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Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

The familiar ping of the phone alerted me to a new message. A hurting friend and I had been sharing our thoughts and discussing the razor-edged struggles of the hard in her life. A loved one had said things….done things. She wanted to know–could the relationship recover?

I paused before responding. I don’t see the way. I don’t know how the hurt can be redeemed. I don’t have any great wisdom to offer. The words I chose? With God all things are possible. And you are worth it!

Tears blurred my miniature screen when this dear one answered —I feel worthless.

I understood. These words? I owned them for years. And I wonder…how many of us have been in that place? How many of us have felt the thrust of the enemy’s arrow digging into the tender flesh of our hearts with messages that seem more real than the love letters written so many years ago through the hands of those empowered by God himself.

Maybe you’ve believed the lies, too. The messages burning in your heart may have been lodged there since childhood—the result of words spoken by a parent, a teacher, or peers. Perhaps you were burdened with the weight of worthlessness when a marriage begun with promise ended in betrayal. Is it even possible that your own past—the sins you can’t seem to forget—prove you are worthless?

But Jesus wants to affirm you. He’s not offering a positive mantra for personal repetition or a feel-good, I-believe-in-you word of false praise. He wants to give you so much more!

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Listen… do you hear his voice? Just as He did with the disciples, Jesus is calling you to follow him. He shouts out your name–a personal invitation to leave your nets behind–those things that entangle and threaten to drag you into dark waters. Leave them in the sand, Friend. Like refuse scattered along the water’s edge after a storm, you can shed your hurts…cast off the lies…release your burdens.

I’m not suggesting Jesus is an easy answer. The world is still a place of broken people. Suffering continues. Tears still flow. Certainly, Jesus didn’t mince words when he said, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”

So what does Jesus offer? He gives Himself! The God who gave you life reassures you of His love.

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would never forget you! See, I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT).

The God of the universe and creator of all things loves you so passionately that when He spread His arms wide on the cross He was thinking of you! You are that valuable. What a beautiful, amazing affirmation!

Friend, in all of our difficulty and doubts let’s respond to Jesus. Will you follow after Him? Because one beautiful day we’ll celebrate a heavenly homecoming and Jesus will have been our destination.

 

Encouraging Bible Verses

 (Exodus 33:17 NKJV) So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

(Psalm 100:3 NKJV) Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

(Isaiah 43:1-3 NKJV) But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. {2} When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. {3} For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

(John 10:3 NKJV) “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he callshis own sheep by name and leads them out.”

LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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WinterThe quiet stillness of a snow-shrouded evening encased our home like a gentle cocoon  and most evenings I would have slipped into bed with a smile; content in the cluttered reality of our home–my youngest son’s super hero collection strewn about his floor, my daughter’s treasured dolls tucked into their makeshift bed with the loving hands of a little girl, and a load of folded laundry sitting on the sofa until tomorrow with hopes that the unmatched socks might find their mates.

But tonight, while my family slept soundly, my restless thoughts turned first to self-reflection–Had I done something to cause doubt?  Was there a failure on my part to engender trust?  Quickly, I resorted to self-recrimination–an old habit of a reformed people-pleaser. Surely, God hadn’t meant for me to serve Him in this capacity. I’m not meant to be a leader.  I’m better suited to coming alongside one person at a time–listening to hurts, offering a hug, quietly encouraging….not this.

Have you, too, wondered why you are serving God in a particular place or position?  Do you doubt your abilities? your purpose?  Dare I even say it…have you wondered about God’s wisdom in giving you a certain sort of influence or leadership opportunity?

I admit it.  I am a self-doubter….a purpose-seeker…and a believer who would often prefer dew on the fleece or handwriting on the wall to the uncertain business of discerning God’s will for my life.  But, most often God reveals his desires for His people in the mysterious places of the heart–where Spirit responds to spirit.  These are the opportunities in which believers can grow–in trust…in faith…in awe of God’s ability to use fallible God-lovers to do His work.

As the evening hours slowly faded into a new morning, I began to pray for a different perspective.  A perspective focused not on myself or on the perceptions of others, but on the work of Christ and His plan.  And finally, peace settled in my heart like the snow on the bare tree limbs outside the window.

Scripture for Reflection

But Moses said to God, “Who am I…?  (Exodus 3:11)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.  (Ephesians 2:10)

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Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody,  I think that is a much greater hunger,

a much greater poverty than the person  who has nothing to eat.

Mother  Teresa

“Did you believe the lie?”  I asked.  Surveying the room, I knew many of the women did–and probably still do.  But on that day I wanted to press into the truth–Christ came to remove the burden of those who are laden down.  He came to release those shackled by the chains of expectation, perfectionism, and human attainment.  He came to love the abused, the fatherless, and the unloved.  Christ came to provide freedom.  Have you claimed that freedom yet?

If you haven’t taken hold of it, today is the day.

Believe in His love for you.  You are His beautiful and precious child–“fearfully and wonderfully made”.  (Psalm 139:14)

Believe in His ability to release you from the memories or sins of the past for “His mercies are new every morning”.  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Believe in His redemptive power and promise of a beautiful forever–“No eye has seen,  no ear has heard, no mind has conceived  what God has prepared for those who love him”.

Believe the truth, dear Friend.  Claim freedom today!

 

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In a world that applauds Barbie-doll beauty and the bottom line, it’s easy to feel ordinary…unimportant…not worth noticing.  You’ve felt it, too.  I’ve seen it in your eyes.  Heard it in your voice.

Today, I want you to remember that you are uniquely made (Psalm 139:13-16  NIV).  The One who created everything placed His fingerprints on your heart and soul.

Today, I want you to remember that you were created for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10  NIV) by a loving God who has plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11  NIV).

Today, I want you to remember that you are precious and invaluable to the Creator of everything.  He would give it all up for you alone!  (Isaiah 43:4 MSG

You are extraordinary.  You are made for a purpose.  You are worth so much that He gave His life for you.  You are beautiful.

 

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