Pride, Control and the Desire for a Refined Confidence
by Andrea @Beautiful Craziness
I use to have confidence.
Confidence in which I could walk into a room, lift my head and be proud of who I was. Confidence in the things I did. I was good at school. I had my life planned out at an early age. I knew what I wanted and I knew what I needed to do to get it.
Through the years the confidence has waned. That girl who was self-reliant and so sure of herself has flittered away some (and I believe she took her waist size with her!)
Maybe it never really was confidence. Maybe it was pride.
A lot of it was pride.
When I was in High School I was more proud than confident. I wasn’t the prettiest, I wasn’t the smartest…but I knew who I was. I knew what I believed. I knew what I wanted in life. I was strong. I was friends with everyone and I was liked and even admired.
When I got to college I still had that confidence. I could say hi to anyone. I remember going into the cafeteria one time that first week at school and I went over to a table and sat down with someone whom I had never met. That was outside of my comfort zone!
I went through college really fast. I wanted to get married. I did what I had to do: I got my degree, met a few good friends along the way and then got married.
I started teaching right after. I taught English Literature to seniors my first year. That first day I was so nervous…but I had confidence. I had confidence that day. That year. I had it. I remember one of my seniors wrote me an email telling me how much they admired the confidence I had and how they were grateful to have me as a teacher. I still have that email.
But in all these seasons of life I can see that though I did have confidence, that confidence was in me. In my abilities. In what I knew I could do. I had life in my hands and I was good at it.
Confidence mingled with pride.
And then came Motherhood.
I was a confident mom at first. I had taken care of kids since I was young. I was one of those who couldn’t wait to have babies. And I was good at it.
But motherhood does something to you…it scares you a little, because all of a sudden you realize that no matter how good at motherhood you are…you still fail and fail a lot.
You can’t do it all. You have no control.
I had control of things in High School and College. I had control of my life. I had a plan and I stuck to it and did it. I never questioned if I could or would…it was in my plan and my plans rarely, if ever, failed.
But when you have other lives that depend on you, need you and expect of you…it’s hard and you mess up and plans fail.
Truth: I long for that confidence I had. I long for that feeling of knowing who I am and not wavering. That feeling of strength and the ability to be able to do whatever I need to do to get things done and knowing that I’m ‘gonna do it.
Truth: I don’t want the pride to be in the way. I don’t want that confidence if there is pride mingled in it. I want pure confidence; God-given confidence. I want to know that I can do whatever it is God has called me to do in this moment, because He has given me the strength and the power to do it and without Him, I am nothing. I want to have confidence in that truth and rely on that truth alone.
I struggle with my pride. I struggle with caring about what people think. I struggle with wanting admiration. I struggle with wanting appreciation. Sometimes motherhood is a thankless job. Sometimes life is plain hard. But most of the time, it’s awesome; and so, I will take picked dandelions from my kids over 1000 thank you’s any day.
I want confidence, but this time, it won’t be the kind of confidence that carried that young girl’s head; it will be refined and purified. I must be refined and purified, knowing that whatever I do, whatever God’s calling is on my life for this season and those to come, I will know that I can do it because He has called me to it. I will have the confidence to know that He has given me the power to do it. It’s not me, it’s not pride or vanity; It’s all God. Everything that I do will glorify him, not me.
That is the kind of confidence I want, refined and purified and perfected, so that when I walk into a room I can hold my head high because He is ‘the lifter of my head’ (Psalms 3:3 ESV) and I will have confidence knowing that “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart [are] pleasing to [the Lord], my rock and my redeemer” (Psalms 19:14 NIV).