Wednesday, March 19, 2014


My whole life I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, comparing myself to others and falling into depression when I couldn’t measure up.

My whole life I have based my self-worth and value on how many friends I had, how many things I was good at, how many boys would flirt with me.

My whole life I have poured every effort into trying to please everyone around me because I was convinced that happiness was directly related to the number of people who love you.

My whole life I have believed that I am just not good enough.

My name is Kayla Holiday, and I struggle deeply with insecurity.

I’ve always blamed my past for my lack of self-confidence. I had every reason to believe that no one liked me after almost all my friends abandoned me in 8th grade.

I was popular in junior high. Or, I guess I should say, I was part of the popular group. I myself was not popular. I mean, why would anyone want to hang out with just me? I was the boring, smart one. I did homework while all the other girls daydreamed about their boyfriends. Oh, and apparently I was completely untrustworthy and got people in trouble by letting their secrets slip out. At least, that’s what the rumors said.

But this group tolerated me for the same reason they rejected me -- I was smart.  I did my homework. And I would help them with their homework, and they appreciated that.

 The only problem was that when I say I helped them, I mean I basically gave them the answers. It didn’t seem like cheating at the time. They were my friends and I was happy to help. Besides, I actually did the work. I couldn’t get in trouble for it…right?

When another girl in our grade got marked down on her homework for having similar answers to other students, despite the fact that everyone including the teacher knew she was the one who did the work, it was no longer a risk I was willing to take. I stopped giving out answers. I would help, sure, but they had to find the answers themselves. But that’s not the same thing.

Looking back, I’m glad I got out when I did. Over the next few years, I saw many friends get in trouble for cheating and I am grateful I wasn’t caught up in that. But at the time, it didn’t feel so great. I discovered that the amount of time I got to spend with my “friends” was directly proportional to the amount of answers I gave them on their homework.

In addition, my group of friends split into two my eighth grade year. I didn’t know which group to join; I had friends in both. So, I decided to be in both groups.

For the record, that doesn’t work. Apparently with junior high cliques, you’re either all-in or you’re out. I was half-in two different groups…which meant I was out. Of both groups.

In just a few short months, I went from almost-popular to totally outcasted. By my freshman year, I was left with virtually no friends.

I wanted to quit. Everything. School, church, volleyball, everything. I felt so alone that I just didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. I dwelled on my pain and on my loneliness and I fell into a pattern of negative thinking. I began to wonder what was wrong with me. The solution was obvious -- find out what's wrong with me, and fix it. I made a mental list of all the possible scarlet letters I was carrying:

  • I'm not pretty enough
  • I'm not smart enough
  • My clothes aren't nice enough
  • I talk too much
  • I'm not nice enough
  • I'm too selfish
  • I don't compliment other people enough
  • I'm not giving enough
  • I'm not friendly enough

I made a vow to do whatever it took -- no matter the cost -- to make people love me.
I gave myself makeovers. (Nothing too drastic, mind you. I wasn't that brave.) I bought new clothes. I tried to talk less, particularly about myself. I lent people more money and never made them pay me back. I tried as hard as I could to be the perfect girl I thought people wanted me to be. 

It never got better. In fact, it only got worse when I realized that no matter how pretty I was, how nice my clothes were, or how kind I was to other people, they STILL weren't interested in being my friend. There was another problem, deeper still...and I had no idea what it was.

And honestly? It was probably just because people in junior high are immature and only think of themselves. I mean, clearly that was the case with me -- I was trying to change myself so that people would like me so that I would be happy. If that's not immature and selfish, I don't know what is.

But that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm trying to make is that while I often blamed my insecurity on these things -- my friends using me then abandoning me, and my apparent not having anything to offer in a friendship -- these are not the true source of my insecurity.

The true source of my insecurity is myself.

Insecurity is a mind game. Insecurity stems from a pattern of negative thinking (guilty) and is made worse by trying to take the situation into your own hands (double guilty). While these were definitely not fun experiences to have, the problem was not the experiences themselves, but the way I reacted to them.

I’m insecure because I make myself insecure; because I focus all my attention on myself, thus losing sight of my Security -- my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The truth is, I do have reasons to doubt myself. I’m not good enough. I am inadequate. I will never measure up. I am an imperfect human being. And as long as I try to take control of my own life, I will feel insecure.


Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For You created my inmost being, You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

What an amazing reminder that I am not my own. I belong to my Creator, and He loves me despite my imperfections.

And despite my imperfections, I am perfect. Not because of my actions, my thoughts, my heart or anything I can do or say on this Earth, but because I am His. I am exactly who God made me, and that is enough.

Today, my insecurity looks a little different. I have wonderful, godly friends whom I love dearly, and I know they love me back. I'm at a place in my life where I am truly, almost completely content. I'm just missing one thing.

A boyfriend.

I've never had a boyfriend. When I consider this fact and the fact that almost all of my friends have been in some sort of dating relationship before, it is hard not to fall back into wondering what's wrong with me. Why don't boys like me?

I know I sound so superficial right now, but it's the truth. I long to be loved, and even though I know it isn't true, there's a part of me that feels like I will never be fully loved until I have a guy.

But then I remember -- I do have a Guy.

I have the greatest Guy of all. The only Guy that truly matters.

Who cares if I don't have a boyfriend or lost a lot of friends six years ago? That seems so inconsequential when put into perspective. As long as I’m doing my best (the best a human can do) to live my life according to His word -- including giving Him complete control over my life -- there is nothing more I need. 

I write these things not to throw myself a pity party. Not to make my availability known to all the single guys out there. And certainly not to trash talk my friends from junior high (I think we can all agree that junior high is a terrible time and it would be better for everyone if kids were just quarantined from their 12th birthday through their 15th).

No, I write these things to encourage you. I know I am not the only one who struggles with insecurity, and I know many of you are probably laughing at my stories because they are nothing compared to what you have gone through. Life is so beautiful and so difficult at the same time, and likewise so is trusting in God.

I will always struggle with insecurity. Even though I am aware of the problem and how to fix it, it is just easier to get down on myself than to give it to God. I will never be perfect at handing over control of my life, but I find comfort in the fact that God will stand by my side even when I mess up.

My name is Kayla Holiday, and I am an insecure, imperfect human being who will never deserve God’s grace.

But He gives it to me anyway, because He loves me.

And that? That is enough.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.” Philippians 4:8


  1. This was really well thought out and applies so well to so many people I pray others would find encouragement from it as I have. Good job Kayla

    1. Thank you Elise! I'm so glad to hear you were encouraged by this.

  2. I am so thankful for you! This is just what I want my girls to hear and see as truth before they even get to the challenging jr. high years.

    1. Your girls are great and I am glad I get to be part of their life!

  3. Beautifully said sweetie. I'm proud of you ~ Dad (The other guy in your life)

  4. Thank you for your honesty, Kayla. I think this is something a lot of us struggle with. Replace the lies you sometimes want to believe with the truth of Jesus Christ and His promises. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are ENOUGH.

    And! Thank you for your comment today on the Bloom Workshop post. I'd ADORE if you could come, because I'd love to meet you! A lot of this workshop is about giving you the tools to feel confident in your blogging, business, photography and design skills. You'd be a great fit for the workshop, I think :)

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Michaela! You are a huge inspiration to me so it means a lot. :) I so hope I can make it to the workshop -- I would love to meet you, too!

  5. Pretty cool of you Kayla to realize all this while being so young! As a guy, i'm sure a woman's insecurity is something i'd never really understand but the fact you're strong enough to write all this and understand your imperfections make you a secure woman in a sense. We all have our own insecurities but its about us understanding them and cherishing them because they are what makes up special in out own way. To me all of the moments you described in your life are things that happened for a reason. People change so you can learn to let go, things went wrong so you can appreciate them when they're right, you believed the lies so eventually you can learn to trust no one but yourself and you'll eventually see that in life good things fall apart so better things can come together!!

    So just a random reader here to say great article!

    1. Thank you, mysterious random reader! Love that Marilyn Monroe quote. :)

  6. Thank you for being so open and honest. I really need to get this into my heart and my head. Ruined so much.of the last 14 yrs, including huge part of my marriage and being a parent, all due to.insecurity, lies!! Thank you God bless x

    1. It can be really hard! I just recently had some stuff come up that brings back all of these thoughts again. I'll be praying for you, Wensy! Thanks for stopping by!