Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
As a child, I struggled with low self-esteem. I can remember early on being called ugly by boys in my classroom and I really took it to heart. Although my parents affirmed me by telling me I was beautiful, what my peers thought seemed to be more important. If the boys thought I was ugly, then I must be. I recall a time where I came home crying because a boy that I liked called me ugly. I literally felt like it was the end of the world. I was in second grade. This would continue to be a struggle of mine throughout my adolescence and early adulthood. I would do almost anything to gain the affection of a male companion, except have sex. I often wondered if this is what kept me from being asked out on dates. When I got into my first real relationship, I was dumped because I didn’t want to engage in premarital sex. I appreciated his honesty, nevertheless it hurt me deeply. So much so, that I ended up giving up my virginity in an attempt to feel loved and validated. Certainly, this guy would love me now since I gave him my body, right? WRONG. The abusive relationships that I became involved in later only made my self-esteem lower as I continued to give away my body to those who were not truly worthy. During my last abusive relationship, I experienced a great deal of emotional abuse, where I was told regularly, “No one will want you now; you’re too difficult to love.” For me this form of abuse was harder to deal with. My bruises healed externally, but the emotional damage was lasting. BUT GOD! I learned by trial and error, that self-love is the next most important form of love you can have outside of the love you have for God.
It's important to know what God says about you and in times where you may struggle, reflect on His word. Song of Songs 4:7 states, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” Do you believe that you are beautiful? If not, keep confessing it until you believe. God is not man that He should lie. Abuse is never okay. It can leave lasting damage if not dealt with both naturally and spiritually. If you or someone you know is being abused, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (not affiliated, but definitely a valuable resource that I just had to share).