I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get insecure… Does anybody REALLY love me? On Valentines Day- We all just want to be loved, don’t we? Feel the special someone thinks we’re something special?! Or what about my boss? My students? My audience? Would they REALLY miss me if I moved away, quit, died? Am I REALLY making a difference? Yeah, we all have those moments when we don’t feel good enough at whatever we do… What  if “they” don’t think I know my stuff, am smart, am qualified, am pretty/ attractive enough to make the grade, the  standard, the audition, the job? Today it happened again. I was interviewing for a middle school teaching job… I don’t know if I want to even do that again… but they caught me off guard with some questions I haven’t thought about in a long time… what is my classroom management style? Did I look like an idiot? As a singer sometimes I stress about the songs I choose on a show. “I should have done an uptempo song, something less jazzy, something with SCAR, an original, not an original…” Will the owner/ manager/ audience ask me back? Buy my CD? “Think I’m good? Too religious? I can question myself to death! Can you relate? And what if they do decide that I am not the right fit for their venue? Do I crawl under a rock? Do I quit singing? What about as a teacher? Oh how wonderful it is when I am teaching a student and they “Get it” and grow and improve and are thrilled at their own progress! That’s when I LOVE teaching voice and guitar! Everyone is happy! But then there are those students that have a harder time. Is it me? Or them? Maybe they quit… move on. Do I take the shingle off my door and go back to sales? I was feeling like that when I wrote my song “Secure in Heart.”
It was also inspired by a book I had just read called “Secure in Heart” by Robin Weidner. In the song I remind myself where my security should come from… God. That can sound trite. in Verse 2 it says: “VERSE: I can act the part- so confident Sometimes I even fool myself But as soon as I get a small critique I fight not to retreat to my shell Then there’s the other side- Talking my ugly pride Trying to prove that I’m good enough When it all comes down to the truth I just wanna be loved!” Don’t we all just want to be loved? so there’s the crux of it all. How do we feel loved even when we feel inadequate? Here is where the scripture comes to the rescue!!!

Know You Are Loved

Psalm 39:7  “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!     People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 139:13-16   “For you created my inmost being;     you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you     when I was made in the secret place,     when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;     all the days ordained for me were written in your book     before one of them came to be.” 1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” Deuteronomy 1:21 “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Let’s get back to my insecurities while singing or teaching. Once I know I am loved no matter what, that helps a lot!  Even if I screw up royally and all clients and student leave me, I am still loved for me- just being me.  Amen!

Know Your Skills

But a couple other thoughts come to mind; I should have a sober estimate of my skills.(If you’re not sure, get some advice from someone impartial and knowledgeable in your field.) Romans 12:3 teaches me to have a realistic estimate of our abilities: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” At this point in my career I should know my skill level and trust its value! I have to remember this every time I feel like I’ve failed. Have I been singing professionally for audiences for over 40 years -! YES! Have thousands told me how they loved or enjoyed my performances? YES!
Have I taught hundreds of student now to sing or play guitar, bringing them joy? YES! Have I trained some musicians who have gone on to have careers in music?- YES! Do I make a living in music? YES! PRAISE GOD!

Consider the Big Picture

And finally, who is in control anyway?  I don’t know the big picture… why am I steered this way or that. or why that student or client is being directed away from me. God promises to take care of me… I need to trust him. Romans 8:28 reads: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And it it might not be about me at all!!!! Revelation!

Recognize the Enemy

Oh, I almost forgot! There is another player in all of this- you guessed it- Satan. Before you shut down with visions of little red men with horns, hear me out. We all know there is good and evil in the world. Every day there is a spiritual battle going on. And as I am out there trying to spread the hop e of God through music and training others to praise Him in song, it sure would make sense that Satan would like to incapacitate me. But as the Father of  Lies he likes to be sneaky… the whispers in my ear: “You just don’t cut it'” “You’re just not good enough!” Fight back! “In the Name of Jesus- Get Back!”

Comfortable in My Own Skin

The bottom line after all of this is that I need to know who I am and whose I am. I need to know my skills and my weaknesses. I need to know who the enemy is and how to fight back. And I need to remember it’s not all about me and there is a bigger picture! Then when I feel insecure I can take appropriate action… Maybe in the end, I may just need to let it roll off. I am who I am and I gave it my best shot. There you have it. Time to get back to work!
And PS- Thanks so much for all the love I feel from you fans! And of course my kids- and my Sweet Valentine: Ralphy!