You are Not Trapped With Your Past

It's rather funny that people look at me as successful and "all together," when deep within me is a nagging sense of insecurity left over from my childhood. Lots of people grew up with some of the same problems I had. My insecurity didn't start to go away until I became a Christian a few months before I entered college.

As a child, I felt I didn't belong in the world of people. It was as if I had come from another planet where the creatures didn't understand relationships. Now I was here on earth - but without the foggiest idea about how to make friends. I didn't feel as if I belonged in the world - or that people liked or wanted me.

Child sad boy leaning on wallThe first school I attended was in Maple Heights, Ohio. I frequently stood against the building in a sheltered corner of the playground during recess periods, watching the other kids play. I was a loner, the outsider.

We moved to Cleveland and Ross became a friend. Ross was a year older than I, bigger, confident and outgoing, and attractive to all the girls. He was a born leader and was very intelligent. In many ways, Ross was everything I wanted to be, and I was honored that he considered me his friend. Even though Ross was my friend, I felt insecure. Yes, he was my friend, but could I depend on that? Would I always be his most important friend?

People with poor self-images expect the worst, and the worst always comes along. Ross was interested in magic tricks and met another friend who shared this interest. I was left out. "Alone again, naturally," as the song says. This experience reinforced my feeling that I didn't belong.

I was no better off at romance. There was this terrifically cute girl in Miss Listel's fifth-grade class. I mean she was a knockout for an eleven-year-old! Unfortunately, I only loved her from afar. She was in love with Jimmy. He was another one of those intelligent, good-looking, big boys. I was the shortest boy in my class. All Jimmy had to do was smile at girls and they fell at his feet.

Academically, I was also a failure - I was a D student. When I finally graduated from high school, I was third in my class - third from the bottom. Whenever I had to take a test, I would say to myself, "You know you're going to fail this test just as you've failed all the others. What's the use of trying?" As an example, I was sick on the day I took my IQ test and fell asleep during part of the exam. As a result, I was ranked as a high-grade moron.

Many of my writings are born out of my insecurities and my struggles. I want you to know there is hope. If you are going through some tough times, if it's been rough all your life, I want you to know that I understand - I've been there. I feel your hurt, because I also bleed.

But my hope for you is that you will find God in the midst of your pain or inadequacies. My wife, Sally, died from breast cancer in 2007, and it was in the few years following that I found a great closeness to God in the middle of my pain. Each day I spent time reading the Bible, especially the Psalms and the Proverbs, plus sections from the old and new testaments. Additionally I read other devotional books such as "31 Days of Praise."

I have learned that God has promised that he will continue the process of growth and change in all of us so that we will become far different from our background or pain. (See I Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 1:6, and Ephesians 3:20)

You are not trapped in your situation! God is alive and wants to help you now. Ask Him for the help you need!

Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only,  ©2011

Midlife Dimensions

The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.

Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.