join us on this journey to embrace insecurities and proclaim our security.

Welcome to the Insecurely Movement.

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