I've been thinking a lot lately about insecurity. Why? Because so many of us moms are insecure. Add homeschooling to the mix and our insecurity rises. This insecurity can manifest itself in a few different ways.
Insecurity can make us self-condemning. We feel like we can do nothing right & everything we do is a failure leading us to think our kids will be failures. Insecurity can make us compare ourselves to everyone else. If we aren't doing it exactly like the speakers at convention or the other families in our church then we must be doing wrong. Insecurity causes us to create some ideal, perfect homeschoolers which immediately sets us up for failure. Perhaps one of the worst things insecurity does to us is make us judgemental & defensive. We start judging others who do things differently than us and get defensive about the things we do. We then start attacking other moms instead of building each other up.
It always amazing to me the varied reactions I get from other moms when I say I homeschool. Many of these are rooted in insecurity. The reactions from those who don't homeschool are that they start tearing me down for homeschooling, they try to convince me homeschooling is the wrong choice for me or they start launching into a litany of excuses for why they don't or can't homeschool. Homeschool moms are not much better. Our responses include defending the method of homeschooling we use, attacking each others' methods or comparing methods to deflate themselves or the other mom.
How refreshing it is when I meet those rare women who are secure in who they are. I walk away encouraged & uplifted! I want to be one of those moms! I've made great strides in this area, but still slide back into the insecurity track when around others who are insecure.
So, how do we move past being insecure? Here are the steps I took. I do have to warn you that it's not easy. Many of us have been stuck in the insecurity trap for years. And for some of us, it's been passed down to us from our moms & grandmas!
1. Confess you are insecure! - Tell God you are tired of being insecure & ask Him to change you & your thinking. (Romans 12:2) It also helps to tell a close friend or accountability partner that you are struggling with insecurity.
2. Find out who you are in Christ! - When you study God's Word to find out what He thinks about you & how He feels about you, it changes how you feel about yourself. Go through the Bible and write down every verse you can find on this topic. Here are a few to get you started: Psalm 139, Deuteronomy 7:6, Revelation 4:11 and Ephesians 1:3-7. Put these verses somewhere that you will see. Better yet, start memorizing some of them.
3. Pray! - ask God to show you who you are in Him, what His plans are for you & your children and how you are to fulfill these plans. If we seek God, He will lay on our hearts what His will is for us. Then He will confirm it through His Word and through the advice of others.
4. Proceed with Confidence! - When we know who we are in Christ & the path He has laid before us, we can proceed with confidence, not in ourselves, but in Christ. We can put in place the education plan right for our family, for this time.
5. Realize that your plan is just that, your plan! - It is not your neighbors plan, it is not your friend's plan! God gives us each a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). Each of our plans are as unique as we are. It's ok to do things differently than others. And it's ok that other people do things differently than you! And remember, this plan is for this time in your life. Your plan will change with each season of your life.
6. Encourage others! - This last step is one of the most important. We need to encourage others to seek God's plan for their family. Help them to be secure in the plan God has for them, whether it be homeschool, private school, public school or unschool. Don't belittle their choices! Don't tear them down! Don't try to compete with them. Love them!! Encourage them. Remember that this is not a competition against each other. We are on the same team! We are in the same family!!
Insecurity is a trap! It's Satan's way of defeating us, tearing God's family apart & destroying friendships. We need to seek God & ask Him to lift us out of this trap. It's an ongoing process. It takes constant prayer & hard work on our parts not to slide back into old habits. I'm finding that the more I trust God & remind myself of how God sees me, the more secure I am in who God made me to be. Insecurity then loses its grip on me! It is so freeing! I am free to be me & to encourage those around me to be themselves.