“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

We can all think back to our teenage years and have many different experiences and memories. Some are good, and many are…awkward.

When I think back to adolescence, one word comes to mind: search. Bigger than the uncertainty of physical and emotional changes is the daunting task of searching for one’s identity: a task that alone is humanly impossible. “Finding oneself,” “searching for one’s identity,” or “finding one’s place socially in the world” are very characteristic of those years of becoming an adult. Teenage girls are on a continuous search: for acceptance, for approval, and for assurance. How many times did you search for an outfit to wear to school? How many times did you search for that compliment from the boy you had a crush on? How many times did you wonder, “Where do I fit in?”

Our society tends to look down upon the teenage years and anticipates the “end” as if those tendencies and insecurities all vanish as soon she crosses that line into adulthood. The reality is that many women seem to struggle just as much with insecurity, seeking approval from others, and confusion as to where they “stand” in life. This leads to jealousy, comparison of “my life to hers”, and quickly becomes the foundation for very unhealthy relationships, and sadly, a negative reputation.

My background in studying social relationships and the psychology of human behavior has greatly impacted every job and experience with people I have had. This summer, specifically, I began working in the bridal industry and my eyes were truly opened to how many women struggle because of their lack of confidence, their extreme insecurities, and their unhappiness with who they are.  It occurred to me that many of these women struggled with the same fears, insecurities, and unhealthy life patterns that sometimes can happen during the teenage years.

I believe that a woman’s heart is one of the most delicate, yet complicated creations from God. It is a beautiful thing, but can so easily be bruised, crushed, and even broken at very young age. Guarding our hearts is something that God instructs us to do, and He does so for very obvious reasons. Even the slightest bruise can quickly turn into unhealthy mindsets and patterns, which not only affect the woman, but affects other women around her. Some women I’ve encountered hurt their own hearts by relying on emotions and life’s circumstances to determine how they act, instead of the truths of God’s word. No matter what age, hormones changing or not, God instructs us to place our confidence in Him alone. Surrendering those deep parts of our hearts, our insecurities, and our fears are not easy. This surrender for a woman is daily. The second we put down our guard and try to take control of who we are is exactly when the devil can get a very strong foothold, and very quickly. He sees your insecurities and your searching, even more than other women around you. He wants you to be jealous of what she has and what you don’t have. He doesn’t want you to feel beautiful, accepted, or loved. Girls, young ladies, and women, please do not fall for this deception!

Psychology and social behavior is a fascinating and very helpful background of knowledge to have in our world, however it can also be extremely dangerous to a woman. Psychology is the study of why people do what they do. Why is she insecure? Because something happened. Why does she act this way? Because…

Our society tells us that every behavior is in a way justifiable. Are your hormones as a woman out of control? Then you have an excuse to act emotionally out of control…not a truth from the Lord. As women we must be extremely careful to guard against these lies. Some may be thinking, “But I’ve been abused. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve had addictions. I’m grieving a loss.” Every women has experienced a degree of at least one of these at some point and some in every area mentioned. The point is that God knows. He knows your pain, your wild emotions sometimes, and your insecurities. That is why He’s God, and we are not. He is the only place we can find 100% security, 100% hope, and 100% acceptance. We cannot fill those needs by our husbands, by our families, by or friends, or by our experiences. God did not intend for it to be that way.

Women, God loves you dearly. He knows that you don’t have it all together, and He doesn’t need you to. All He asks is that you trust Him, that you lay down those tough things in your heart that are difficult to surrender. He asks you to guard it as best as you can, and trust Him to be your safety net. He asks you to thank Him for who he created you to be, because there is no one else like you. The minute you begin comparing your life to another woman is the minute you doubt that God created you perfectly. To doubt the Creator, who wove together such an intricate heart, would be an insult to Him and his handiwork. Today, thank Him for who He created you to be. Recognize that you do have insecurities, and that your heart is not perfect. Surrender those areas by making a choice, and remember that it is not usually easy. Trust that He will provide all hope, confidence, security, and love that your heart will ever need.

Refer to these verses as reminders of the truth of who we are in Him:

John 1:12, Romans 5:1, John 15:15, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 3:20, Colossians 3:3, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 6:1, Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Corinthians 15:57.