My pastors wife, Janine, says “Every time I speak from my heart it comes out of my eyes.”
I think I’m turning into her.
Which is, honestly, a great thing (except I tear up whenever I pray for someone or talk about Jesus, which if you’re not used to that, is kinda weird)
Fortunately for you, dear reader, I’m typing today. I’ll probably still cry a little, but you don’t have to see it and look for tissues.
Beautiful. Strong. Valuable. Worthy.
These words define my story.
My 12 year old self was a chubby, awkward, known but definitely not popular, smart but not the smartest, and overall… kind of a dorky kid.
I was an only child with 2 very hard working loving parents and a grandmother who took care of me most week days. Unfortunately, my grandmother had her own insecurities passed down through generations of women. Her insecurities made her want to encourage me to get thinner, dye my hair, and do whatever it took to look better and be more than what I was.
When I turned 13… I got thinner, got into sports, and became way less awkward. But…. When you’ve heard that you were not enough from teasing peers and family members…. You just can’t shake it off.
It was ingrained in me.
I am not beautiful, strong, valuable or worthy.
So, I kept trying to fit in with the popular crowd, who was going through a “banger phase” at the time (Hence my in depth of knowledge of Metallica). Then I got into Wicca, the appeal being that, in Wicca, god is a woman. I figured you couldn’t get any stronger than that. Simultaneously, I started dating. I started dating a lot. Something like 10 relationships in 2 years. I figured if I was dating someone then I was obviously beautiful and that’s why boys liked me.
All of the things I was doing; trying to fit in, Wicca, dating, were all part of the search for me to feel beautiful, strong, valuable, and worthy.
Nothing worked…….Big surprise.
Having all of this going on, on the outside, I still felt like an awkward, fat, useless girl.
And Christianity? I don’t think so.
Yea…. I went to a private school when I was really young and 1 or 2 Sunday school classes throughout the years. Jesus is that guy in some white robe making the Christians I knew judgmental mean girls who teased me.
So, through a bazaar turn of events, in High School, I got peer pressured into becoming a cheerleader.
There I met Chris. She was a fun, dramatic, edgy, cheerleader that really liked to dance (hence the cheerleading). Chris went to church. Like, Chris really went to church. She did not fit into my mold of the typical church going jerk…. But who was I to judge.
Chris was also, persistent. I’m pretty sure she invited me to church every week for about 5 months straight. Finally, one of our friends was going to sing at her church, so I went to support him. I gritted my teeth, sat down, heard my friend sing, and then buckled down to endure “the message”.
I never really listened to the message that day. I remember feeling like everything went still. Not actually still, it just felt that way.
Then I heard Him. (Hard to explain this part. But I didn’t hear an audible voice. More like when your conscience talks to you. But this voice was not my conciscience. This voice was different.)
“You are worth it to ME.”
That’s all it took for me to sit there and weep like a baby during the middle of some guys sermon. That was the first time I had ever heard those words. The first time I had realized that everything I had been doing was a vain attempt to fill a void in my life.
He knew that I was beautiful, strong, valuable and worthy and He told me so. And I actually believed Him.
That was the turning point in my story.
Nothing changed suddenly, they happened very slowly. I had to free myself from an emotionally abusive boyfriend, realize that the judgmental Christians were just people dealing with their own crap, and had to start believing what God was telling me.
This is why I want to move across the ocean.
I want others to know that Jesus can bring truth to their lives. That He can remove the lies and the crap that we believe about ourselves. I want tell other women who feel ugly, weak, useless and worthless that Jesus sees them otherwise. That He sees them as so much more than they can imagine. That they are worth it to Him.
If you connect with any of the struggles that I went through…. I would love to hear from you. Email me. We’ll get coffee…. if we live in the same country. 🙂