Riptide by Vance joy struck me in a way that few songs do the very first moment I heard it. I think it took me almost two months to actually find out who the song was written by, but one line in particular haunted me for a very long time:
“I love you when you’re singing this song and I’ve got a lump in my throat cause you’re gonna sing the words wrong.”
Funny story: I actually started writing this post over a year ago, but I was so wrapped up in the emotions surrounding it that I couldn’t finish it. After a while, the fate that awaits many of my wonderful ideas came about and I forgot about it. That is, until now.
This song rings the anthem of insecurity for me. I’ve read Vance Joy’s interviews on the way he wrote it, and as fascinating as all of that is, it struck a personal note with me. Perhaps it was the descriptive honesty that brought me to such a reaction, but after all, I’ve been that way with songs for as long as I can remember.
That particular line resonated with my deep fear of no one ever fully understanding me.
My battle with insecurity is a grueling one that predates my awareness of its existence. When I was a child, I wrote in codes and spoke in stories because I had determined that no one could possibly understand what I really wanted to say. My little habits led to much more complicated problems as I grew older. Although I learned how to communicate fairly well, expressing emotions was not my strong point.
This past Spring I took up the challenge to read a book called “Secure in Heart” with the intention of beginning to recover from my battle with insecurity. As a friend of mine would always say “Insecurity is direct pride against God,” and I was tired of questioning the way that God made me. If you read through the scriptures, the Bible is full of incredible men that God chose, but they battled insecurity; Moses, Gideon, and Peter come to mind. However, these fears caused them problems later on in their walk, and it is clear from scriptures that insecurity is not a God-given feeling.
2 Peter 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
In efforts to put everything on the table, I extensively went through all of my fears and insecurities (both past and present) and searched for scriptures to counter my emotions. As you can imagine, this was a messy process that resulted in digging up many things I had forgotten about. However, I’ve found it to be worth it. Finding the source of my insecurity (as painful as that was) allowed me to see God’s provision for true security.
Insecurities (or false securities) come when we decide that God’s provision is not enough and that we must measure up to an imaginary requirement; not being good enough, loneliness, fear of failure, fear of abandonment, lack of trust, ect.
As a leader, my insecurities are magnified by my responsibilities and the charge to be an example to those around me. This year I’ve battled with depression, been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, been in a painful car accident, seen women turn their backs on God and in turn get angry with me, and it’s only June. On the other side of things, I’ve seen and experienced many wonderful things in God’s grace as well. Yet, I’ve come closer to God through my challenges than I have my victories and through my weaknesses I’m truly beginning to understand what Paul meant in this passage:
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
However, as leaders our security must not come from success, as many of us will fall and fail to reach certain goals. The only way to truly overcome your battle with insecurity is to truly find your security in God. Sure, there are wonderful people in my life that help me and teach me and have become very dear to me, but not one of those people can give me true security. Sure, God has given me intelligence and talents and has shown me success in this life, but I have also come across many weaknesses and failures. People are there for you sometimes, but it is inevitable that they let us down and we tend to do the same for them. I’ve learned that it’s unfair to expect people to do and say the right thing all the time, your expectations could be the very thing that makes it difficult to have good relationships. The only one who can truly never fail you always has your back, but trusting in God is no excuse to push people away. Let people fail you, let them hurt you, let yourself hurt others, it’s going to happen and you’re going to grow. If you expect people to take God’s role in your life, it will not only ruin your relationship with them, but also with Him. Instead of fighting to fill the insecurities in my heart with my own strength and comfort from others, I’ve been learning to accept what this passage really means:
Psalm 18:35 You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
It would take much too long and way too many words to share my entire journey to true security in God, but I found my direct answer to this fear in particular here:
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
The insecurity that Riptide exposed in my heart is that the people I desire to share my life with will not fully understand the “Song” of my heart. As hard as it is to admit it, this is a fact. No one in your life will fully understand you (including yourself) the way that your Creator does, and He has the perfect song for each of us. A “Riptide” (the actual name would be a rip current) is one of the movements of the ocean that would pull you out to sea if you got caught in it. The only way to escape a rip before it runs out is to swim sideways and get out of it, if you try to swim against it, you’ll run out of energy and most likely get nowhere in the process, eventually drowning. Insecurity, much like a rip current can pull you off your feet and into the ocean spiritually. Don’t try to fight your insecurities with false securities, instead get out and find your true security in God.
While my battle with insecurity is far from over, I’m glad to say that I’m not giving up any time soon.
To God be the Glory,