I want you to do a little something for me. Close your eyes, and take yourself back to when you were a kid. Can you remember when you viewed life with innocent eyes, before the world began to define who you are?
Now, imagine having a conversation with the younger you -- the one with sparkles in her eyes and imagination about to take flight. Would she be passionate and excited about who you have become? Or would she be saddened because you have let go of your dreams and settled for less than you deserve? Be honest. Would she see those few extra pounds that clearly taunt you saying you need to eat less and workout more? Would she cry out at the glimpses and flashes of your parents' divorce, or scream at you that true love is a mere illusion and no man will ever love you?
Since we are being honest here, I will admit that I struggle with so many insecurities.
Growing up as the middle child I always felt like I had to live up to the standards of my older brother and sister; yet I also felt overlooked because of my two little sisters who were just oh so cute. Out of the five of us, I was the only one who would rather read a book instead of running around playing outside. I also stopped growing at the age of 13, so at a mere 5 foot 6 inches I am the shortest of my siblings who all hover around six feet. Athleticism also runs in our family, but of course it somehow skipped me.
As a result, I struggled for years with body image and low self-esteem. Growing up, I became really good at putting on a mask to hide my insecurities and self-doubt. I hated being different and feeling invisible, but being the fearful child that I was, I put on a smile and convinced myself I was fine.
In reality though, all I wanted was for somebody to know the real me and to love me unconditionally.
I wanted to be my own person instead of always being compared to my siblings. The enemy's lies filled my head on repeat: you are not good enough, you need to lose weight, you need to be more athletic...it seemed never ending.
Through many trials and struggles, by the time I turned 19, I thought I was coming to the end of myself. But, just when I thought I couldn’t handle it any longer, Jesus picked me up and wrapped me in His embrace.
“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.” -Psalm 118:13
When I met Jesus, He changed my life forever. As He removed the mask I wore, He reminded me that He loves me unconditionally.
“The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” -Zephaniah 3:17
As I began to fall in love with Jesus, He slowly, but surely, removed my insecurities, transforming me into a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:16 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here.” Jesus lovingly removed fears and doubts from me and I learned that there is truly true freedom in Christ. For the first time in my life I was experiencing the truths of John 8:36 where Jesus says, “So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Reflecting on all that God has done in my life is very humbling. It is still a mystery to me that the God of the entire universe looks down at me and calls me His daughter. That for the first time in my life, I know I am truly loved by a man who died for me. A man who also died for you. Yes, you, the very one reading this. God can, and will, change your life just like He did mine.
Today, I want to encourage you to be honest with God. Tell Him how you feel. God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13 that if you will seek Him, then you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart.
When you wholeheartedly pursue Jesus, He will meet you where you are. The Lord hears every single prayer you pray.
Can I just encourage you to open up and talk to others too? There is no such thing as a perfect Christian. We are all broken people who are stitched together by a perfect Savior's love and grace. We all have doubts and fears, and we all question God at times. So, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It is okay to not have it all together.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” -Isaiah 40:29
Dear friend, take heart in knowing that God is victorious. When you surrender your life to Jesus, He will give you a new hope. He will be your light in the darkness, and He will give you a reason to wake up every morning.
If you feel moved to dedicate your life to Jesus and recognize Him as your Savior -- if you want a fresh start and a new beginning today, please leave a comment below and one of our team members will be in touch with you!
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