1 Philippians 1:6 - He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus

Monday, February 14, 2011

Confidence...Where Does it Come From?

I have often wondered where does confidence come from – and why are there times when I feel like a small mouse, meek and helpless, afraid to speak even of my own basic needs…while other times, I feel like a giant – boisterous and demanding – unafraid of anybody or anything?

Does confidence come from other people? The crowd we are surrounded by? Does confidence come from deep within ourselves…does it come from a higher power, such as God? Does confidence come from medications like Prozac, Abilify, or Zoloft? Maybe none of these, perhaps age is the deciding factor?

Here is my take on confidence…from personal experience, of course. I always was a confident person, even as a child, my mother will tell you that I was not afraid to speak my mind….I do apologize now, for the sassiness that entailed as a child (sorry, Mom and Dad)…while certain events in my life transpired, events that I’m sure will be shared at one point or another, my personality went through changes and that fiery confidence that once shined so brightly, seemed to whither away replaced by a quiet and withdrawn melancholy. The confidence would come and go….but it was now dripping with anger and heavy laden with defiance rather than light with mere challenge. Eventually, we tried the Prozac, the Abilify and the Zoloft…and confidence still wouldn’t shine through - - not like it used to. As I aged slightly and became a mother, the “mother tiger” in me took hold and when needed, I took care of the cubs with great confidence, it was still there and it was strong, indeed. I noticed as I weebled and wobbled from one end of the “God” spectrum to the other, my confidence weebled and wobbled as well. I have only recently put together, in an “ah-ha” moment, that only in Christ am I confident in myself…because only in Christ am I really myself. Therefore, for as long as I had been fallen away from the Lord that I felt lost (and believe me, did I ever feel lost) my confidence was terribly low as was my self-esteem. The minute I re-committed my life to Him, I could just feel those heavy burdens lift off of my shoulders. When I am being untrue to myself, and untrue to who God wants me to be – I am not at peace and I am not confident in what I am doing. Joyce Meyer has an excellent book called “How to Hear From God”, it’s one of her older books, but she goes through an entire chapter on finding peace…it’s truly amazing – and it’s amazing what having that peace between you and God does for your confidence.

I just have to share an example of this peace. This was a completely new concept to me prior to reading the chapter in this book. I have always felt that I was this terrible misfit in most social groups and with all of these different types of people…it really got me down and upset me. I stopped doing a Bible study at church because I felt I didn’t fit in with the other ladies…it was not so good, my confidence was terrible. I would have anxiety attacks before the study started, I dreaded going – but at the same time, I wanted to go because I wanted to learn about God! But, I just couldn’t do it. After awhile, I thought I was socially inept….But then, I read the chapter of this book and applied it to areas of my life – took the information for what it was. One day, my husband bought me a Saturday newspaper – he NEVER buys me a Saturday paper…but he did that week. I was thumbing through it and came across the Beliefs section, so I read the article and way at the bottom of the article was a teeny little ad for this writing group…hmmm…right up my ally, I thought!!! So, I e-mailed Sue and, well, that Saturday came and I went – just like that! Not even a second thought, I had no anxiety…no second thought…I had no idea who anybody was there…but I had this peace about going…it was truly amazing and God-lead, I guess is all I can say. I have never felt more welcome by a group of people and I have never been made to feel like I belong like I did when I walked into that room….so now, I am no longer a teenager…I am no longer a young mother…I still take some meds….but I would venture to say, in my opinion, confidence is all in who we are in Christ….and in Him, I have once again found my confidence.

Revelations 21:7 – All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. – (NLT)

John 15:7 - If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. - (NIV)

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