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To be completely honest, I’m probably the last person on earth who should be telling someone else to give themselves grace and change the negative narratives in their minds. I say that because it’s something that I struggle with daily.


I am very hard on myself. I’ve just come to accept that truth. I find it very hard to forgive myself when I mess up, and I sometimes overthink to the point that I believe everything wrong in my life happens because I failed to do something right. This is my reality. This is something that I’m currently walking through with God. Earlier today, I found myself laying on my bed, looking out the window at the sunset. It was beautiful. I watched as the light disappeared between the trees, and continued staring until there was just a tiny light in the sky. Laying there, I became fully aware of the thoughts that were circulating in my mind. They went something like:


You could have tried harder.


The reason you’re in this predicament is because you didn’t work hard enough.


You’re never going to achieve your goals because you’re not enough.


You’re so far behind. It makes no sense trying again.


Everyone around you is living, and you’re stuck right where you are.


These were honestly the sort of thoughts circulating in my mind as I watched that beautiful sunset. As the light disappeared, I could feel my joy disappearing with it as the negative thoughts consumed my mind. I remember just laying down, staring up at the now dark sky when I felt a tug on my heart to change the narrative that was playing in my head. I knew that it was the Holy Spirit. It was almost like He was prompting me to stop allowing the lies of the enemy to consume my mind and keep me in a state of defeat. He was prompting me to change the narrative. Now, I want to be honest with you. I didn’t feel like thinking about anything else. I just wanted to lay in bed and wallow in self-pity; but, I’m so grateful that God gives us the push that we need-- the extra strength that we need to fight against the enemy’s schemes.


The first thing I did after the Holy Spirit prompted me was take out my Bible. I read Psalm 121 and was reminded that my help comes from the Lord, and He loves me. I was also reminded that the narrative of negativity that was constantly playing in my mind was not from God and I needed to be intentional about changing it. So, still laying down in bed, looking at the dark sky, I began to think positive thoughts. Literally, every evil thought that the enemy placed in my mind about my life, my future, my dreams, etc. I spoke truth to combat it. I low-key became like a motivational speaker for myself in my mind and reminded myself that:


1. I need to make peace with my journey. The Holy Spirit reminded me that my journey was not meant to look like everyone else’s, because I’m not like everyone else. My journey is specific to me. It is specific to my story, and I must stop allowing the narrative of negativity to keep me from finding peace in my journey. I pray that if you struggle to find peace in your journey, you’re reminded that you aren’t meant to be like everyone else. You are unique and God has a unique plan for your life. He knows the plan that He has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11) Trust in Him.


2. Just because I’m not as far ahead as I hoped to be, doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best. Many of us are working hard to achieve our goals, and because we seem so far away from actually realizing them, it’s easy for us to believe that we’re just not working hard enough. We fool ourselves into thinking that we are where we are because we didn’t put our all into it. For a long time, I had this mindset, and it’s still something that I struggle with. If I’m honest, I’d say that this thought pattern contributes to most of my worry and unhappiness. I always feel like I should be doing more and because I’m not doing more, I’m failing to reach my dreams. If you’re working towards something but feel as though you’re not doing enough or working hard enough, please, take this to God. He will lead you into all truth and remind you that it’s not about working yourself to the bone, but its about working as unto Him and allowing Him to help you achieve those dreams. (Colossians 3:23-24)


3. I will walk into my destiny. I had to remind myself that no matter what lies the enemy tried to bombard my mind with, God’s purpose will ultimately prevail in my life. The Holy Spirit helped me to remember that He never begins a work that He never intends to complete (Philippians 1:6). I pray that this truth brings you peace, as it did for me. You will walk into your destiny. Stay close to God, entrust everything about your life to Him and I assure you that you will live the life that He predestined for you to live on this earth.


There were many more thoughts that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind as I stared up at the night sky, but I just wanted to share those three with you. If you’re anything like me and you struggle with negative narratives in your mind, I encourage you to change the narrative. Take every evil thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and begin to speak the truth of God’s word.

This post may not appear to be the typical self-love post, but when you think deeply about it, it is about self-love. We must learn to love ourselves enough to change the narratives of negativity that we tell ourselves everyday. I pray that this post is the first step to freedom from these narratives for you. I’m still on the journey. I won’t pretend that I’ve completely slayed this giant, but I will say that healing is possible because I’m walking on the road now. God will help us. God is with us. He will help us change the narrative.




I have been searching for the right words for a week to write concerning self love. I wanted my article to sound something like: "7 Ways to Loving Yourself Better". But, you know what? They would be all a lie.


I would be a phony if I sat behind this screen and told you that I have this whole self love thing figured out. I'd be lying if I didn't confess that loving myself is something that I am learning to do daily, if I didn't tell you I am my own worst critic. For instance, last year, I really struggled with my body image. I remember texting one of my girlfriend's concerning this and she was like, "What are you talking about? You have the most beautiful curvy body ever! I love your hips. What's wrong with you!?" But, I didn't feel beautiful at the time.


I didn't have a flat tummy and I thought that my thighs and butt were too big. I would just look at the mirror and not like what I saw. So, I started working out and made the decision to eat healthier foods. The thing is, I didn't do this from a healthy place. What I really wanted was to attain a "perfect" body. This is just one example of how loving myself has been.


I hate when I make mistakes.


I hate trying new things and failing.


I get uncomfortable meeting new people because I fear I won't fit in.


But, I am learning.


I am learning to extend some grace to myself. I am learning that perfection is not something that is attained.  I am learning that I am work in progress. I am learning to love the person I am now, no matter how imperfect. I am learning to love the girl who edits her articles five times when they are already published (lol). I am learning to love this beautiful, curvy body that God gave me. I am learning that I can't wait to love some imaginary perfect Lucy to be, but I must learn to love the Lucy who currently hasn't figured everything out and that's okay. I'm sorry if you opened this article hoping to find some magical advice about self love, only to find a girl being vulnerable about her struggles with loving herself. But, I am all about being real.


Truth be told, we all have a story. That girl or guy that you envy on social media has a story that hasn't been told. It probably took twenty shots to find that "perfect" picture that now has tons of likes. In fact, that "perfect" picture may have a backstory that tells of loneliness, despite having achieved so much. That very person with so many followers may have tons of insecurities, doubts, fears of not being accepted and the longing of a soul that wants to be loved and feel valued.


So, I might not have given you the kind of advice that you were looking for, but I will refer you to a book. A book that I have been reading everyday just to remind me of who I am: The BIBLE. The words of your Maker. In there, you will find your identity. You will find who you really are and whose you are. You will discover the love of a person who will love you, even if everything was stripped away.


You will discover that you are more than that the title that the world has given you.


Hugs,

Lucy.


_________


Lucy is an avid writer and blogger from Nairobi, Kenya.

Connect with Lucy!

Facebook: @Lucy Blessed

Blogger: @ One Grateful Leper [ https://theonegratefulleper.wordpress.com/ ]



For a long time, I didn't know what it meant to love myself. There were some days when I could wake up, look in the mirror and think, "You are worthy of love", but this was not often. Most of the time, I would struggle to find any value in who I was as a person.


I always saw myself as not being good enough for anything. Never pretty enough for guys like me. Never talented enough to succeed in my gifts. Never smart enough to be an A student. I had this warped mindset that nothing I did would ever measure up. Many people around me never knew how deeply insecure I was. In fact, most of them assumed that I was quite self-assured and confident because, truly, this is what I projected to the world. Yet, behind closed doors, I was very broken.


I grew up in a loving home with parents and siblings who loved and supported me, so I could never truly understand at the time where these deeply rooted insecurities came from. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to love myself and just be content in my own skin. I was so confused. When I think about it now, I knew that it was the lies of the enemy that had me in bondage for so many years of my life. It was him whispering to me all along that I would never be good enough or worthy of being loved, not by God or the people around me. When I met Jesus at 17 however, so much about my life had transformed. I became a new person. While there were moments when I felt unlovable, I knew within myself that this wasn't true, so I simply ignored it. Yet, the more that I grew in God, the more He helped me to understand that the root of my insecurities were still there and that they needed to be uprooted, and not just ignored. There was so much brokenness that had accumulated in my life that needed to be mended. So many wounds that needed to be tended to, and all of them needed to be addressed. The Lord helped me realized that if I didn't tackle these lies once and for all, true self love would not be possible.


Since then, He took me on a journey of what it truly means to love myself. I realized that it's not just about learning to love the way that you look, it's about loving ALL of you. It's about being patient with yourself. It's about appreciating your shortcomings, your inadequacies, your quirks. Self love is about learning to love yourself the way that Jesus loves us. Learning to give yourself grace in moments of failure, learning to see yourself the way that your Creator sees you. My journey was not an easy one. There were nights when I was curled up in my bed, or on the floor just crying out to God because of my brokenness. I told Him that I wanted to love myself. I wanted to see what He saw when He saw me. I wanted to think about myself the way that He thought about me. I just wanted to forgive myself for my shortcomings and the mistakes that I had made. I wish I could say that after one night, I woke up the next morning and loved all of me. It didn’t happen that way. It was a daily thing. I got into the word of God, and wrote down scripture verses that told me who I am. I posted them on my room door, on my mirror, on my bathroom door, and even in my wallet. They were literally everywhere I turned. I was always reminded of my worth and how the Lord saw me, and I still have them with me, even today, almost ten years later. By doing this, I'm always reminded that I am His daughter, I am beautiful, I am capable, but most importantly, I am loved by Him. Because of this truth, I started to believe that self love was possible for me. If the God of the universe saw value in me, then clearly I must be valuable and worthy of love.


I write this blog post with tears in my eyes because I remember the pain I felt during that season of my life. The pain of not feeling good enough. The pain of looking in the mirror and crying because I didn't like what I saw. I remember the deep pain of feeling overlooked and rejected. There was so much work that needed to be done in my life. I cry today as I write because I’m just reminded of how kind Jesus really is. He literally picked me up off the ground, dusted me off, held my hand and looked into my eyes, reminding me of who I am. I think this is why at this point in my life I don't mind being transparent about my brokenness because I truly believe that God allowed me to face what I did to help those who will struggle with it after me. I experienced deep brokenness so that I could bestow hope and healing upon those who are walking through their own seasons of brokenness.


Those of you who find it hard to love yourself, struggling with rejection and low self-esteem, even self-hate, please know that Jesus can heal you. He can teach you what it means to truly love yourself. Where you are now is not your final place. Healing is possible. I'm a living witness. I pray that as you read this series, you will be inspired to walk that journey with Jesus to true self-love. Not the self-love that the world talks about, but the one that can only come through a love relationship with your Creator.

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© 2020 by Christna K. Writes