Remember when you were a kid and your parent’s friends remarked how big you were getting and the excitement you felt about growing up? I feel the same way about growing up spiritually!
Today’s growth-spurt moment about ridding yourself of poor self-esteem. While it’s not a pleasant or willing topic of discussion, I will admit it’s been an issue with me (and many other women) at one time or another, but I know God has delivered me and can do the same for you!
In the aftermath of failed relationships, broken hearts, and the single life, the enemy can sometimes mess with your head and have you questioning what’s wrong with you. We look at other women– skinnier, prettier, better hair, more talented, successful, et cetera and so on. Eventually, these thoughts can take root and grow into weeds of negativity, sadness, bitterness, anger and depression. This “stinkin’ thinkin'” can drive others away from you, hold up your blessings, and get you to sin against God by constant murmuring and complaining. Any witnesses in the house?
A dear friend and I went shopping a bit ago and in the dressing room, I was subjected to the nefarious three-way mirror (yep–I wasn’t happy with the image at all). As I lamented about the unflattering frocks, she went and found me a couple of dresses that really complimented my skin tone and “non-size 2” body-type. She then proceeded to sincerely tell me how beautiful I looked and for the first time in a LONG time, I believed it. A few days later, a woman I were chatting at the hairdresser and she complemented me on my eyes. I usually just notice how tired they look! But at a closer glance, I could see God’s handiwork. As I’m typing, the Lord just reminded me a young brother mentioned how much he enjoyed my Sunday School class a few weeks back. Last week, someone mentioned a note of encouragement they kept that I wrote them two years ago! Wow–I’m not so bad after all! 🙂
Mind you, I don’t say this in a spirit of ego, conceit or to get glory in any way–rather, God be glorified because He showed me I have nothing to hang my head about. Yes, my self-esteem took a big ol’ whupping–I just kept rewinding the “what’s-wrong-with-me” track. But Paul’s advises us that whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue and praise to think on THOSE things (Philippians 4:8). David also reminded me to praise God– for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14 a).
While God has not called us to be all about ourselves, I do believe we should give Him thanks for how He made us! Yes, there might be a little extra meat on the bones, but go on and appropriately dress up that temple–work with what you have! Give thanks to God for the use and activity of our bodies, the ability to think/reason, and the talents/gifts He’s blessed us with— and use ALL of that to His glory with NO shame! We don’t need to hang out at home in fuzzy slippers and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s every weekend! We can go out with the girls and have a wonderful, wholesome time in the Lord! We can go to visit the sick, feed the homeless, babysit for a single mom, help someone shop, volunteer at a hospital, cook for a family–the possibilities are endless.
If we are busy for Christ, we have less idle time to entertain those negative thoughts. Another benefit is that we are possibly being prepared for the person God has in store for us, if it is His will. Think about it– was Ruth picking out her flaws, all long-faced and waiting idly for Boaz to come by? I should say not! Boaz noticed her working hard to take care of mother-in-law (Ruth 2:11) and eventually married her.
Bottom line? We all have things we don’t like about ourselves…myself included! Some we can change, other things we can’t. Let’s ask God to help us make peace with the permanent, bless us to work on the alterable and do what He called us to do in the process–I’m thinking we will be blessed in more ways than one!
Please share your thoughts….
2 thoughts on “Growing up….”
Great one Blen! I agree wholeheartedly. I know I’m not single, but as a married woman, one thing you DO NOT want to do is get into a relationship with low self-esteem. You will begin to question your boyfriend/husband’s faithfulness, his truthfulness [about being beautiful,] and your negative thoughts become power and that power consumes you making you feel like the ugliest being on the planet and that makes you feel alone even when you are coupled.
Friendships even, if your friend is not strong enough to pray and fast for your healing, then she can become angry and depart from the friendship because of your constant negativity, always downing yourself and drowning yourself in rivers of gloom and depression. Thus, everyone around you begins to walk on eggshells for fear of an emotional burst or break.
Trust ME, when I say, I was ANGRY for a LONG time, I was JEALOUS of everyone’s else’s “skinniness” and “beauty,” that no one ever wanted to be around me because of the hate I had for myself. That’s no way to live.
When people would compliment me, I’d sometimes say, “you know you’re lying” or begin to point out my flaws and tell the world how ugly I really was. I always felt that “thank you” meant that you agree with the person, so I would try and find a way to let them know that they that it’s not true. They’d say, “you look like you lost weight, you look good.” I’d say, “no, I have control top stockings on, if you saw me naked, you wouldn’t still feel that way!” They’d chuckle if off, but quickly run away. NO ONE wants to be around negativity!
Blen, you showed me how to just say, “thank you” when I receive a compliment and nothing more. No one needs to know what you do to hide your extra “stuff” or what your body really looks like without clothing.
I remember not too long ago, a sister complimented me in my weight loss and said, “you must have abs by now,” and at the time feeling so down about my body [after three kids, you can imagine] I lifted up my shirt, grabbed my muffin top, shook it and said, “does this look like abs to you?” What an embarrassing moment! WHY did I do that?
I still remember what you said to me, even in your moments before your own deliverance, to just accept the compliment, “say thank you” and leave it alone. Now, everytime I receive a compliment and am about to say something, I think of you and just say… “thank you!”
Prayer has helped change a lot of things. I asked the Lord to help me keep motivation to lose weight. I’ve asked Him to help me see the beauty my husband sees. I’ve asked Him to help me get over my fears of what other people think so that I can move forward with the ideas He’s given me and the gifts He’s blessed me with. He’s so awesome in all His ways and I thank Him for doing just that. I am the way I am.
We ARE all wonderfully, individually and uniquely made and I agree Blen, we change the things we can control and accept the things we can’t. It’s just as the beginning of the “God Grant Me The Serenity Prayer” goes. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference…
Welcome back! We LOVE that you stop by and comment!! We need your sage advice!!
I am BLOWN AWAY by the truth you put out here today! AMEN!!!!!! Many of us won’t admit it, but at one time or another we have/still struggle with physical (as well as other types of) insecurities based on many things–our childhood taunts, lack of encouragement from key family members, an argument where someone made an unkind comment–the negative possibility pool is always full and for some reason we like take laps around that pool quite frequently, myself included. I have had many of the same thoughts you wrestled with. (We thank God for past tense and TOTAL deliverance!!!!!!)
But as David and you remind us, Sara, God made us and did such a wonderful job–way better that what we could have done! 🙂 And yes..we have talents and gifts that are distinctive and needed to bless others in addition to and more importantly bringing glory to God–what an awesome responsibility! With God’s help, if we’d focus on our blessings, gifts, talents and meditate on the fact we are fearfully and wonderfully made, I believe the so-called negatives not be as easily magnified all the time, making us more healthy and attractive people as Tabitha said in the “Table for One” post, “that kind of attraction is magnetic.” We want to attract rather than repel people, right?
In fact, when we surround yourself with people who truly love, support and celebrate us for who we are, (as well as us blessing others in the same manner) that’s another nail in the coffin of self-sabotage. I’m SO grateful for my core group of “sisters” like you, Sara, and my other sisters here and abroad that undergird me! Let’s continue to pray that God will continue to bless us to follow through on the Serenity prayer, as we encourage one another and live as the beautiful flowers we are! (Thanks for that Michelle!)
Sara, thank again for your FABULOUS comments! Please don’t be a stranger!