Robin's Blog

Cheerful Insecurity

RobinatLewisPewAllSaints

How many things have you worried about already today?

Are you facing difficulties with family? Friends? Health? Finances? Future?

This photo was taken inside Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, Oxford. It’s the church where C.S. Lewis and his brother, Warnie, worshipped for decades. I’m standing by the pew where Lewis sat every week. It will make sense why I’m sharing this photo as you read on.

Earlier this week I managed to get a long list going of all of the worries I listed above. It started as a mental prayer list in the middle of the night and ended up turning into a big weight I carried around with a fixed scowl on my face.

All I could think about were friends who have serious health challenges right now with cancer, a kidney transplant, a stroke.

Closer to home has been my husband’s recovery after he severed the quad muscle on his left knee in December. He’s still in physical therapy and healing a little bit more each day. He’s able to drive and get around but the whole experience has worn on both of us terribly.

I think what tipped the prayer list to the dark side and turned it into a panic list for me was when I started going through a stack of medical bills. When you’re both self-employed the insurance can be limited or not cover some expenses at all such as the $1,100 bill for the ambulance ride and over $10,000 for recent dental work.

That’s when I stepped away from my desk and sat down with my Bible, journal and a book I’ve been reading called, Yours, Jack. It’s a collection of letters written by C.S. Lewis. (You can see the connection to the photo now.) I opened to page 156 where Jack is writing about his concerns over having to put Mrs. Moore into a nursing home.

30 December 1950

“The expense is of course very severe and I have worries about that. But it would be very dangerous to have no worries—or rather no occasions of worry. I have been feeling that very much lately: that cheerful insecurity is what Our Lord asks of us. Thus one comes, late and surprised, to the simplest and earliest Christian lessons!”

His thoughts mirrored mine. I do trust the Lord. God has always taken good care of us and provided everything we need. He is so faithful. Yet I grow timid in those times when there is occasion to worry. How do I trust the Lord wholeheartedly in such times?

Cheerful insecurity.

I like that, don’t you? It’s honest. I can admit my uncertainty and insecurity. That’s human. Yet because I am a daughter of the King I can live with a cheerful spirit, walking by faith, trusting the One who has never left us or forsaken us.

When I was looking for the photo from inside Holy Trinity Church I found this one that was taken right after the more pensive shot. I was trying out the pew where Lewis always sat. There were three of us Sisterchicks on a private tour of the church that November afternoon. I think it was Marion who said something about me looking like “Miss Muffit on a tuffet” and did I hope to absorb some of Lewis’ spiritual insights by taking in the view from his pew. Her cheerfulness inside a solemn place made me laugh.

DSCF0030

Cheerful insecurity.

It’s always there, isn’t it? Just on the other side of our timidity is the Holy Spirit’s tenacity. Our fears can instantly be tamed by faith in the One who holds our lives in His hands.

May your panic list turn back into a prayer list today as together we learn the simplest lesson of trusting God in every circumstance.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

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  • Hannah Inskeep

    I so needed to hear this today! I’ve been struggling and stressing all month with worry and doubt for future plans. I can carry that phrase “cheerfully insecure” with me, remembering to rest in Gods peace and plans for my future. Thank you for sharing that with me, you bless us all so much with your gentle spirit and loving heart!

    -Hannah (a forever Christy & Katie fan!)

  • Ashley

    I so needed this today! I recently took a new job, that my husband, kids and I had prayed about my getting for many months. Once I had the position, reality set in about moving, selling our house, affording the move and the new rental house And finding a new rental house. All needing to be done in 3 weeks. Such an overwhelming event, our anxiety about everything has sometimes over shadowed God’s blessing upon us with this new position and life improvement. I love the phrase cheerful insecurity, it will be like a breath prayer to me in times of really anxiety when I need to remember God’s goodness, love and blessing of this life change. :-)

  • Jean Aclin

    What a breathe of fresh air the day before my husband has some major shoulder surgery. I have passed along what you wrote to him and I know he treasures it also. Please know that i am praying for you and for all those people on your heart. You are truly a blessing in my life and in my faith walk and God is using your hands and your words to touch many and i am so grateful to be one of those people. Thank you and praying for blessings to shower upon you like a gentle rain.

  • Casey

    Thank you so much for posting this! This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I have been going through a series of job interviews for a company over the past two weeks. This morning is one of the biggest interviews so far. I have been praying about it non stop. I have been worrying about what the future holds for my husband and I after I graduate in May. This verse was perfect for what I am going through. Thank you for the role you have played in my life through your books. Words can not explain how much they mean to me. :)

    -Casey (a forever friend and fan!)

  • Lois Rader

    I have been struggling with depression this winter and needed to know I am not the only one. Second guessing too much of what I do for our Lord. I tell so many others that as long as we do what God has asked us to do, the out come is never up to us but up to the One who asked us to do it. All He wants is our obedience. Thank you for this uplifting word!

  • Martha

    Dear Robin,
    Healing.

    Your words are healing.

    This morning He led me to 1 Corinthians, initially about gifts, then about more…

    But healing was one of the gifts.

    You are healing through your gifts…

    May it be so seen in your own home with your own hubby.

    Praying.

  • Jessica

    Thank you for this today, I very much needed it. I have 4 kids, my oldest (forever 5) lives in Heaven. He died due to complications from a chronic kidney disease, FSGS. My 2nd oldest (5) was diagnosed with the same disease 7 months after his brothers passing, and he is currently on peritoneal dialysis and we are hoping for a kidney transplant in the next few months. My 3 year old is, so far, very healthy. My baby, 20 months old, was diagnosed with FSGS this past December and will have both kidneys removed and start dialysis next month. We are currently in the hospital with him, he became swollen over the weekend, due to the disease, and he also tested positive for RSV last night. So with all of this going on in sure you can imagine the list of worries my husband and I have. God has always taken care of us through everything and I know He will continue to, and I will continue to be “cheerfully insecure”!

    Jessica

  • Victoria

    I am so blessed by your honest words expressing your fears and worries; I, too, have decisions to make this day that cause my heart to wander down the path of fear and worry. I will go encouraged by the phrase Cheerful Insecurity – it is one I can grasp hold of and quickly remember. I cherish all of your books and value the journeys my heart has taken as I have read them. Your words bring HOPE! Victoria

  • BEVERLY

    THIS CAME AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME. I WOKE THIS MORNING THINKING ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS I NEED TO PRAY ABOUT. I WILL DO THIS AND THEN I WILL THINK ABOUT “CHEERFUL INSECURITY” AND SHARE THIS WITH MY FRIENDS. WE ARE ALL SENIORS SO THIS WILL BE OUR “PRAYER SCARF”. THANK YOU.

  • Amy

    Thank you so much, Robin, for being real. Thank you for sharing your own anxious moments. Sometimes you seem to me like this great spiritual giant who must have great faith and never trembles. I have been a Christian for most of my life, yet, when there is occasion to worry (which can be pretty much always, can’t it?), I find it so difficult to trust that He is still working out His plan in my life.

  • Kathy

    I will remember this phrase, cheerful insecurity, to remind me of God’s faithfulness and that He wants me to depend on and call on Him in all things. Thank you for that. I would like to share my “remedy” for stress and worry that has helped me so often, especially in the middle of the night when my mind can fill with worries. I memorized Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not (notice this is a command) be anxious about anything, but in all things, 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 minds in Christ Jesus.” I present my requests to God and pray this verse and tell Him by faith I accept His peace to guard my heart and mind and thank Him for it. I hope this is helpful for you, too.

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for sharing! I really needed that today!

  • Beckie

    I needed this today, Robin – thank you! We’re praying for Ross’ recovery!

  • Claudia

    This is a jewel of a post that I will print and keep in my Bible. So many of us are in the same boat, Robin. Every morning we begin by giving our insecurities to the Lord, and He carries us through another day. I could get so frightened if I dwelled on the future without the knowledge that I am His child and He has always provided for my needs. I concur, our insecurities and our sufferings are what keeps us from wandering away from His side. Thank you for your encouragement and walking this road with us!

  • How I love your sweet spirit, Robin. You have such a fragrance of Christ, and you are so open-faced that I always feel I really know you (beyond the few minutes I had speaking with you at the ACFW conference). But what it really is, is recognzing the Christ in you. I love this post. It speaks of so many experiences I’ve had, both past and present–and no doubt future as well. <3

  • Paula McKinley

    Robin, you are so special. I loved meeting you and you still take my breath away. I read something of yours and I smile. You truly are remarkable. On another note I can’t get enough pictures of your grand baby. He is just so adorable. Then you posted a picture of the three of them and I see where he gets his eyes. Wishing you a wonderful St. Patricks Day Robin. Love in Christ, Paula, Amy and Katey in Oregon

  • Sue Morelli

    I join the others this morning saying how much I needed this today. God be with you as He is with all who every day vow to cast our cares on Him because He is faithful and always near, especially in times of trouble.

  • Kristin

    Oh man, I so needed to hear this today. I can totally relate to the idea of a “panic list” and needing to turn it into a “prayer list”. I feel the tension between the two, and it is a near constant struggle to let those things on the panic list go. Totally go. I’m finding peace when I do let go and let Him do the work. The verse “in quietness and trust is your strength” came to me this morning (I think it was a God thing :-). Thank you for your words this morning.

  • Heather Beffort

    Wow. Perfect timing. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. This is why you are my favorite Christian author: you are genuine, you are human, and you are joyful and cheerfully insecure about it :) love you as a sister in Christ, Robin. God bless you.

  • Wow. I needed this today. Thank you for posting!

  • Robin, thank you! You had me at CS Lewis! I so LOVE the idea of cheerful insecurity. It may become my new mantra. I’m in a similar season–trusting God daily through my daughter’s chronic illness and hubby’s job transition. I’m so touched that when you felt the worry creeping in, God brought back to your mind the “pew with a view.” Your post is timely and appreciated!

  • Becky

    Robin, I have to tell you this! Your photo was on the screen as I was reading the Joshua verse to my 3 1/2 year old boy while telling him that these were words from God. Afterward he asked “Is that God?” while pointing to your smiling face. I love it!

  • Diana

    I love this “cheerful insecurity”. So appropriate and needed message! Thank you!

  • Gail Helgeson

    Oh….thank you so much for this today. I just love your words and I love love love the photos, as I have been privileged to also sit in that same pew. God so lavishly blesses us doesn’t He. I believe He loves me and longs for me to trust Him. I am making my way this year reading my bible that has lots and lots of CS Lewis writings in it. What a wise man he was. I never tire of reading his works. I admire your transparency. It is obvious that the Joy of the Lord is your strength. Blessings to you.

  • Dani

    Thank You!!!!! Exactly where I am at today, trusting while not yet fully understanding. Just what I needed to hear today after finding out bad news concerning my finances this past Sunday. Thank you again! I also thank God for you and the ways He has used you and your books to lead me!

  • Annalyssa Martin

    Robin,
    How is it that you always seem to know right what I need to hear, exactly when I need to hear it most?!? It must be a God-thing! This week has turned from worry and concern to panic and frustration over the future and what it holds. Your constant encouragement to bring it all back to God and then trust Him with it reminds me that He’s got this! He has a plan and when I trust Him, He will unfold His perfect plan for my life, even and especially when I have no idea what that plan is.
    Thank you for your encouragement and perspective on life. You remind me to trust and rest in God’s perfect peace and unfailing love. Thank you for blessig my life with your words!!
    Much love,
    Annalyssa

  • Elisabeth Golden

    These words couldn’t have been more timely. I thought as I read your penned thoughts–“Been there; done that.” Only now, hours later, it’s “I am THERE…in the middle of that.” So thankful I have a Heavenly Father Who is not caught by surprise by the storms that so quickly arise and threaten to “undo” us. Thanks for sharing your heart, Robin.

  • Kathy

    Wow!! I didn’t read this until this evening but I believe it was meant to be. I really needed this. I have been struggling in several areas, one being the fact that I have had 3 retinal detachment surgeries, and am still in a “holding” mode, not knowing if the last one was completely successful. The other area is searching for a new church….. God bless you, Robin, for allowing yourself to be transparent. God is faithful, of that I am certain.

  • This is really encouraging Robin! Especially as the Lord is calling me through a similar situation as I transition from college into “real” adult life. Cheerful insecurity is the perfect word for it!

  • no matter what, He is the lifter of my soul!