What it self worth? When I looked it up in the dictionary it said: "the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect."
One thing that truly affected my self worth before accepting Christ was when I allowed certain people to say words to me that eventually resided in my psyche and created an identity out of me.
I was called names, brought down, abused in ways that I never thought people who "loved me" could ever do. As a child, I was pretty helpless and I didn't know that this was truly abnormal.
My answer? Well, I was under the illusion that I had no worth, that I didn't want to live my life anymore, and I was useless in this world. At that time I also thought, "surely if those who claim to "love me" call me names and make me feel like my existence & worth is absolutely nothing, then there is no reason to live this life."
But that wasn't God's conclusion for my life...
Proverbs 18:21 says: "The tongue has the power of life and death... (NIV)"
In hindsight, I let the words of people have a hold on me, and the evil realm took their words and tormented me with them for a very long time. I couldn't escape it and only needed Christ to set me free from the curses and the power of abusive words that were spoken over my life.
WHAT I CHOSE: I had chosen to live out the life that was proclaimed to me. For that time, it was all I knew. How I responded, received words and acted from those negative influences is how I started to respond, and I knew no other way of living. I lived in fear of those who claimed to "love me" because I couldn't trust them. I was yet to becoming a Believer with the Holy Spirit, and to truly believe Romans 8:15, which says: "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ""Abba," Father."
REALITY SPEAKS: Reality says: Jesus broke the chains at Calvary, and on that cross He said "it is Finished".
The first day I got Saved I celebrated like no other, it was amazing. Remember how I told you about how you go through sanctification when you become a Christian? Well, for me, the very first thing the Lord said about my past was: "I want you to forgive your bullies and what they did to you". These were specific people. I remember crying out to Him and saying..."ummm no." I can't. No way.
I battled over this with the Lord many times until I hit the exhaustion button and I said: "I don't know how." Fortunately, and to my relief, He replied: "You don't have to do it yourself, I will do it for you".
1. Jesus does it for you. There is no way that you can take all of your hurts and lay it on to yourself to restore. Jesus did that even before you knew that He truly & deeply cared for you (it's written that "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us -Romans 5:8). As a Christian, He doesn't want you to just carry all of your burdens as if you were still a prisoner again, it's all lies from satan (Galations 4:7 says "you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir!)
I remember after I chose to forgive the people the Lord asked me to, the enemy would remind me of those moments, or when something similar happend, I'd get in the mode of "Lord, see..." but I had to pull back and get reminded that it REALLY was finished. Once again, the Lord led to me to read about about the stone of Ebenezer in 1 Samuel 7. Ebenezer means the stone of help. The story is about how there was a long time of sadness and trouble in Israel as a consequence of their disobedience. Israel repented under the new priest, judge & leader, Samuel. God then restored their political security, and the people for their part and re-committed their hearts and minds to Him. Samuel placed a large stone at a new place where this restoration began and dedicated it to God's faithfulness, help and eternal covenant.
Mark your "Stone of Help"
After reading that, I was led to mark my own Ebenezer. I took a piece of paper and I wrote: 15 Oct, Letting Go and Letting God, (my burdens). Psalm 55:22.
My Ebenezer "mark" symbolically represented a fresh beginning, and how I believed that God's mercies are everlasting and that His covenant is forever.
After praying, I encourage you to begin the process of forgiveness and to mark your own Ebenezer. For you it might not be on a piece of paper, but on a bracelet, necklace, or journal, etc, but make sure it's something you can visibly see and that you genuinely dedicate to God as your moment of remembering Him and releasing all your struggles to Him. I always see my paper on my wall and I have one in my wallet as well. When I am reminded of the past, I look at it and say: "you know what, on 15 October I handed all of those things to God, I am no longer who I was! I am a new creation and the Lord Almighty is with me!" Amen!
There is a process.
The process for forgiveness of those particular people began. As time passed, my self worth started developing. I slowly started to detach myself from the words that were engraved in my head & heart of who I was told I was.
Forgiving those people was for me and not them. You see, in the moment we think we are just giving people a free pass, but God is a good God and He will avenge His children. He hears His children cry and He answers them faithfully.
In the moment, as I said, I didn't "get it", but internally and supernaturally, I was slowly being freed from the mental harm and triggers. I had to spend more time in prayer, and in the Word in order to know what things were true and what was false about my worth. During the process, I had to begin afresh in many other practical ways (God willing I will do a post on what it means to be transformed in the renewing of your mind!)
God will sustain you
The most beautiful thing is, when you're allowing God to forgive others through you, and to change you in the process, He will sustain you tremendously.
I got tested the summer of that year. I bumped into one of the people I had forgiven. It was amazing how the Lord sustained me and I felt nothing regarding the past. I was even given strength to help them when they were in trouble & needed help! That could only have been the helping hand of God! Amen!
A Test of Self-Worth
You know you have or are beginning to have self worth when you see your enemies suffer and you can still PRAY for them: yes you'd be doing your victory dance about God avenging you, but you can't just go on wishing ill on them. When you are confident in who you are in Christ, you also know that you are now a child of the Light and you no longer let anyone's words dictate how you'll operate so you're willing to pray for them so one day they too can experience freedom and repentence in Christ. You start to realize that the words which used to negatively lay upon you have been reversed onto your enemies and those words no longer apply to you because you are now an heir of the Most High. Remember that it is then up to you to BELIEVE and REPEAT words of power over your life that are full of truths! Amen!
This is the moment you start to realize that you've attained the Highest Honor one could ever get (being a Child of God) and that you are now a city on a Hill, a light, the salt, the lamp that needs to be brought back up on the lamp-stand for all to see. This is the moment you realize that wow, there really is worth found in Christ and the Highest of the Highest loved me so much to DIE for me even BEFORE I knew Him, and even BEFORE all these things happened!
It is then, that still small voice says: "You're now my child, my daughter, my dearly beloved...but remember, I did do the same thing for them..."
You might not want to hear this...but Jesus also died for that same person you forgave. They were also included when He finished it on the cross. Knowing this, you can start accepting that you don't know what others may be going through or what kind of life they've had in order for them to treat you the way they did. You can rest assured that God does avenge you while you move on in your life, but in the midst of that, I encourage you to pray for others because I'm sure someone was praying for you when you were once lost and wandering about on your own.
It is that moment, when you start this journey, that you begin regaining your self worth bit by bit.
Your life is WORTH the reparation
I will be doing more posts on this because there is always a lot to say. I just really wanted to say that prayer is the first step. If you aren't a Christian, I invite you to receive Christ as your Savior (go to our Good News Page to know how!) and then be open in telling God everything about your life. Cry if you have to, let Him know. He cares for you and doesn't want you to have any strongholds on your life. Believe me, He is always listening to you when you speak. From there, I'm not guaranteeing this fantasy la la land recovery. It's a process, but Christ does it through you. I encourage you to let words of LIFE be spoken over you as you begin to come alive.
Release it God and begin asking Him to help you forgive the people who've hurt you and to get supernatural healing. If you need to talk to a trusted friend, or even a counsellor, I encourage you to pray about it and then go talk to them. Your life is WORTH the repairing...whoever tells you that it's a waste of time is telling you that because they haven't seen true healing yet! Be the light shining brightly, and most of all, reclaim your SELF worth in Christ Jesus for HE is the One who came to give you life in abundance and not to kill, steal or destroy you. I've already prayed for you as you read this. :)
Once again, keep the faith, and love like you've never loved before.
With love always,
FAITH by Promises