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Kia Stephens

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October 5, 2015

For the Woman Battling Low Self-Esteem

October 5, 2015 | By | 20 Comments

Me and time have maintained a tumultuous relationship.  Even before I added a husband and two kids to the the tornado I call life, I was late. So when a well-meaning, but – from my vantage point – unwise children’s church volunteer made a comment about my lateness I understood, but I was still mad.

“Oh, it’s just our usual late,” she said, opening the doors so my family could enter.  “Excuse me?!,” I was thinking, but I didn’t say. I was a volcano about to erupt.

My face started to communicate the rapidly growing angst and I almost let it spew from my mouth.  For a just few moments I wanted to forget about Jesus so I could give her some much needed feedback.  Thankfully, my Christ-like husband kept walking, thus saving me from making a really big bonfire with my words.  

In retrospect, I recognize we were late. Ahem! If she hadn’t let us in, we would have been stuck in the foyer another 10 minutes waiting for the on-time children to transition in the halls.  She actually did us a favor, but I did not want to be defined as “usual late”.  

And even though my family chases the short and long hand – a lot – we are not the family that will never be on time.   I wanted a fair chance that day and every other day to rise above my present behavior.

If I’ve lied I want a chance to be truthful.

If I’ve been broken I want a chance to be whole.

If I’ve fallen I want a chance to get up.

I don’t want to be held captive by a you’ll-never-change mentality:  assigning a permanent definition to a temporary state.  And yet, this experience reminded me how we often define ourselves and others by the behaviors that don’t ever seem to change.  You will always be:

Inconsistent

Irresponsible

Late

Weak

Needy

Naive

Negative

& Broken

I know because I imprisoned myself for years.  Struggling with an overwhelming low self- esteem I did not believe I could ever be different.  Crushed by the weight of people’s opinion of me I drifted throughout life attempting to people please my way into acceptance.  I allowed the opinions of others to determine my worth because I did not know it for myself.  

The foundation for this view was laid during my formative years.  There were a lot of circumstances that had a hand in fostering my view of me.  Growing up in a single parent household and experiencing bullying in my primary years both played a role.  And though I can not hinge all the responsibility on one single factor the absence of my daddy was major.

According to Dr. James Dobson, “a daughter’s sense of self-worth and confidence is linked directly to her relationship with her dad.  What he thinks about her and how he expresses his affection is a central source of her perceived value as a human being.”  H. Norman Wright, author of Always Daddy’s Girl communicates it this way, “It is from her father that a girl needs to know that she is attractive, that her conversation is interesting and that her creativity is worthwhile. . . Affirmation from her father in proper doses will convince her that she is an important person. . .”

And so I carried my low self esteem into adulthood.  I spent years in this pit; thinking I’d never climb out.  And I have the t-shirt for trying to will it; determining I could change my own thoughts.  But no matter how much I read self- help books, or ingested positive affirmations, my thoughts remained the same.

It wasn’t until I gave this responsibility to God that I began to see a difference in my perspective.   I started to grasp the truth of Romans 12: 2.   

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . Romans 12: 2 (NIV)

 

I identified my underlying beliefs about me and I started replacing my thoughts with His.

I am God’s handiwork.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

I am wonderfully made.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalms 139: 14 (NIV)

I am strong in Christ.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;

Proverbs: 31: 25

I am a daughter of God and He loves me.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3: 1(NIV)

Though it is tempting to limit ourselves by what we see, we must characterize ourselves by who God says we are.

 His view extends far beyond our present and into our potential.  

For the Woman Battling Low Self- Esteem Meme 1

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NIV)

If you are dealing with a low self esteem replace your thinking with thoughts from our creator.  Relinquish the pressure of trying to change and give it to God.  

For the Woman Battling Low Self-Esteem Meme 2

 

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Comments

  1. This post is powerful. I, too, for many years determined my self worth or actions based on how other people would think of me. It was tiring! For many years, I had to tape a lot of these verses to my mirror to be a daily reminder that Jesus loves me the way I am, the way HE created me to be.
    Anastasia recently posted…Speaking the Truth in LoveMy Profile

    • Ana I can definitely related to those taped verses on the mirror. I am so grateful that many of those verses have begun to sink in and I can see the power of Romans 12:2. Thanks you for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  2. Mm. Good message. Thank you!
    God showed me here recently that I had been placing my worth in what I did for people and what they thought of me. My self worth is not found in what I do or what people think, but it is found in the blood of Christ. My identity is in Christ and only there will I find a solid self-worth.
    ~Haley

    • Amen Haley. Looking for validation from others is a slippery slope toward despair. No human being can sustain another person. It has taken me years to get it through my thick skull but I can see growth after years of learning the hard way. Please know you are never alone. So glad you joined the conversation and be blessed. – Kia

  3. Digging into God’s Word is absolutely the most powerful thing we can do to know who we are. It’s something that many of us don’t do even though we recommend it to others, but it is such a blessing when we do. I’m doing 31 Days of Communion and it’s part in our every day lives, and I also recently dug into what the word joy really means in the Bible and how to have real joy. Both of these digs are blessing me so much, I just need to do it more often!
    Lizzy recently posted…Communion Songs to Meditate On – Day 6My Profile

    • Lizzy,

      The word of God is so powerful. I can’t say it enough. It brings hope to the discouraged, wisdom to the confused, and light to those in darkness. Truly it has been tremendously transnational in my life. It is awesome to hear how the word is working in your life as well. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  4. Beautiful… If we could only see ourselves the way God sees us from the beginning – perfectly made, strong and beautiful. Thank you for your words and sweet reminders this morning… I am grateful. Mindy

    • Mindy,

      I completely echo your sentiments. God has made us perfectly – strong and beautiful. He is all that we could ever need Him to be. May these truths be known by every woman. Thank you friend for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  5. Yes, there is no denying that the messages we carry in our heads and into adulthood form us. Thanks be to God that there is Truth that is bigger than error, and that we can set our eyes in that direction — brand new every day!
    Michele Morin recently posted…Giving Thanks Is a ChoiceMy Profile

    • Michele,

      Yes! Once we identify the lies we have believed from our childhood, we can counter them with the word of God. It is powerful and able to divide between the most convincing lie and the truth. Thank you for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  6. Your title caught my eye since I have always struggled with a low self-esteem. Just like you, it is God’s measure of love and worth towards me that has helped me to stand confident in who He made me to be without trying so hard to be who other people thought I should be. Accepting his truth brings freedom. Thank you for sharing such encouragement.

    • Valerie, just in case you still struggle from time to time I want you to know YOU ARE ACCEPTED BY GOD. This fact gives me strength from day to day. Remember belove, He is so much more than the whole world against you. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  7. I have had the defeatist thought of “I’ll never change” waaaaaay too often and I admit I have also placed it on my thoughts toward others. With God change is ALWAYS possible! I love your line “His view extends far beyond our present and into our potential.” and boy am I thankful for that! Thank you for encouragement me to look beyond my present into the potential God sees in me 🙂 #LiveFreeThursday!
    Sarah Travis recently posted…Our God is Gracious!My Profile

    • Sarah, thank you for your vulnerability. I believe more women than not struggle with defeatist thoughts.This could stem back to our childhood or the constant standards of perfection society places on women. Despite the influencing factor God offers grace and complete acceptance in Him. So grateful for that today. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  8. I loved this! I’m so grateful to serve a God who defines me as HE sees me!!!! #livefreeThursday
    Crystal Hornback recently posted…No Junk in My TrunkMy Profile

    • Yes Crystal, no matter how we previously defined ourselves, in Christ we are made new and defined by HIM. I am grateful too. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed. – Kia

  9. So much of our identity is formed in our childhood, but the Lord is the changer and giver of all things anew. God sees us as treasures and I am so thankful for that.

    Thanks for sharing these thought-provoking points (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…10 Fabulous Quotes That Will Make You Write Today!My Profile

    • Isn’t wonderful that God can take people, no matter what they experienced in their formative years, and completely alter their trajectory! Absolutely amazing! I marvel at what He has done in my life and so many others. Thank you for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  10. Kia, I’m glad you are addressing this important issue. Jesus came to show us the Father. I’m so glad He did. Our real Daddy never leaves or forsakes us. Blessings, my friend.

    • Debbie, so true, our heavenly Father will never leave nor forsake us. This foundational truth undergirds everything I write. Thank you for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

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