What do you believe about yourself?
Are you kind-hearted, meek and gentle? Maybe you are gruff and stern wishing that you were a bit more easy-going. No matter what we think of ourselves, we are always looking for a new label, a way out of whatever we carry in our minds about who we are.
I was looking through old photo albums with my daughters the other night. They laughed at my 90s hair and questioned why my friends all wore the same clothes. We giggled over the trendy house decor in the backdrops, and talked about the adventures portrayed in the smiling or perplexed faces of the people staring back at us. A life that seemed so long ago all came flooding back as I shared my youth with my young ones.
As we flipped through pages, a memory came across my brow as I turned to a page with a young man who wasn’t always what his pictures spoke of him.
I had always believed that I wasn’t good enough for people, yet strived hard in hope of finding some foothold with some guy who adored me. I felt that my sometimes ugly attitude and depressive self flowed outward and made me look as pitiful as I felt. Ugliness seemed my jam and it wasn’t very uplifting.
This young man seemed to gravitate towards me. We amused each other and found some likes in common. Love seemed to come but what followed was anything but that.
As we posed for many a homecoming and prom picture, I felt stunning in my little dresses on the outside, but so knotted up inside from doubts, fights, and meanness thrown at me on a regular basis. Co-dependancy was shining its brightest in those three and half years of smiling pictures.
You see, one day I was told that I was ugly.
It wasn’t a joke or even in an argument. A normal conversation included words that dug deep inside pulling out all my dreadful feelings and tendencies from my entire life and culminated on his bedroom floor in tears and the need for escape. I was ugly, I believed it, and for some reason I didn’t want to run away from it. I thought that this person was the only one who could love me because the ugliness I had could never be accepted by anyone else.
Oh the heartache. My world was full of egg shells that I had to navigate over, borderline lies to my loved ones, and challenges of school, work and being fully accountable to one guy who seemed to run my life.
I needed Jesus. I had Him from my youth, but I wasn’t reaching out to Him because I didn’t know that I could. I was ugly and who would ever possibly love this girl the way that she was? I was stuck and had no way out. Would Jesus even care?
Of course I didn’t tell my daughters any of these details. For several years I have stressed the need to stay away from dating until they are ready to have a mate for life. I have trusted them to understand that heartache often follows when involved in serious relationships early in life and that there may have to be a long recovery time and permanent damage to their self-image. They seem to understand my plight and see that their father also backs up my thoughts on this.
It’s hard to admit these things. It’s also hard to see that I often believe the same things about myself. I don’t leave a good role model in the beauty department for my girls. I pour on them love, and truth about who they are and their beauty from the Lord. I make sure that they understand body image and virtuous characteristics are far more important than what any guy would think of them. Foundation is so important.
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”
This leaves me with needing to always think about myself in a few ways:
-I am beautiful because I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the Lord’s image
-I am beautiful because my husband doesn’t lie and is dedicated to not only loving me, but in building me up
-I am beautiful because my body has created life and those four little lives see me as a beautiful creation with many Godly virtues
These are truths that count. Being tied down by lies and fears is not an acceptable way of living. Hurt has followed me for many years and I see the need to express it and then flush it away. My testimony will not be rocked because of hate from a lost man.These are truths that count. Being tied down by lies and fears is not an acceptable way of living. Click To Tweet
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3 thoughts on “The Truth About Yourself”
Beautifully, painfully said Maryann. It is interesting to me how our own voice picks up the words hurled at us and uses them to remind us of the pain over and over again. Sometimes I think we do more damage to ourselves than those who set out to hurt using the first place. Once again thank you for opening your heart and sharing it with us.
Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear about what was said about you when you were younger. Words are very powerful and can shape our lives and our future. We can go through the entirety of our life believing these things and interpreting our life through that lens rather than knowing or remembering what God has said about us. I’ve had similar experiences too which I’ve then taken to heart and have affected me for years to come.
I wrote a post months ago on a similar subject on how we need to interpret our life and what we believe to be true through the lens that God shows us and the way he sees us, and not our own own distorted spectacles.
Thank y ou for your encouraging words. Although it’s hard to have walked through this in life, I am glad that I am not alone in my struggle. Thank you for sharing.