"I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and wonderfully made."-Psalms 139-14 (GOD'S WORD Translation)
When I think about my life up until now and the choices I've made based on "low self-esteem"; it saddens me. This includes poor financial decisions, engaging in inappropriate peer relationships and career miss-steps. As a young child, I did not think myself attractive or very interesting. So from early on, I decided I would live in the shadow of my very witty and outgoing friends. This, I thought, would increase my "likeability" factor. In spite of my best efforts to be charming, I went to my Graduation Ball (that is the equivalent of prom in this country) alone while my best friends were escorted by their boyfriends. That certainly did not do much for my "self-esteem!"
Shortly after graduation, I migrated to the United States from Jamaica to attend college. All of sudden, the opposite sex began to take an interest in me. Boy did I find tremendous solace in that! This was new territory for me! From then on, I depended on the affirmation from others, especially the opposite sex, to elevate my self-confidence. So when boys noticed me, my self-esteem shot up, but when they ignored me, it was a shot to my ego!
This erratic behavior continued most of my adult life....until I discovered this verse in Psalms 139. I've known this verse yet never believed it for myself. That I, Cheryl, "is amazingly and wonderfully made!". Even repeating it brings tears to my eyes at times. If God believes that I am amazing, then I should too...right? Well for some reason I still had difficulty believing what Christ thought of me. As a result, all of my actions reflected the belief system that I was unworthy.
To overcome this negative thought process, I decided to make the choice to view myself as God sees me....which is as an AMAZING BEING!! I believed that if I TRULY grasped this concept, I could have the abundant life that the Bible repeatedly talks about.
So for those who struggle with this issue....replace it with "God-centered" esteem. In other words, BELIEVE that you ARE an AMAZING and WONDERFUL creation of God!!! Regardless of the vacillating thoughts of self, the affirmation of others and past or current circumstances; whether good or bad. Your confidence should ONLY depend on what God says about you because He is our Creator. God is incapable of making mistakes. So when we are tempted to lower our standards and/or go against God's principles, we can overpower those feelings/thoughts/deeds by proclaiming His Word. God only wants what's best for us just because He loves us, even though we don't deserve it. He is a gracious and merciful God! I have so much freedom in knowing that I don't have to live in defeat anymore! Trust me, it is not easy believing that I am an amazing and wonderful creation. Nevertheless, when I ponder that my "Daddy" thinks soooo highly of me, there is absolutely no reason for me to believe otherwise. HALLELUJAH!!!
Until next time....