A MaMa’s Struggle with “Self-Esteem”…
There I was, 19 years old sitting on a brand new Lincoln SUV. That was my Birthday gift. You would have thought I would have been floored, appreciative to say the least, right? Hmmm. Yea I was… until I saw the Hummer H2 SUT. I wanted it, I threw a tantrum and I got it. That’s how it worked. It always worked, so don’t change what’s not broken right? So then I wanted a new GTO with chrome rims and all. Got it! Hummer, check! GTO, check! So then I got bored with my GTO and wanted a Hummer again. Hmmm. You would have thought someone would have picked up my trend by now and actually took the time to address some serious heart issues behind my erratic behavior. NOPE, of course no one did. You guessed right! I got another Hummer, this time NOT the SUT, I was bored of that one! And then I went through a Lexus, another Hummer… ETC.
I was on a quest to BE better. A better ME is what I wanted. Apparently the only me I knew was a flawed me. I wanted someone to love me so bad I figured that the better I looked the more loved I would be. I spent over 20K on my wardrobe…everything from Roberto Cavalli to Jimmy Choo. I knew my fashion, I still do. 😉 Louis Vuitton & Chanel purses, expensive enough to feed a small village in Africa. I was raised with an emotionally absent dad so the need I had to be captivating to my daddy as a little girl went unmet. So of course as I grew up I looked for that need to met in all the wrong places. I had a very low self-esteem. I did not see myself as anything anyone would see “worth pursuing”. I knew how to get a guy, I was seriously unsure on how to keep him, though. What if he got to know the real me? If he did, I was certain he would bail! I didn’t even know why, I was easy to talk to, smart gal, good company…why would they bail?! The lie I had bought… ” If they get to know the real you, they will not like you. You are unlovable. NOT ENOUGH AND WAY TOO MUCH.” The lie satan tells every single woman!!! I was using anti wrinkle creams by the time I was 19. Always weighed 125. If I went over that by 3 lbs, I would eat beef sticks and red bull for a few days until I lost the weight. I was OBSESSIVE!!! I was on a mission to be good enough to be LOVED.
SO what did I do, I married at 19 ( I came to the Lord 2-3 weeks after). I married a PORN addict! HAH! I wept uncontrollably when I started to read the Bible and understood for the first time how sacred marriage was to God. I begged him to get me out of it. It was dysfunctional at worst, AWFUL at best. So add a porn addict to my already fragile femininity….and you have a recipe for disaster. I could NEVER compete with that! I just couldn’t. I was not good enough and even if I were, there’s always someone better looking and if not better looking, younger. So it’s a hamster wheel! The crazy bus I wanted to get off of. Next exit please!!!!
I struggled through this, I didn’t know how to get out it. The co-dependency grew stronger as I wanted to feel a connection with the man I had married…ding dong….the light’s on but nobody’s home. It just didn’t happen. He was emotionally handicap, I am going to venture to say he still is due to the fact his entire family LOVES sweeping things under the carpet, that’s a family mechanism, a way of life. Don’t deal with it just ignore it so he never dealt with his ISSUES, he just swept them. He treated women as objects and so do MANY men today, men who even profess Christ. When a woman is treated like an object or feels she has to compete for the love of her husband, the man who is supposed to be willing to lay down his life for her (yet he can’t even seem to lay down the darn porn), a women sinks into despair. Despair brings depression if she doesn’t know where to go with her pain.
Now as mom of 4 beautiful little ones ( I am 155lbs now and HAPPY) , married to a wonderful godly man I don’t struggle with this issue as I used to. Not to say I don’t at all. We all compare ourselves at one time or another. We know our flaws better than anyone else because we are way harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. I have my days but I am not bound by this obsession any longer. I love taking care of myself but it is no longer an unhealthy venture of self-absorption day in and day out. Gym, creams, expensive cars, top designers…no longer needed to make me feel secure. I can buy an outfit at the nearest thrift store and walk in a room as confident as wearing a John Galliano gown. 🙂
How did I get here? Happy with whatever God gives me and grateful for who I am in Christ? I had to learn to run to the Lord. People used to tell me, just turn to Christ and that’s great advise, but my question was always “HOW?” HOW do i turn to Christ? What does that look like? I am going to tell you what that looks like. I went through the word of God and looked for everything God had to say about a woman. What He sees beautiful in a woman… What he sees virtuous, good, beautiful, captivating…I allowed the word of God to wash me from the inside out and changed everything I thought about womanhood into everything God designed womanhood to be. True womanhood is noble. Being a woman of God is a noble role, it is a virtuous role, a life changing role. You have been changed with raising the next generation, godly offspring. I listened to sermons from John MacArthur on womanhood, read books on biblical womanhood and a reformation started to take place in my heart and thus my mind. See, you can’t change your mind with any kind of change that will last if you do not first address your heart. Until’ God changes you from the inside and replaces all those lies we have believed of what “true womanhood” is with what God says it IS, we will live in bondage. We may have good days but still in bondage. If we want true freedom, we must begin with the changing of our hearts, the mind will follow.
Take one day at a time…look for everything in the word that has to do with biblical womanhood. Memorize it, study it, meditate on it and allow the Word to change you. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen because the Word has that power! I had to realize I had to take my eyes off what the world says I am to be/look and keep my eyes on the one who dictates who I really AM. If you are a beautiful mama, dealing with self-esteem issues I have to tell you the only way I was able to find myself, my true feminine heart was when i laid it all down to serve my husband and children. The longer I fought with “this is all I am doing for the rest of my life? REALLY? Changing diapers, bottles, schooling, lunch, dinner, colors, baths, teaching, messes, runny noses, vacuuming twelve times a day…etc. REALLY? You have got to be kidding me! WHAT WAS I THINKING?”, the more i fell in despair. That wasn’t what God wanted me to look at or focus on. So guilt set in and I knew I was out of His will when I felt like this. What did I do? I stopped looking around and started looking up.
I repented of my ungrateful, bratty attitude and embraced my role. My perspective needs a tweak one in a while! So when I get bratty with God, he gives me an attitude check and off I go to RE-study all the wonderful verses on women in the word. Change my perspective (through the word) and consequently have a heart change. And that beloved is how Christ changed my life. He changed the way I view womanhood, the way I view modesty, my role etc. I am not perfect so satan comes knocking once in a while, but he no longer finds his thoughts entertained in my head! They are quickly replaced by the TRUTH. The TRUTH that set me free.
Next time satan comes knocking with “you are not beautiful enough”, “good enough”, “whatever enough…” answer with…
*1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
*Proverbs 31:3 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
The world says, defend and protect “self-esteem” at all cost. Be tough! Don’t be vulnerable because you WILL be taken advantage of. So women are more like men, in the way the talk, dress and carry themselves. TRUE Femininity is frowned upon and seen as weak because it is not a “flaunt it all” kind of femininity, true femininity is strong in spirit yet soft, steadfast and sweet in character. This world confuses femininity with sexuality. True womanhood has NOTHING to do with what you look like! The only way to find your true worth (“self esteem”) is to find out who Christ created you to be. What HE sees in you and what your role is in this wonderful, romantic adventure called LIFE. Until you stop trying to protect yourself in all the wrong ways and surrender the pain to Christ you won’t find true SELF ESTEEM…the assurance and joy of true biblical womanhood.
Self esteem is not about loving yourself “just how you are” as many suggest. Self esteem is loving who God created you to be (humble, meek, strong spirited, hard working, steadfast, trust worthy, compassionate, wise, simply beautiful!) and the role He gave you as a help meet. True self esteem is found when we die to everything worldly we have become throughout the years and live as the NEW creature we are in Christ, washing our minds by the word renewing our hearts by the TRUTH of Scripture.
You are exactly who you need to be when you allow Christ to define who you really are. Captivating, feminine, vulnerable, sweet, courageous, a warrior princess!
1 Timothy 4:8
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.
How to become a modern day Proverbs 31 Woman.
Dr. John MacArthur’s book, Twelve Extraordinary Women.