They say the first year on staff is the year when all your insecurities exposed. In these first two weeks of being on campus, I made sure that I had complete control over every single insecure thought. I made sure I put up every buffer against insecurity, burn out and depression. I made sure I was as honest as possible about all things.
And then, something dawned on me. My whole attempt at engaging my insecurity and weakness may be just those very same insecurities expressing themselves in different ways. You see, this has all been my attempt at trying to appear in control of myself and my sinful nature. My false self is not my sinful nature, but my attempt to look like I’m control of that nature.
It was truly strange for my supervisor to tell me it was okay that I was dealing with insecurity, and that it was okay to feel those things… that strangely, it was normal. It is normal to not like the 30-40 minute commute. It is normal to feel insecure and compare myself to bigger ministries like the one I came out of. It is perfectly normal to feel out of place doing “ministry”. It’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated when people don’t even know what the name of the campus I’m staffing at is.
I have tried so hard to be prepared to avoid my insecurities and weaknesses in ministry that I fear that perhaps I am missing out on the personal growth that comes with struggling with insecurity.
When I found out it was normal to feel insecure or weak, even as a minister, I found myself dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to do. I worked so hard to show that even my insecurities could not phase my resolve for the kingdom, that when I realized that weakness was a place God (not I) could be strong, I could not find anything to let God do at the end of the day. In fact, I have trouble letting go of things and admitting my weakness as a weakness instead of a strength, so that God can do work.
I’m such a control freak. Such a control freak that I even control my honesty in a very dishonest fashion. My attempts at perfection remind me so much of the pharisee’s- “present yourself well on the outside, but the inside? meh, don’t worry, you look great on the outside (kind of like Luke 11:37-54). ”
So what does integrity mean when the very mask I try to put on is a mask that pretends it is transparent, but is in reality just trying to attract attention to how much control I have?
That’s one for me to ponder on i suppose… how I wish this question could be answered in a day…