Contagious Confidence

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

When my college-aged daughter, Abby, and I arrived at Target to buy supplies for her upcoming missions gap year in Africa, I was confident we’ve find everything quickly and check this errand off the list. I followed her to the travel aisle and watched her fill our cart with tiny travel-sized containers of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and bug spray. We then sped off to find a small quick-dry towel.

As we rounded the corner, I couldn’t help but compare our shopping cart to the other college kids loading up for their first year of school. Our cart looked practically empty while theirs were full of dishes, towels, notebooks, and a plethora of plastic bins to hold it all.

I pressed on, still confident in our mission. Until… a young gal Abby’s age held up a shower caddy and shouted, “Mom, I found the one I like!” That was all it took. My confidence melted away and tears stung my eyes.

I looked at Abby and burst out, “I want to buy you a shower caddy! I want to buy plastic crap like all these other moms and help you move into your dorm!”

Abby pulled me close and hugged me, saying “It’s ok, mom. We can do that next year.” I tried to explain how I longed to drop her off at school, meet her roommate, see where her classes would be, and check out the dining hall where she’d eat her meals. But no, I couldn’t see any of that. Instead I was putting her on a plane for South Africa, 9,602 miles away (but who’s counting?)

Melting down in Target taught me that the confidence we produce with our own strength is short lasting and can be squelched when circumstances change. In contrast, the confidence that comes from Christ is steadfast and enduring. It builds us up instead of tearing us down. I had to learn this the hard way.

The first few weeks she was gone, I was often anxious and worried. Reading Max Lucado’s book, Anxious for Nothing helped my mind fight against anxiety with prayer, petition, and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:4-7). Walking with Jesus every day soothed my heart and reminded me of God’s truth.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

Then the phone call came. Through Face Time Video, I could see Abby standing in her host family’s house. She walked me around and showed me where she slept at night and where she ate her meals. I saw with my own eyes the safety of her surroundings. As she turned the camera on others, I met a mother, grandmother, and daughter who had generously opened up their home. I met her sweet roommate who was serving beside her. They all expressed enthusiastic adoration for my daughter as they laughed and shared memories they’d already made together on this adventure of a lifetime. Abby exuded a confidence that was contagious, and I caught it.

Since that day, I’ve been praying the scriptures from Max Lucado’s book to compel my confidence to come from Christ.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

Try it!

Rejoice – Choose joy and tell God how much you adore Him.

Remember – You are not alone. The Lord is near.

Pray – Give God whatever is causing anxiety in your life.

Ask – God to move in your circumstances and increase your confidence.

Thank – God for His available presence, awesome power, and amazing plans.

Praise – God for His peace that guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

This is how confidence in Christ is built! When we walk our days trusting that God is in control and He has great plans for our lives, we get swept up in His confidence instead of relying on our own. His confidence is supernatural. It overrides circumstances and stands strong in every storm. This is the confidence we need to walk by faith and not by sight.

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#confidence #3oclockchallenges #parenthood #insecurity #fear #peace #worry #trust

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