There have been a very small handful of times that God has put someone in my life that triggers every insecurity inside of me.
Let me back up for a minute.
When I was in college, I had a dear friend of mine whom I loved. We were pretty close friends. We had enough similarities that we had plenty to talk about, cut up about and just hang out together. We could pray together, we could laugh together and shop together!
She was a a great friend.
I also really admired her in many ways and this is where the friendship would get tricky for me.
At that time, in my early twenties, I was too naive to realize that I wasn’t the only broken person on this planet. I couldn’t imagine other people having the insecurities that I had. I looked at other people and thought that they had everything put together!
As a girl, I saw how others could do their make-up just right, I admired their style in clothing, I really admired their fitness levels . . . and in the frailness of my human state, that little voice would chime-in and tell me how “not good enough” I was. That voice after a while would plant seeds of doubt and bitterness, which of course led to sadness, depression and well, the big green monster: jealousy.
I knew all those things were wrong in my head. I didn’t want those feelings and so I would cry and cry and cry to God and tell Him about it all. I journaled. I tried harder at being better.
But those feelings and the hurt were still there.
I mean, truly how do you get rid of those horrible feelings of insecurity?
Age has a way of taking care of some of those. As we get older, we become more confident in who God made us to be. But I look back in my twenties and realize most of it was wasted on stupid insecurities anyways.
Fast forward to my thirties. After my college friend and I naturally drifted apart, due to locations, God put yet another person in my life that tapped into that area of hurt.
By this time, I saw a bit of pattern, but I still didn’t know what to do about it. It led to some pain.
Again, it wasn’t her. It was me.
I admired her in many ways, but why did that admiration seem to turn into something negative?
I did my best to control these feelings. Hide them. Suppress them and deal with them righteously. God knows I tried.
But we wound up moving and she and I wound up just naturally drifting apart as well, which was bittersweet. It was a relief that those feelings weren’t right in my face, but I really did like her and enjoyed her friendship.
Fast forward to my upper thirties. I meet a new gal! As soon as I got to talking to her, I could tell I really liked her as a person. I respected her. I could identify with her. And we wound up having a friendship.
But she tapped into my insecurities as a human. Yet again. But this time was different.
God gave me a dream that warned me of an encounter that I would have that could have done one of two things. It could have really destroyed me or it could heal me and I know God’s heart toward us, His people, is to heal.
So I desperately looked for His healing.
I mean it was God in His infinite mercy that even gave me this dream to warn me. And I was so glad that He did, because that encounter hurt so badly, it jolted my soul. It tapped into every insecurity I had ever had, but in the most profound level that I could imagine. And the encounter itself was so benign and normal on the surface that it took my husband to point out to me that that was what happened in my dream!
I knew God was up to something. So I did what I knew to do. But this time around I had more tools under my belt to deal with something like this. I had Gods ER. I had their forgiveness prayer that is so powerful that goes into breaking off judgments and soul ties. So, I did all that.
But it wasn’t enough. For some reason, it still hurt. There was still something broken inside of me.
Fast forward to today. This friendship was still hurting me in a way that I knew wasn’t right, but I was still lost on how to deal with it. Having insecurities like that are isolating and keep us from the ones we love the most. It’s really a nasty thing when you think about it. It keeps relationships from fully forming into what God intended them to become. It becomes tragic when you look at the bigger picture at how insecurities can destroy families, siblings, marriages and God-ordained friendships.
But today God’s Word came alive in this week’s Torah Portion through a video by a group called AlephBeta.
In this video, Rabbi David Fohrman goes into the story of Joseph and how Joseph frames his younger brother, Benjamin with the theft of Joseph’s chalice. Long story short, an innocuous looking scripture is highlighted when Judah starts pleading that Joseph not keep Benjamin back in Egypt because it would destroy their Father. Judah says:
““Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life (Jacob’s) is bound up in the boy’s life . . .”Genesis 44:30
In Hebrew, it literally says that Jacob’s soul is bound up with Benjamin’s. Hence, the mention of soul ties.
Now, I am not here to judge whether it’s healthy or not. It’s just the plain reality that the brothers are working with, just like it was mine. I knew that all these friendships had a common thread of being there for a purpose, but the friendship could not go on because of my insecurities and fears and hence the flow of what should have been a healthy give-and-take of a relationship got kinked in the form of an unhealthy soul tie.
All relationships have a spiritual flow and because of past hurts and fears that existed in my soul long before I had ever met these people, their relating to me hit me in those soul wounds that were still present. They kept inadvertently touching in painful areas of my heart that I never wanted them to.
I hated it. Knowing my resulting feelings were wrong or sinful or whatever you want to call it didn’t get rid of the reality of what I was working with.
It only made it worse. I felt more condemned.
I mean, how do you make feelings disappear?
But today, I got an answer on what to do with those feelings. But first, I have to give some backdrop on soul ties.
Back to the Bible’s mention of Jacob’s soul being bound up in Benjamin’s, there is one other place that the Bible mentions a person’s soul being bound up with another. It’s right after David kills Goliath and David is in Saul’s presence and he asks David, “whose son are you?”
The video points out how this is a funny question because Saul knew David at this point. David was already playing the harp for him, but Jonathan was present during this exchange between Saul and David because in the very next verse, the Bible tells us,
“As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. “I Samuel 18:1
Now, this could have been a very threatening situation for Jonathan. Jonathan, who is next in line to be King, sees this heroic act that David killed Goliath and saved Israel. Jonathan sees his father, Saul is supremely pleased with David to the point where David wasn’t allowed to return home and was basically grafted into their family.
The situation is very fertile ground for a repeat of sibling jealousy and rivalry like we saw between Joseph and his brothers. Jealousy could really become a major player and driver at this point. Isn’t that what all seeds from the enemy do? They take advantage of our past hurts, wounds and insecurities to become a breeding ground for these thorns to hurt our loved ones and ourselves? If Jonathan has any insecurities at this point, this would be a prolific and impregnable time for these seeds to take root between Jonathan and David.
Take a look at our own lives and the people God has put in our path. It’s easy to let our own shortcomings become a real partition between people. Some people hide it better than others, but all seeds bear fruit one day.
However, Jonathan makes a heroic choice that day, in a way paying back the selfless act that Judah did by giving up his own life as surety so that Benjamin could return to his father.*
Saul was a Benjamite,** therefore Jonathan was too. Jonathan could repay an old debt from centuries past and chose selfless love over insecurity. He chose to love David like his own soul, rather than to be jealous or let insecurity get in the way.
I took that revelation and applied it my situations and realized that selfless love was the answer to my insecurities. For some mysterious reason, these words empowered me, like someone flipped the light on in a dark part of my soul. Just discovering and realizing that someone else in the Bible faced the possibility of deep insecurity and his example of choosing love was very freeing and empowering. We can choose life or death, blessing or a curse every day*** and the power of that choice hit me. Perhaps it’s because it finally became clear in this region of my heart that love really is a choice. For some reason this story made even Yeshua’s words more alive, “love your neighbor as yourself.”
I am not a victim of life.
I can choose life and we choose life when we choose love and love in the end, real love, is selfless when we love the other person like ourselves.
That was a freeing revelation for something that I have struggled with for so many years, that I just had to share in hopes that it might help someone else who maybe struggling with the same thing.
* Genesis 44:33; I Samuel 17:58-18:3
**I Samuel 9:1-2
*** “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” Duet. 30:19