It is no surprise that people who have been rejected struggle with feelings of insecurity. While not all become devastated and jelly-like throughout their life, their confidence is undermined and they will likely struggle at times with uncertainty about what life may deal to them and how they will cope.
The Earth Moved
I remember the first time I felt the earth move under my feet. I was at Bible College in New Zealand, a land of many tremors, and felt the ground shake for a few moments. What surprised me was how that short tremor affected me. While the shake only lasted a few seconds, the disturbance within me lasted much longer.
I felt wobbly. If something as solid as the ground under my feet could not be trusted, then we are all much more vulnerable than we think.
That physical experience is an allegory for what happens to us internally when those who should love us and care about us fail to do so. The foundations we should have as our anchoring reference points are no longer to be trusted. The only alternative, naturally, is to become insecure about our footing from then on.
Another description of insecurity is ‘vulnerability’. It is the feeling that, at any moment, something could go wrong.
To picture this sense of insecure vulnerability I use the image of someone walking a tightrope. The past success does not mean they are not continually in danger of falling. There is no place, up there on the tight-rope, to feel carelessly secure.
Sadly, that is how many people live their lives. They find that every day is a challenge, with fears and vulnerabilities assaulting their hearts and minds. This may account for the many people who turn to alcohol, drugs, therapy, despair and even suicide.
Some of those who feel vulnerability retreat into the safety of formality in their dealings with other people. Keeping contacts with others ‘businesslike’, cognitive and formal, allows people to navigate their social context with some sense of stability.
While formality is often sterile, at least the vulnerable person can maintain their career, social contacts and family life with some degree of effectiveness. Friends may find it hard to really get to know them and they may run away from people who are more effusive and relational. However, when you are feeling vulnerable, self-preservation takes a very high priority.
One of my joys in helping people recover from rejection is seeing them regain the confidence they have lost. I recall assisting a young lady named Avis, in New Zealand thirty years ago. She had been impacted by rejection and suffered many consequences.
Some female friends were helping Avis gain release from various things that had messed up her life, and they sent Avis to me for assistance with her rejection. I took her through my Steps to Release and brought her out of the rejection that had dogged her lifestyle.
A week or so later, Avis came back to see me, advising that, although she felt free on the inside, she was still living in intimidation and insecurity. As I prayed with her to find out what the problem was I sensed that, although she was free, she did not feel she could enter into that freedom. Her whole life pattern was schooled to be insecure, fearful, retiring and intimidated.
I prayed with her again, to break the old lifestyle habit patterns which trapped her life. Then I sent her home, commissioned to enter into the new life which Christ had purchased for her.
I received a call from Avis’ flatmates the next day, asking what I had done to Avis. She was so wonderfully transformed.
It seems that Avis had returned home to find the two girls who were mentoring her talking quietly together. As soon as Avis arrived they stopped talking in an awkward silence. Avis would normally have been very intimidated by this and felt like she needed to leave the room.
Instead, Avis went across to the girls, draped herself over one of the armchairs near them, and said, “I bet you were talking about me!” From that moment on Avis entered a new level of relationship with them, based on her new inner freedom from insecurity and vulnerability.
That’s part of what Paul meant when he described the “glorious liberty of the children of God”.
“Because creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21
Insecurity is Not Sin
Feeling insecure is not a sin. We each have to work through new and challenging situations at times and can feel uncertain and vulnerable, especially if there is high risk involved. How would you feel working with explosives the first time?
There is no need to feel condemned if you struggle with insecurity. There is not need to feel condemned if you are deeply insecure. The Lord does not condemn you, but He loves you and longs to see you blossom into the life which He created you for.
Being a victim of rejection is not your fault. It has damaged you and robbed you of your destiny, but God does not blame you for the hurtful actions of others. He created you to be who you are, and some others may have rejected you for that. Parents may have wanted a boy or girl, or a sportsman, or an academic, or someone strong and healthy, but ended up with you. But you were designed by God, whatever your ‘unchangeables’ – race, sex, DNA, etc. It is not your fault that others rejected you for being what God made you.
Find Your Feet
The only anchor for life is God. Everything else could move under your feet. Societies get overthrown. Wealth is lost or stolen. Health is fragile. Friendships are not guaranteed. Family is no surety of affection and support.
So, find your feet in God. Place yourself on a Rock. You can come free from insecurity and vulnerability. You can become the most confident, assured, fearless and daring person in the world. You can be transformed from the scared youth, to the hero victor over the nation’s enemy as Gideon was.
I invite you into freedom, in Jesus’ name.