Facing Our Insecurities: Resting in Whose We Are (& 5 Book Recommendations)

October 24, 2023

Joanna Teigen

Around here we’re slipping into fall with chilly mornings, soup on the stove, and hoodies back on the coat hooks by the door. Our son is up and at ‘em to catch the school bus every day. Our daughter is officially settled into her life in college and the rhythm of her classes. And for me, I’m still chipping away at my degree in ministry studies, one class at a time. (I’m getting closer and closer!)

Stepping back into college after a 30-year break was a little intimidating. But I’ve been amazed at just how rewarding and fun it’s been! Well, until this class.

Here’s an example of a conversation I recently had with my professor:

Me: Do you want us to summarize THIS or THAT for our assigned paper?
Instructor: Summarize THAT.
Me: OK, I’ll summarize THAT. (*writes and hands in paper…*)
Instructor: Hey, you were supposed to summarize THIS. But I’ll give you a 100% for summarizing THAT, because at least you summarized it well.
Me: ?!?

So yes, I’m holding on to an A in the class. And yes, my professor is excellent despite our communication breakdown. But no, I’m not confident I’m grasping how all the elements of the class hang together. And I find that the hardest part is that I’m simply not sure I can meet expectations.

We like to be sure, don’t we?

We want to know that if we stick to our budget, our debt will melt away. That if we craft the right aesthetic and pack organic snacks in the diaper bag, we’ll be accepted in our moms’ group. That if we never have a “headache” at bedtime, we’ll be cherished by our husbands. That if we put our head down and take on more than our fair share at work, we’ll get the pay/promotion/respect we deserve. That if we’re consistently kind and helpful to our kids, they’ll grow into healthy and happy people.

Yet what happens when we try and try to meet expectations, but the reward seems out of reach? We find ourselves still lonely. Or the bank balance inches closer to zero. We’re overlooked or undervalued. Our marriage struggles or the kids rebel. How can we keep working and giving and loving without assurance it’ll pay off in the end?

We remember whose we are.

We belong to Jesus, my friend. The One who said His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). The One who says that we work for Him—our loving Lord–instead of human “masters,” so we can do everything with wholehearted confidence and joy (Colossians 3:23). The One who promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. The One who knows the sacrifices we make. The tears we cry when we’re discouraged. And our longing to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” in the end (Matthew 25).

Tired of people pleasing? Exhausted from the pressure to perform and measure up? Let’s rest in the constant love of God who gives guidance and strength for whatever is in front of us each day. Let’s keep looking forward with anticipation to His reward that’s better than anything we might achieve this side of heaven. And, let’s keep love at the heart of all we do. Jesus is our sure thing.

Lord, We can’t be all things to all people. In the stress of trying to keep everybody happy, we lose our own joy. Help us to walk in the freedom of your love. Give us ears to hear your Spirit leading our way and willing feet to follow. Be the One we aim to please, and receive our work as an offering of worship to you who gave us life. Thank you for the compassion and peace we find in you. Amen.

It’s tough to keep a right perspective on our identity, our work, and our worth. That’s why God gave us His Word and His presence in prayer to help us see it all rightly and live in His love. I would love to share some resources that have helped Rob and I draw near to God over the years. We hope they might be a help to you too!*:

The Blue Book: A Devotional Guide for Every Season of Your Life by Jim Branch

Out of any devotional we’ve used, this is the one we circle back to again and again. We each purchased our own copy, and it’s been heart-filling to study the devotions separately and then come together to discuss what God had to say. With prayers, daily Scripture readings, and excerpts from old and newer writings, this book is one of the greatest helps we’ve found in meditating on God’s Word.

Tabletalk Magazine

For years, this resource was tops on Rob’s birthday wish-list (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all the years of putting this in our mailbox!). He has even saved older copies so he can refer back to them when he’s studying specific books of the Bible. This subscription is self-described as “a monthly magazine dedicated to helping you grow in Christ… Each issue contains feature articles, daily Bible studies, and columns touching on biblical, theological, and practical themes to help strengthen and encourage you in your faith.”

Knowing the Bible study series by Crossway

These 12-week Bible studies have been one of the most helpful resources for us to dig deeper into specific books of the Bible. A favorite is the study of Judges, where each section shows how to find glimpses of Jesus and the Gospel in the Old Testament stories. We also love that the studies can be used on your own, with a friend, or in a small group setting.


Morning and Evening: The Classic Daily Devotional by Charles Spurgeon

When Rob is having a tough day, he’ll say he needs to take a break and “Spurge.” He’ll pick up a devotion by Charles Spurgeon for some encouragement and a reset of his heart and mind. This book holds message after message about the goodness and power of God for whatever we’re facing. The entries are short, but the wisdom runs deep.


101 Prayers for Mr. & Mrs.  by Rob & Joanna Teigen

Rob and I wrote this book for you, because we know how praying together has made all the difference in our marriage. If it’s been difficult to grow a habit of prayer as a couple, or you struggle to find the words to say, let these prayers help you carry your concerns to God.


*Our endorsements are freely given with no compensation received.


Mr and Mrs Bundle





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