09 April 2013

Low self-esteem part 1

Let's keep going with the next chapter of the book "Healing for Damaged Emotions" from David Seamands.

Most of us know that satan is here to take advantage of our weaknesses. When we least expect it, he is there to make it even worse. With fear. With doubt. With anger. With hostility. With worry. With guilt. All those are pretty annoying emotions and can certainly take away our joy and happiness.

But do you know his 'Deadliest Weapon'? It's called low self-esteem, combined with a feeling of inferiority and inadequacy.

Any atheist would ask, how this could be. Most Christians are happy jacks all the time and smile in the worst circumstances. Right? Not all of us do! Not all of us. Not me.

I grew up in a family of negativity. I heard it since birth, day in and day out. Nobody was good enough for my parents, nobody, not even us children. Our behavior was not good enough, our grades were not good enough, and so we grew up, both of us, with a feeling of inadequacy. How should we ever want to reach our full potential? Both of us decided very early on that we were not to go to university - something our parents expected of us. But I think, we both just gave up, never even wanting to try......

Today, I read that this low self-esteem is paralyzing my potential, it destroys my dreams, and it  ruins my relationships. In my head, the question forms: which potential, do I even have that?What dreams?
The author writes: "Low self-esteem begins even in the crib, follows to kindergarten, and worsens during the teen years. In adult life, it seems to settle in like a great fog that covers many people day by day. Sometimes it lifts a little but always returns, trying to engulf, to drown."

That sounds like my life! How did the author know? Do others feel like this as well? Maybe I am not alone after all? Where are you, 'friends', people that know how this feels? Can you give me hope? I need some encouragement.

How many times have I screwed up, and then beaten myself up for it, asking God, why I am the way I am, and why He allowed all my past to happen. I know it is a criticism for Him, but I also know that He understands my pain. And He hurts with me, because He wants so much better for me. How great then to realize that He does care for me! Who cares if nobody else on this earth does - He does! And that is all that matters.

And I am taking great comfort in knowing that I am so special, that through my sufferings, He wants to pull ME closer to Him. Now, looking at it in this angle, it changes everything! It's an honor, and it makes me feel special. He wants me? The Lord of Lord? Wow! That is pretty cool.
And He gives promises. Promises like in Philippians 1:6 that "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." I am holding on to that promise every day.
Little by little, my wonderful God is showing me that I am good enough and what I am good at, maybe even very good. He shows me that there is so much that I actually do want from life, but never dared to want. He has plans for me, plans to prosper me (Jeremiah 29:11). I don't want no 'watered-down' version of my life - I want the life God has planned for me. And even though my beginning has not been excellent, I know that He has an end planned with fireworks and trumpets. I can life my dream!

What is my dream? Oh, so many little things, but the biggest is to grow to the person that God wants me to be, for Him, for myself, for my husband, for my children! That is all that matters.
Really, I am trying to live Romans 12:2 where I am no longer conforming to the old patterns, but where I am "being transformed by the renewing of my mind. So that I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will for me."

He also showed me that, after years of not wanting to be myself, that I DO want to be ME and nobody else. I rather be myself, feeling the pain I feel but knowing that this is God's plan for my life and that I am doing His will. He will make me a better person. He deserves all the glory.