Monday, January 15

Positive Changes (2)

To write this post, I had to reach into a deeper personal level. But I felt I should share it because it is part of who I am today, and forms a part of my journey.

When I was a teenager I had self-esteem problems. I had no self-confidence and a distorted self-image. I always felt that I was 'not good enough' and will never be, so I never bothered to try. I used to compare myself with my other mates and friends, and will always measure myself far below them. I thought I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough , friendly enough, or "cool" enough to fit in. So I usually felt like an outsider, even though I had very good friends who liked me just as I was. And I gave so much concern to what people thought about me. Usually I wouldn't believe the positive things people said about me, but I would focus on negative comments I got. This dragged in my mind all the 'growing-up' years and I thought there was no way out. Sometimes I would psyche myself up, but deep down I didn't even believe myself. Even when I had boyfriends nothing changed. Guys told me I was beautiful, sweet, special etc, but it didn't work. I actually used to wonder what they saw in me or why they liked me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I didn't like myself no matter who liked me.

This cloud hung over my outlook in life though secondary school and college until I got to uni. I met new people and started coming out of my shell a bit more. Then I realised it just wasn't normal or natural to feel this way about myself. Other people around me had good self-esteem and confidence. I wanted to feel confident and comfortable with myself too. So I started looking for a way out. I tried changing my outward appearance by shopping endlessly for new clothes, shoes, make up, jewellery etc. But the external appearance still did nothing for my internal turmoil. I started hanging out with the 'cooler' people but I gave up because I still didn't find my identity in associations. I started going out with a guy that seemed to like me, but deep down I was still uneasy. When he disappeared, part of me wondered if he just got bored with me. So, no hope of gaining my peace of mind from there.

When I started to take my christian life seriously, I sometimes wondered if I would learn to live with my current state or if God could help me out. One day I popped into my church bookshop with nothing particularly in mind to buy. Then I saw this book: "Prayers That Avail Much for Students " and bought it on a whim. When I opened it, I found some very useful prayers in it, including one for self-esteem! I was so happy to realise that it wasn't just my struggle alone, and I could talk to God about it. I started praying those prayers in the book earnestly everyday. And I also asked God to send people my way that would encourage me, lift me up and help me on my journey.

God answered my prayers. The words in that book built my spirit up gradually. Slowly but surely, I started to realise that all the negative things I had believed about myself for so long were nothing but lies from the pit of hell! I started questioning the voices in my head. Whose opinion were those negative thoughts anyway? Not my heavenly Father's. I began to renew my mind with what God's word tells me about myself, my position in Christ, how much He loves me, how precious I am to Him, and how nothing can separate me from His love. It worked! My whole outlook changed. It was like I became a new person completely. I felt like a heavy load had been taken off my shoulders, and I was now truly free to enjoy my life. Funny enough, I had heard these things before, but I was only just beginning to realise the truth in them, and apply them into my own life. My confidence and self-esteem doesn't come from anywhere else, but from knowing who I am and whose I am.

It was while I was on this journey that I met Mr. At first I wondered how such a wonderful person could like me. I even asked him once or twice, "why do you like me?". He said he saw so much potential within me that I was hiding, and he wanted to bring it out. And ever since, he has been encouraging me, and trying to bring the best out of me. I mentioned in a previous post that he makes me feel so good about myself. As I got to know him more, his own confidence soon started rubbing off on me. And the more I discovered myself and my potential, the more he encouraged me and loved me. Three months into our relationship, I had changed completely. I was such a different person that my friends and family noticed it. That's God's work for you.

17 comments:

azuka said...

God is great!

I used to have self-esteem issues until I decided to stand apart from the crowd. That was when I discovered that instead of me trying to fit in, people waned to fit in with me.

Talk about an ego-booster!

Belle said...

wow!! what an awesome post.

its amazing how much we rely on people, men (relationships) etc to boost our esteems...

Anonymous said...

That's a really nice post. I'm sure a lot of us women can identify with these feelings as girls and even now. Thank you for sharing your heart. i agree with you, God matches your personality with the man He brings into your life. The issue now is, are we willing to wait and trust Him for Mr. Right..

GiGi said...

lol this is SO ME...so i'm gonna get that book...thing is i dont even know where to start from, everytime i go to church or pray, im rolling my eyes cos i feel like God sees right through me, im in that stage where im buying all sorts of nonsense makeup, clothes etc just to be more beautiful, not like its helping and deep down inside, i know that i am beautiful in the eyes of the lord and perhaps not conventionally, conventionally i would be pretty, but i dont know why its not enough, nothing is enough...years and years i would say let me have a boyf, by hook or by crook, i have one now, yet its not enough...i know it has to start from loving yourself but how do i start?

i dont do follow follow, rarely ever have...but that hasnt helped, it has just made me feel alienated and lonely, a lot of it my own work, im doing counselling right now, but i dont know how and if it will help. i know God knows what my deal is, but its like there's so much stuff btw me and him that i cant hear him, except i dont even knwo what the stuff is and i cant remove it.

go figure

NaijaBloke said...

Luv this post

Nyemoni said...

This post is so awesome cos a lot of people have been though this stage at some point in their life... I think I'll go pick up that book 'cos you never know...

Niyi said...

Great post!

One way or the other, I think we all need God's help to have the right outlook and healthy self-esteem. Ko easy o.

Bishop T.D Jakes preached a series on "Vision" last year. It was awesome. One of the messages was titled "Distorted Vision".

In it, he said "People see you the way you see yourself". It is interesting to note that the spies (minus Joshua and Caleb) in the Bible said "We seemed like grasshoppers in OUR OWN EYES and we LOOKED the same to them"(Num 13:33) They had a distored vision of themselves.

Thanks for sharing this. This is going to bless a lot of people including me.

Lee said...

Great post!!! The more I read your blog, I get more inspired..

God Bless.

truth said...

great post girl.'noticed the name change to 'FG'-cool. Gigi made a point on one feeling like one cant hear God cos there's so much btw btw one and God. Its great knowing that only ones opinion of ones self matters. God's opinion of everyone is already unchangeably one of good and not evil.Totally inspiring...take care ok.

Dimples said...

Lovely post!!!...TP hasn't failed to impress...U are definitely an inspiration to me
I thank God some of the issues raised have not been a problem for me by his grace..but my only bother really is that is "MR" really "Mr Right"?

We thank God for his grace sha!!...Keep up the good work with how God is using u as an instrument to reach out to others.

londonnaijachic said...

very inspiring. We are all looking for that person who brings out the best in us and wouldn't want to change the way we are but would want us to be a better person cuz they are in our lives.

DB said...

This babe, are u sure we are not the same person, as in its crazy, as i was readin I was just like "dat is sooooooo me". Its scary oh. Neways I love ur blog cuz I sooo relate wiv ur view. Rock on! Neways im goin to cop the prayer book in a bit(thank u).

LondonBuki said...

I only have good things to say about this post - This is beautifully written and I am sure a lot of people can relate to this.

Bella Naija said...

Really great post!
Honestly, I thank God that your self esteem issues did not lead u down the wrong path.
As in dressing skimpy etc... to 'prove' to the world that u r hot cause that is what is see a lot of girls doing.
I just thank God and my mum for my confidence. She always made me feel like I was the finest girl on the planet. Always reaffirning positivity.

Great post as always!

Favoured Girl said...

Thanks everyone. I'm glad I wrote this post. Praying about my self-esteem issues and changing my thoughts about myself has definitely made me a much better person inside. I also found that I relate to other people better.

@ Gigi: Girl I know that if God can help me, then He can definitely help you out. Pray about it sincerely and you will see a difference. I'll pray for you too.

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank God for Mr's life, y? Because one thing that u said that NEARLY brought tears to my eyes was that he liked u becasue he saw so much potential in you that he wanted to bring out....(i MEEEEAAAANNNN) that is VERY serious.
God knows hoe to bring and put the RIGHT person/people in ur life @ the right time.

Gwan cus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tia said...

I'm encouraged that God can change people, for real.

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