Here’s Looking At You – Learning To Love Yourself

So this is me, the pretty & the ugly all of it. The whole purpose of my writing is to firstly glorify Christ, but I want to be as transparent with people as I possibly can be. I want Christ to be seen in my weaknesses as well as my strengths so that He may truly be glorified by my works.

If you have ever read any of my post you will by now be aware of some of the personal issues and struggles I have faced and still battle with day to day. Today’s post is focused on loving yourself & this is something I have only recently decided to make a conscious effort to start doing. Now for me loving myself is a struggle, not so much because I am incapable of loving, but more because I only began to value myself when I found Christ. It was through my relationship with Him and learning that I was precious to Him, that I became aware that I in-fact hated myself (a kingdom against itself cannot stand). When I began to search inwardly I found a mash of emotions; shame, hate, anger, resentment and a whole lot of pain. Now this is where it gets tricky, you may ask who was I harbouring these emotions towards and the answer quite simply is MYSELF.

What has caused me to face up to these emotions is the erratic behaviour that results from holding so many negative emotions inside. I could be up, almost emotionally high for weeks even months, and then have a massive crash when confronted with the realities of the person I saw looking back at me.

How a person views themselves can have a serious impact on their choices. For me the way I view myself in my teen years had serious consequences and meant I was able to abuse myself with little or no thought. When I was first offered drugs as a child, I never hesitated or thought “this will mess up my life”, instead for me there was no life to lose. It had an impact on the people I chose as friends, the boyfriends I dated, the places I went to & the risks I took. I had totally no sense of self worth, I never needed a guy to tell me he loved me because I had never experienced true love so could not weigh the value of what was being said to me. I allowed boyfriends and lovers to abuse me simply because I believed it was like that for everyone and that even if it wasn’t I could not do better. It was only when I found Christ that I was even able to see and truly understand what kind of life I was living. Through meeting youth in my church and seeing them living godly lives and in healthy relationships was when I began to see my state for what it really was. It was at this point also that I was shown another life, a better life and one that was actually obtainable.

Then came the shame and the personal guilt trips I would take myself on (mental walks down black memory lane). You see satan will use anything He possibly can to make you remove yourself from God’s presence and for me that was intense feelings of shame. I would sit in church and think, “you don’t belong here, you’re not holy like them, you’re not a virgin, you’re no saint, you will never have what they have, who will marry you?”. Now this may seem extreme but if you’ve ever experienced depression in your life (something I am all too familiar with), then you will understand how overwhelming these feelings can become and what a powerful effect they can have over you. I also found it hard to relate to people in church because of how I thought they viewed me, I kept my distance rather than immersing myself in this great family that is the body of Christ.

I firmly believe all things work for the good of those who love and serve Christ. I have had to learn and I am still learning that the past is past and cannot be changed, rather it should be used to glorify Christ. Looking back in a negative light will only drag you backwards. I have many scars both physical and emotional, but now I call them battle scars. I bear the scars of many women and if I yield myself to Christ to be used totally by His spirit, spreading the good news; I know that these scars will be not only for me, but for others. I pray that God will use me so that others will not have the same scars. I want Him to use me through my life and works, my career and relationships. Rather than feel shame I now choose to feel joy and honour at the fact that God has chosen to save me when there are many who never make it out of those situations. I am learning to love myself because He loved me first.

With all things the Bible should be the measuring rod, so what does the bible say about our pasts and how we should view and love ourselves?

Philippians 3:13

New International Version (NIV)

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

Isaiah 43:18-19

New International Version (NIV)

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

This scripture is my favourite in relation to the topic of loving oneself. When we look back, at times it is like we do not have a full understanding of the person God created us to be, and the person He is moulding us into. I think of Jeremiah when he told the Lord he could not go where God was sending him because he was too young. His age was how he perceived himself, but to God he was more than what he believed he was. I pray that God will reveal to us not only our worth but who he intends for us to be, just as he spoke to Jeremiah explaining he knew him before He formed him and before he knew himself. In the scripture above I love the use of language and in particular the question posed; “do you not perceive it?”

I pray that my eyes will be opened to the fullness of His love for us and the fullness of what He has planned and the purpose He has for our lives. Truly the glory of the latter house shall be greater than that of the former house. When I find myself going back into the world of regret I look at myself in the mirror and ask myself, “Ferai, can you not perceive it?”

2 Corinthians 5:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Isaiah 43:25

New International Version (NIV)

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

You and I in Christ are a new creation, there should be no shame found in us because we have been redeemed. God himself does not remember our past sins, He blots them out, not out of choice, but because that is who Christ is. The blood of the lamb has blotted out every smudge, stain, mark of our past and we stand as new creations.

Ephesians 2:10

King James Version (KJV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We were created for Christ, for His pleasure, for His purpose. We are God’s most precious and loved creation – we are His children. It can be so easy to forget and get lost in the emotions & plights of this world forgetting we are not of this world.

Believe me when I say I have a long way to go; we never stop growing in Christ and it truly is a journey. I lay myself down for the master to heal my wounds and deal with me however He sees fit, because if I can say I’ve learnt anything at all from my past, it’s how much I truly need Christ.

His way is better than mine….

x

One thought on “Here’s Looking At You – Learning To Love Yourself

  1. Great post Ivie! We must work had at seeing ourselves the way God sees us. All the scriptures you have shared here are impact full. Thanks a lot for sharing.
    BTW- I wish you had a feedburner email or any other platform so I could follow your blog. Please let me know if you set one up.
    Have a great day!

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