Thank you so much to all of you who have signed up to be part of the “Confident Heart” prayer team. You touched my heart with your words and your willingness to join me in this God-sized adventure. We’re creating our group email list and will be in touch early next week! I’m praying for you and each woman who will read this book. I pray we’ll all be forever transformed into women who are defined by security, hope and confidence in Christ!
Last year when I surveyed 1200 women about their doubts, I asked if doubt affected their relationships and, if so, which ones?81% said doubt affects their relationship with family, 69% said it affects their relationship with God, 68% said it affects their relationships with friends, 36% said it affects their relationships with co-workers and 28% said doubt affects their relationships with strangers.
I have a feeling I am going to be telling on myself a lot as I write this book. Yesterday I was thinking about a time when my insecurities and doubts about my future almost tore my marriage apart. JJ and I had been married for several years and were experiencing severe tension. I was all wound up inside. I got angry easily and I didn’t know why.
Around that time we attended a marriage conference where Gary Smalley talked about unresolved anger from our past that we bring into our marriage. Bingo! I realized that night my anger as an adult stemmed from years of disappointment as a child. Disappointment that I never got the happily-ever-after I wanted.
You see, my parents divorced by the time I was two years old. I always hoped that one day I’d have a “whole” family and a happy ending. I used to make bouquets out of azaleas and walk down the isle of my dad’s long driveway lined with magnolia trees, imagining Prince Charming on the porch waiting for me.
Those were little girl dreams that I thought I’d left behind. But as God reminded me of the dreams buried deep in my heart, He showed me that in some ways I was demanding they come true. When they didn’t, my broken dreams became bitter expectations. Unspoken expectations. I wanted JJ to make up for all that my dad had never been as a father to me or as a husband to my mom.
As a broken girl from a broken home, my dreams felt like they were at stake. I was bound and determined to secure my future by creating my own version of a perfect life.
But I couldn’t, and it made me panic. My anger and expectations erupted in the form of cutting and critical words toward my husband. Words I thought he needed to hear to help him become the perfect husband and dad I desperately wanted him to be.
I was convinced if he could be those things, my broken dreams could be put back together. My hopes and wishes could come true. JJ would provide security, affirmation and shelter for my little-girl-heart that was still crushed inside my adult body. Then I could be secure and become the confident woman I wanted to be.
God showed me I needed to find my security in Him alone. Despite my broken past and shattered dreams, I needed to remember that “He knows the plans He had for me,” (Jer 29:11) and if I want to know them, I need to go to Him. Despite the turmoil and confusion from my childhood, I needed to confess the sin of my anger and expectations and let go of what I thought was my right to a “happily-ever-after.”
As I released my grip, I learned to trust God to write the rest of my story. When I did, He began to heal my heart and my marriage. I learned to draw hope and confidence from God’s unfailing love and learned to love JJ without conditions. As I let God’s words of affirmation shape my self-image, I was able to stop being so hard on myself and my husband.
It was a turning point in our marriage. My insecurities could have taken us down, but instead God used that time to rebuild my own “ancient ruins and restore places devastated long ago”(Is. 61:4). In my brokenness He showed me how He could take my insecurities and let them lead me to find complete security in Christ.
I want us to talk about this. Have you ever found yourself getting angry when your husband (or someone else) didn’t meet your expectations or fill your needs?
Have disappointment from your past affected your marriage or other relationships?
I want to hear your stories and thoughts on this topic to help me better understand how all of us are affected by past, our disappointments and how they shape our insecurities. Your insights and experiences are valuable my friend, so please don’t ever hesitate to share them. I know this is a vulnerable topic, but we’ve got a safe little community here where we can share our hearts and stories. I’d love to pray for you as I read today’s comments. Feel free to post anonymously if you want to.