Updated: Aug 2, 2020
We all know a thing or three about identity crises. As teenagers we felt the peer pressure to fit in, as children we felt the pressure to please and as adults we feel the pressure to succeed. Who are we and who do we portray each and every day? A lot of us play different personas at work versus at home and forever being tossed and torn from one identity to the next.
We all have our insecurities and issues around self-esteem. Some more than others. A poor self-image and identity causes many problems in relationships, at work, with your children and at church or with friends. It has you second-guessing yourself, feel less than confident, be jealous or easily hurt and overly sensitive. In the past, when I have had very low self-esteem, it had become painful just to interact with anyone as I got so easily offended by something that was said that I always seemed to take out of context. It’s the negative voices in our heads that tell us that we will not amount to anything, that no one loves us and that we will always feel alone. We all know the pitfalls of believing those lies and how they rob us.
How can we overcome those sensitivities and have a healthy and godly view of ourselves?
Remember to be kind to you
You might have just gone through a break-up or divorce and lost a sense of self or an overly critical mother and strict father raised you. Whatever has caused you to replay the negative messages that you have received in life about yourself, remember that they are just thoughts, thoughts are not evidence that you are what those thoughts say you are. Let me say that again, just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true. Tell yourself one positive thing about yourself each day and be specific. “I dealt very well with that situation today, it shows that I have maturity”, “Jesus died for me, I am unconditionally loved always”, “I didn’t react to that offense today, I am growing and I am proud of myself”, “I got out of bed today even though I didn’t feel like it, I’ve pushed through”. Learn to be a positive voice for yourself. And reward yourself for it, with a nice hot bath, a sumptuous hot chocolate or even new shoes. Whatever you are doing, be kind and gentle to yourself.
What does God say about you?
Find scriptures that talk about the one or two areas of fear or negativity. Mine is that I can think that I am a failure. The lie is that I am a failure, the truth is that “whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). If your negative belief is that your future is going to be tragic and you will always suffer, you can be assured by Romans 8:8 that says: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” If you believe that you will always be rejected, God says that you are accepted as his child (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I literally wrote out every negative belief and fear I had about myself and my life and looked up scriptures that countered every single lie. I then read the truth to myself every day until it began to start to sink into my thoughts and I began to see who I really am.
You are His daughter
One of my favourite revelations to the body of Christ is the fact that He is a good father and we are his sons and daughters. He is not only the big God upstairs who rules and reigns, but is personable and relationally close to us. He is our good Father who gives us good gifts and knows what we need. He is our Father, our good Father. I can’t repeat it enough. When we see us as his children and are secure in our knowledge of daughtership, we no longer have to jostle after titles, compete with our husbands in an orphan-hearted attempt to get ahead. We KNOW that Father has a place for us that is only for us. We don’t have to feel insecure or threatened. We don’t have to prove ourselves in ministry or a high-flying job, we don’t need to poster ourselves as more important as someone else because we know we are loved, we are accepted, we have a bright future ahead of us, we are His beloved daughter and he fights for us. Put some worship on and meditate on who God is to you, the Father that loves you and let him give you a fresh revelation of who you are as his child and what destiny he has for you.
Deal with the past
Whatever has happened in your past to instill in you the negative beliefs, find closure from it. Make a start on dealing with those past issues today, don’t put your head in the sand or think you can just wish them away, no, deal with them. Whether that is seeing a professional counsellor to process a trauma in your childhood or the recent separation or speaking to pastoral care, try to put the past behind you. Don’t ignore your past, but deal with it. Process what has happened in a safe environment, but don’t dwell on your past. Move forward, let God heal you from the shame of the sin that you can’t let go, let God set you free from the regret you have about your past behaviour that you can’t shake. Remember you can’t change the past, but you can change your future! Your marriage will thank you!
It’s time to rise up as women of God knowing who we are in Christ and take our rightful seat as heirs next to our Father God. We are no longer dejected, rejected or ashamed, we are righteous, sought after, courageous and cherished. He has chosen us and we are forever changed into an identity that brings God glory and us security. There is nothing more precious than feeling comfortable in your own skin knowing that good things are waiting for you. God has made a way for you to know this truth today, to know that your life is not over, that you are never alone and that your future is successful. Mean business with God, find the truth and find your true God-given self, your inner giant.
Pearlcya James (UK)