I don’t often talk about this, but I struggle massively with low self esteem. It comes and goes depending on who I’m with or where I am. Sometimes I could go weeks or months without ever having an issue with it and then, suddenly, out of nowhere, insecurities start to rear their ugly heads and I’m back right there in the middle of caring about what people think. I begin to second guess myself and my decisions or start to wonder how I came across in that conversation or whether I should have said that in that moment or whether I should have wore that to work or sent my kids to school in those clothes…should I have served my guests that meal for dinner or made that comment about that issue…the list goes on. It’s a hard issue to talk about. Nevertheless, it is the truth. And yet I’m not entirely sure when I began to feel this way. I was raised in a loving home with two well adjusted, Godly parents who fully encouraged me then and still, who taught me self worth and grounded me in a life full of the love of God. I have had the privilege of teaching teams of young people about who they are in God and have witnessed countless times God delivering them from issues of self image and self esteem. I have mentored and mentor still, young women and encourage them to be all they were created to be. I cheer them on in strength and weakness and regularly pray over them for freedom from the very things that occasionally I, battle with too. And yet I have never really opened up and bore my soul like I am doing now about the fact that I, too, struggle to fit in sometimes. That I, too, have beat myself up time and time again over what has been unkindly spoken about me by someone I know or even those I don’t. That, I, too, know what it is like to battle with thoughts that tell you that you are not good enough; or important enough, cool enough or pretty enough. Thoughts about belonging and insecurities around friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
In the Bible, Paul writes regularly about his weaknesses but one of my favourite verses is the one that talks about how when I am weak ( for the sake of Christ) that is when I am really strong (2 Cor 2:10). I love this verse because it actually encourages me about my weaknesses.
Paul was so honest about the fact that he was imperfect and yet God used him in spite of himself. I like to think of Paul as the living embodiment of Philippians 4:13. He really got to know the strength of Christ and through Him, he was able to do all things! Another one of my favourites is this one:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”
When I read this, I’m so uplifted because I’m reminded that even with the weaknesses I see, God chose to put his treasure in me. And if He chose me, I must learn to trust him. And so I will sit at his feet until the weaknesses I see in me are stripped away by the power of his love. Until then, I credit any great thing that I might ever accomplish to his “all surpassing power” and not at all to this “jar of clay”.