When Confidence Grows a Little Too Much

Yup. Silliness is just part of who I am. You can be confident of that.

The year of confidence started out with a bang in January, when I was put in a situation in which my head covering was a possible social faux pas.

A few years back, I had faced a similar, slightly awkward situation, when I was involved in a community theater project with my daughter. And a few years before that, when I was in a wedding. Each time I managed to navigate it. Each time I grew a little more into the whole concept.

After I tried one day bare-headed for a theater rehearsal, I knew that my head covering was there to stay (and my kids were quite adamantly in agreement.) So I had tried my commitment to it, and come through knowing where I was supposed to stand. It was a kind-of-hard but sweet knowing.

The situation this January, though... it had a different flavor. An extremely unusual event, and very very dear people involved. I was tried again.

While my theater test had shown me that I was in for the long haul, finding a way to do it for this event threw me into a tizzy. After a sputtering start, and a few rallying friends, I saw my way. Interestingly, what I saw was that I have a unique style, and that I am okay with that. All three of my beautiful friends are stylish in their own ways, and all three of them made completely different suggestions. Completely.

I have my own shape, my own coloring, and my own preferences. There are kinds of scarves I can't wear because my hair is too thin. There are fabulously elegant turban-style headcoverings that would look ridiculous on this white girl.

So I figured out a solution I could live with. Not only for my head, but also for my body. It was good. After 30 years of feeling awkward about clothing (what scars junior high can dig into a mind!), I was free.

I am a headcovering, skirt wearing Mama. That's me. The longer and flowier the better. Silk and linen, soft cotton and maybe some rayon. That's what I love. And it's good.

It was an interesting first foray into my crazy word for the year - confidence.

Next up were a series of interactions related to my online work. More positives. More confidence. What on earth?

Face to face with people, I kept hearing myself not just gently and softly encouraging, but starting to get fiery, starting to speak all pulpit-like about having vision and pursuing dreams, about eternal perspective and spiritual warfare. Confidence, confidence!

Which brings me to Holy Week.

Holy Week... in which I have made scriptural error after scriptural error. Some written, some in person. Just a great big stumbling of me. I have called tables couches and computers phones. I have been gently teased by loved ones, and held tightly by unconditional arms. I have been a mess. Almost as bad as my house. And this week, that's pretty bad.

I really thought this week, seriously, "I have no right to write. No right to talk to anyone about spiritual matters. No right to weigh in on biblical truth. I must stop." I contemplated what it would mean to get rid of every single electronic device in our home. I sorely wanted to.

Alas my errors were not limited to the computer. Today, it was my off-hand "That's not in the bible" statement, gently corrected by my child. My child. <blush>

But today, blessedly, I was also pondering the cross. Today I kept seeing the image of a bloody Jesus suffering for me. Oh how I don't like seeing that image. Crushes me. But there it was.

Good Friday - a good day to be reminded where my confidence lies.

Even though I understood from the beginning that I was not called to self-confidence this year, but simply confidence, I let it get away from me. I let those beginning exhilarating forays into confidence in Him and who I am in Him morph, without restraint, into self-confidence. And then I fell flat on my face.

Thank you Jesus for my bloody nose!

I can't be really me, fully me, unless I am abiding in Him, unless I am laying my effort and my abilities at His feet for His use. The more I become confident in my own strength, the weaker I really am. But the reverse is also true.

Isn't that crazy? That the less we hang onto ourselves, the more we become who we were meant to be?

..for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh... Philippians 3:3 

Now I just have to walk on. Have to remember Whose I am and Who sets my value, and Who makes me worthy. 'Cause it isn't me, that's for sure.

Self-confidence just leads to disappointment. Confidence in Jesus - that leads to freedom and joy. I'll take the freedom and joy, please.

This bruised girl will be rejoicing in the Resurrection on Sunday... and thankful, so thankful.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Patti! It's a delightful irony that the more we abandon ourselves to Him, the more real we become. The more we die to self, the more alive we are.


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