The Connection Between Confidence & Independence

Independence changes you.

I’ve had the opportunity to become more independent in both work and outside endeavors, and it has really changed me. I go to work early in the morning, I go home to two cats and a dog, I do some form of exercise–whether it be Beachbody or running–and I prepare my dinner and give the animals theirs. It’s made me see that I haven’t been solely responsible for me in a very long time–if ever. It’s been an adjustment, but I think one that was needed in order for me to get back on track with myself and God.

I’ve said before that I feel I lost myself in my marriage. I had unconsciously replaced God with my husband, and it meant I couldn’t be the woman he had married. This has become my opportunity to find myself–and God–again.

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I feel more confident at work because I am confident in my knowledge and my abilities, something I was lacking in my first job. I know I can do what I’m doing and that I have the tools and the skills to do it well. I think that’s the first sign that I am doing what God has intended for my life. I’m not turning to work for my meaning anymore, but instead turning to my faith.

But independence has also made me more confident in who I am as an individual. I’ve found I can do things I didn’t think I could…and things I didn’t want to. I can save money on my own. I can cook for myself. I am working on making sure I don’t rely on anyone but God to fill a space in my heart.

It was once insisted that there must be something I like about being on my own. The truth is, there is. But it’s nothing about the tangible–it’s the mental. I like that I have gained my mental strength back. I like that I have a bit more confidence in who I am. I like that I have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. And I’m even more confident that my heart hasn’t changed.

For me, independence has boosted my confidence, and my confidence boost has made independence a little easier. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have bad days, that I’ve suddenly changed my mind, or that I’m an entirely different person. It just means I am working to get back to who I am.

God uses our weakest moments, the things that didn’t go “according to plan,” for His glory and to draw us nearer to Him. I never believed that until this storm, and it’s truth I am clinging to.

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Have you gone through something that has shaken you to the core? How did God use that?

Are confidence and independence linked for you? What has made you more confident or more independent?


Submission Is Not A Dirty Word

There–I said it. Really, the statement is for me, but I hope you find solace in it too. It’s taken me a long time to realize this, and it’s taken this storm to realize I wasn’t doing it.

I was listening to one of my Christian podcasts–Journeywomen–this morning. The most recent episode is on submission, and I really felt like God meant for me to hear it today. One of the concepts that stuck out to me was in the midst of the discussion on submitting to husbands: submission does not mean inferiority.

I think it is often the case that when us 21st century, independent Christian women hear “wives, submit to your husbands,” we mistake it for “wives, you are inferior to your husbands.” I hated that verse because of that connotation. But that is not the case. The process of submission involves communication and joint decision-making.

I’ve realized I did not submit to my husband–I fought him tooth and nail on just about everything, including, unfortunately, the calling he felt he had–because if it wasn’t my way, it was wrong. But that isn’t true–just because it’s not how I thought it would be doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

There is nothing wrong with being an independent Christian woman. Independence means not relying on anyone but Christ for your joy, including your spouse. It means knowing who you are in Christ and finding comfort, peace, and meaning in that knowledge. Independence means not being co-dependent.

And the way we do that is through submission. When we submit to God and His will for our lives, we find peace, meaning, and independence. When we submit to our husbands, we find it easier to navigate the ups and downs of life and marriage and our family roles can become more defined and better fit who we are in the Lord.

For me, not submitting to God or my husband meant I felt the need to control everything, and I felt like I was doing everything–from the everyday managing of a household to the spiritual upkeep. I hardly, if ever, allowed my husband the opportunity to lead, let alone figure out what it looked like for us.

The past few days have been a bit emotional for me, and I don’t think it’s coincidence I felt compelled to listen to that episode this morning. So, if allowed the opportunity, I want to submit. Now that I have a better understanding of what submitting to the Lord looks like, I can translate that better to submitting to my husband.

I’m going to try not cringe when I hear the verse about submitting to husbands or when I hear “submission” in general. I’m going to continue to strive to submit everything I am to God.

And I hope that, if you did before, you don’t cringe when you hear “submission.” Because it’s not a bad thing. It is the best thing.

. . . . . .

Do you struggle with submission? What does submission look like for you? How do you work to be in submission to the Lord?