Sometimes God speaks to me in unexpected ways. Today was one of those times. I was driving home after having breakfast with a friend. I enjoyed my time with her, but now the responsibilities of what lie ahead for the rest of the day was crowding in and threatening to steal my joy. My mind was flittering from one thought to the next, eventually swirling out of control. Somehow my to-do list had morphed into a list of my problems, my insecurities, and my failures.
Have you ever done that?
In the midst of my chaotic downward spiral of self-deprecation, there she was—all three feet of her—skipping across the Lowe’s parking lot while holding her daddy’s hand. Her dark unkempt, waist-length curls bounced with each kick of her dirty sneakers, raising her turquoise princess dress enough to see her jeans beneath. Was she wearing those jeans first then put on the princess dress when her daddy said they were going out? Or did she have on the princess dress and decide to wear the jeans too because you never know?
I continued watching her through my rear view mirror, mesmerized by her innocence and...joy. That’s what joy actually looks like, I thought.
“That’s what YOU look like to me.”
I gasped, knowing I would never say that to myself. This was none other than the voice of God. Not audible, of course. But so evident, it was almost a whisper.
Did He see me as a princess? A child?
“You are my beautiful daughter. I AM the King of Kings which makes you a princess. I have clothed you in the royal garments of salvation.”
I scoffed at the thought of being called a princess. But then remembered one of my favorite chapters: Isaiah 61.
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
I need to stop right here and share something personal with you.
There was a time when I used to look in the mirror with the eye of scrutiny, looking for what I considered imperfections. Here’s the thing, I didn’t even realize I was doing this to myself. It had become so normal.
My struggle with body image started when I hit puberty. Like many girls, I compared myself to girls my age as well as what I saw on TV and in magazines. When I looked in a mirror, I knew I didn’t measure up. My distorted self-evaluation continued until it manifested into an eating disorder called Bulimia.
By the time I had moved out on my own and started college, Bulimia was a way of life for me, that is until I started going to church. I didn’t understand why at the time, but I was convicted to stop making myself throw up after I ate. For the first time in my life, I asked God to help me with my problem. And He did—immediately!
Yes, the urges became less and less until I was no longer making myself throw up. I knew without a doubt, it was God. But what I didn’t realize was this: Bulimia was only a symptom of a much bigger problem that took years to uncover and find healing.
The problem was, I didn’t love myself and I didn’t think I was worthy of God’s love either.
When I looked into a mirror, it was still the same distorted image, until I began to get to know my heavenly Father. As I began to know God, it was like a veil of distortion was beginning to lift and I was able to see not only Him but myself differently. Please read the scripture below aloud.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.“
2 Corinthians 3:18
Did you notice I didn’t say, know ABOUT my heavenly Father? We can learn all about God through reading the Bible. That is not the same as engaging with Him personally through His Word. This happened for me when I began journaling scripture and writing down what I learned.
When I read the Bible, it was God speaking directly and personally to me!
That’s when I fell in love with Psalm 139. Here is where I learned how valuable and precious every life is to God—including my own.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
When we see ourselves through the eyes of judgment, we eventually turn that judgment outward to others.
As I began to learn how much God loved me, my self-image began to change. And the way I viewed others changed too! I also learned how reciting God’s word helped tear down strongholds of negative thought patterns.
It has been a long process and I’m still “under construction” but with the Lord’s help, I now recognize when my mind goes in a direction that is not godly thinking. And that is exactly what happened the other day when I saw the little princess girl.
My mind that was once firing out of control with negative thoughts prior to seeing the little princess, was now recalling bits and pieces of scripture telling me who I am to God. Who I really am.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made in My image. (Psalm 139:14)
You are loved. (John 3:16)
You are treasured. (Deuteronomy 7:6)
You are a masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
Maybe you’re like me, and you struggle with really loving yourself.
I’m not talking about selfish, narcissistic love that we often see displayed in our culture nowadays. What I’m referring to is a healthy, godly view of self that can only be found through the One who created you.
The one (and only) way I’ve been able to move from those negative thoughts to God’s positive ones is because I know Him and I’m familiar with His word, the Bible.
Do you know what the Bible says about you?
The Bible says when we ask Jesus into our hearts as Lord and savior, we have become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The trouble is, our brains are hardwired to remember our old self-image prior to learning who God says we are. Here’s the good news: the more time you spend with the Lord and learning His word, the more your old thoughts are transformed into His thoughts.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
If you struggle with loving yourself, it’s time to wash your brain clean with God’s word.
- Learn who God says He is by getting to know Him.
- Learn what God says about you.
- Write down a verse that speaks to your heart.
- Meditate on the verse and memorize it.
- When you recognize negative self-talk, say your verse aloud.
- Repeat often.
IT’S TIME TO EMBRACE WHO & WHOSE YOU REALLY ARE!
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSES: who-i-am-in-christ: WHO I AM IN CHRIST (from Priscilla Shrier’s Armor of God study)
Watch the video below to learn more about who God is. It’s powerful and worth the watch!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or pray for you! Let’s start a conversation in the comments section below.
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