Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Confident Confidence

What do you think of when I say "confidence"? Do you know some who display genuine confidence and some that are not so genuine, or rather portrayed? Confident confidence, if there is such a thing beyond the Dictionary of Paula, could be genuine confidence...being confident in your confidence.



Through the study of Behind Those Eyes, I'm coming to realize I have mixed emotions when pondering this word of confidence, what it means to others, in society, and to me. Chapter three in this online study with Lelia is called Ms. Confidence.



The first scripture that came to mind during this reading nd repeated itself in my head is 1 John 5:14-15. I remember memorizing this some years ago in a some Bible study but boy has it stayed with me. It also goes along with the residing theme in my life the last 15 months....asking, believing, receiving. It's a bit of a tongue twister but meditate on this a bit. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.
I find it odd that this scripture came to mind, considering the context of this chapter is not in that direction. I guess I will take that as the Almighty Father speaking to me OR maybe one of YOU need those verses.

I was looking up scripture and another verse "popped" of the page. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13. Wow. Maybe this is a personal message to me (and most likely one of you)...a message of reassurance of His goodness that will prevail in my life and situation...and YOURS. Of course this verse just happens to precede a favorite of mine. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 I just love scriptures that remind me to wait as I am in a long season of waiting amidst the pain.

So, let's look at some of those brain-churnin' questions Lisa asks us. What does having confidence mean to me? Well, I thought I knew until I read this chapter and saw a different view of it. Having confidence to me is seemingly different than what this chapter has explained. Or rather, this chapter properly defined confidence. However, the confidence I desire is not one that is concerned with the outward appearance by others. I don't particularly care if a person "sees" me as confident but rather I desire to "feel" confident within my self...my looks, appearance/clothes, purpose, skills, ability to perform, do a good job, share my thoughts, speak up for what's right, about my relationships, etc. I want to look good for me. I want to excel at work for me. I want to live with purpose for me. I want to be kind to others for me. Does this make a lick of sense? I guess because at times I feel my self-esteem is so low that I am just concerned with raising my own view of myself. I am my own worse critic.

Is there a difference between true confidence and impersonated confidence? Absolutely. True confidence, or as I've labeled it--confident confidence--is being sure of oneself. Someone who has assurance of who he/she is. Impersonated confidence is just a huge mask for insecurity. They are total opposites. One is secure and one is insecure. Of course, as Christians, our assurance and confidence must come from God but we can also feel secure in ourselves, in our skin, in our abilities (provide by God).

To what degree does fear of rejection play into Ms. Confidence's role-playing? I guess fear of rejection could be a significant part of Ms. Confidence. Since I don't aspire to be confident for the benefit of others--that is to mold their opinion of me--then I'm unsure. I don't recall ever portraying confidence because of fearing rejection. But after I read the other blogs, maybe it will jar my memory.

Lisa challenged us to give our own new definitions of six words. At first, I struggled with this. Then with each word, it seemed a scripture or part of scripture came to mind and thus a "definition" followed.

Fearless
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I am fearless because He gives me no reason to fear.

Strong
The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Psalm 28:7a
I am strong by His strength.

Empowered
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16b
I am empowered by prayer.

Independent
My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Psalm 62:7
I am independent IN Christ alone; outside of Christ I am dependent on Him.

Emotionally Healthy
But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness...Matthew 6:33
I am emotionally healthy when I put Him first and above all else.

Accomplished
In his heart a man plans his course, but God determines his steps. Prov. 16:9
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

I am accomplished when His plans, and not mine, are fulfilled in my life.

The B.Y.E (Behind Your Eyes) questions...
Do I believe I really need only God?
Yes, I do. We really do only need God. Do I struggle with this? Yes, because I desire other people in my life and certain relationships, whether it be spousal, children, girlfriends, family. As women, I think we all desire deep relationships with other women. Most women probably desire a husband and kids. So, I desire to have these relationships but I know now that I don't NEED them. In the human heart, at least for me, it can be difficult to draw the line between desire and need when in comes to certain relationships. I have lived my life feeling I needed others to survive to the point of feeling I'd die without another person. God has proven me extremely wrong. I think until we believe God is all we need, God may shut down, remove, or alter some relationships until we receive the revelation that He r.e.a.l.l.y. IS a.l.l. we need.

Has the fact that I really need only God been tested in my life? Are you kidding, Lisa? That would be a resounding y.e.s.! When my marriage failed and the one believed (still) to be my divine other-half was gone, I didn't know if I could survive. I remember those times of losing my breath, sleepless nights, panic feelings, anxiety, indescribable emotions that I never want to experience in that intensity again. I didn't know how I'd live without this great love God had finally provided me after six long years of waiting. However, God has shown me His love is greater and can sustain the absence of human love, no matter how great, deep, and divine that human love. I am still not absent of deep pain and hopeful desires but neither am I of His love and sufficiency.

The final challenge question didn't seem to be a challenge for me so now I'm wondering "did I get the right answer?"

Is is hard to admit my vulnerabilities in general and to God? Oddly enough, no. I definitely have no problem admitting them to God. For goodness sake, if I don't who will help me? I tell Him in faith that He will make up where I fall weak. Yes, I can admit my vulnerabilities to others also. Through this trial of mine, I have been pretty open on an individual level. I think I've been vulnerable by making certain statements in this post. Though I'm reserved on this open format of a blog, I trust the Lord to use my openness privately, even if I'm too open at times. He is my protector and will shield me from those moments of giving too much of myself.

Confident in Him,

28 comments:

Lisa said...

Awesome post, Paula. Loved it because I can hear God speaking to your heart in it. It's clear to me that He has something in this study for you. And I love hearing how you are going there and asking yourself the hard questions. At the end of all those questions will stand your beautiful Heavenly Father...so you (and I) are safe to ask them.

I also loved seeing you seek God to find the definitions to words attached to confidence. How cool that He brought Scriptures to your mind to define them. Having the Word hidden in your heart truly helps truth be readily available to you, like it was when you sought to define these words. Love it!

Lisa :)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I cannot fully tell what this blog means to me.God is always at work in our lives and ,boy, does He ever have a lot of work to do in my life.Sometimes I think that at my age I should be more spiritually mature,but God is still working on me.Praise the Lord!

Pat said...

Paula,
This was such good stuff. I love to dwell on God's WORDS for life victory and growth,
Blessings,
Pat

Connie said...

I enjoyed how you put the scripture with the 6 words that you needed to define. I love your way of looking at this chapter and applying it to your life. Have a good week! Connie

LynnSC said...

How great that you are allowing God to speak to you through this book... I have really needed it too.

I am so glad to be on this journey with you.
Lynn

Darlene said...

I love the verses that God brought to your heart. Thank you for sharing them.

I love how relevant God is to 'the land of the living.' He wants our hearts freer by the day, on this side of heaven.

So blessed to be on this journey with you,
Darlene

Dianne said...

Hey Paula,

Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog, I appreciated it. I have visited you a few times before. I'll try visit more regularly.

You know, if you wanted, I could make you a background too. If you would like that, email me and let me know.

God Bless.

Carol said...

Hi Paula,

I love your insight, and the scriptures and new meanings to that list Lisa gave us. The fact that you want to be confident for yourself, that gives me more to think about.

I'm sorry I've been a bit out of touch, I want to sit and write you an email, but I had to work through some stuff with this chapter. It was a hard one for me, and I had to really spend some time in prayer over my post. Thanks for checking on me.

I'll write you later.

Love you,
Carol

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Paula~What a great post!!! God truly speaks through you, your heart, and your posts on your blog.

Abbasgirl said...

Great post!

Amy said...

~I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13.~

Those are some sweet words, amen?

They mean a lot to me concerning my promise as you already know.

I like how Donna Partow speaks of confidence. She says that we should walk in God Confidence...not our own, because our own would crumble.

Great post, Paula.
God Bless,
Amy:)

Edge of Design said...

RYC: I emailed you. In the meantime, I just wanted you to know that God would never tell your husband the covenant was broken because God is about keeping Covenants and not breaking them. It was a lie from the enemy so now we know how to pray for your dh.

Sharon said...

Wow Paula, This post was fantastic, I could feel how he has touched your heart, and is working through you to reach out to us. I really need to get involved in this book as well.
Those verses really were great and how you defined them all.
Thank you for inspiring me today!
Be Blessed
Sharon

On Purpose said...

I enjoyed reading your blog today...it is very clear to me where you seek your counsel from...Him and His word...this is a huge witness and encouragement for women. Way to blog with a purpose!

Tammy R said...

Love reading your post.

I loved your thoughts on Ms. Confidence and what the definitions meant to you.

Tonya said...

Paula,

THANKS so much for your sweet comments. As always, it's such a blessing to come and "hang" with you here.

I'm praying you have an AMAZING weekend!

LOVE YOU,
Tonya

Melanie said...

Wow... what a great post, Paula! I love the six words you defined and firmly believe that if we live out those according to the scripture then we will have the confidence we need.

It's been way too long since I stopped by for a visit... I won't wait so long next time! :)

Sandy said...

Hi Paula...thanks for the sweet and funny post on my blog. Yes, I guess we are neighbors. I've seen the signs you are talking about. They have them all over downtown and on Bardstown Rd too. They crack me up.

I usually post comments on Lysa TerKeurst's blog, but the other night I went "blog hopping" and I ended up posting all over the place. It was fun. I love to see what everyone is writing about. You may have seen me over at Lysa's blog, but I just recently changed my pic, so I just "look" new.

Anyway, you have a beautiful blog. If I had a girlie blog, I'd make mine all pink too.

I'll be back! Visit mine again soon!

Love,
Sandy Cooper
www.godspeakstoday.blogspot.com

Rachel Olsen said...

Great post. And I wanted to say thank you for the sweet comment on my blog today - your words were like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Fondly ~ Rachel

rusty'swife said...

Paula,

I so sorry for being behind in reading others thoughts. You words struck a cord with me that God is still plucking. Thank you for your heart and your insight. I am blessed to be on this journey with you.

Sallye

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Great thoughts, Paula. As usual, you are very honest and heartfelt.

Tonya said...

Paula, it's funny that you called it a "clean" windshield." If ONLY you could see the inside of my hubby's truck! Hehehe

Lelia Chealey said...

Great to read your heart here Paula. I loved your definitions.
God is doing a work in you my friend. Keep sharing it with us.
Love,
Lelia

Runner Mom said...

Wonderful post, Paula. As others have said, God is working on your heart, and we appreciate your sharing it with us. You're a sweetie!

Love ya,
Susan

Tonya said...

HA!! You're such a hoot! Yes, I guess I KNEW that what I was eating was PORK SKIN, I guess it's just one of those things I ate without thinking about it. (I'm with YOU, the BBQ ones are SO MUCH BETTER) See, there are pork skins, then there are cracklins. (It's a smaller, much crunchier version of just the skins) They're YUMMY, well, they WERE yummy until I found all that HAIR on one of them. I don't know if I'll EVER snack on THAT again.. HEHEHHE

Angie said...

This book has really opened my eyes to facts I had long ignored about myself. My insecurities for one.

I claim His promises as my own...but so many times fail to apply them to my life...

I loved your comments to the book questions Paula. Much like my own.

Be blessed friend!

Laura said...

Paula,
i've been meaning to write...have missed you! things are a bit crazy here since I returned from NYC, but worth the craziness. I can't seem to catch up. Do you ever feel that way? I think I need to take some vitamins.
I hope you are doing well. can't wait to read what you have to say about Ms. Happiness...

Chelle' said...

Hey Paula... what a wonderful post.

I wanted to thank you also for stopping by my blog and for sharing your heart with me. Your comment touched me.

Please stop in anytime and feel free to "take the dare" with us all.