After publishing Am I Worth Loving? Wrestling with Rejection, I have sifted through emails and comments from many and even cried over one. I cannot express how it hurts me to see you suffering and on top of all that suffering believing lies about yourself.
My college journals reveal several lies I wrote about myself over and over–many of which started as questions and over time morphed into answers. Am I worth loving? changed forms to I have nothing to offer any man. Am I good enough? to “I’ll never be enough.”
STOP. I wish I could step back in time and sit down with Freshman Ruthie. I’d ask her what she believed about herself. I would ask her to stop and consider the messages even that day she has bouncing around inside her head. And then, plead with her to cease speaking lies over herself and learn to recognize negative thoughts. Only awareness of our destructive thoughts can lead to healing.
What do you believe about yourself?
[I hate sharing this part]. Every time I walk into a Christian gathering, church, or anything Christian my mind tends to start racing. I’m not as good as these other women. I’m not a ‘good Christian’ like they are. I have nothing to offer. If they had any idea what I’m going through. . .
That might sound ludicrous to you, but it started when I became a Christian in college. Vanderbilt is a small enough school that if you have a come to Jesus summer — you can’t exactly slide into RUF and church the next semester unnoticed. Were people judging me? Probably some were. But for the most part, it was all inside my head.
Even now when I walk into church those same lies often come back if I’m not paying attention. I’ve sat through entire church services before thinking about how I was a no-good Christian because a “women’s retreat” was the last place I wanted to be on a Saturday.
Checking the Christian box won’t stop these lies from storming your mind. We have to actively engage in telling ourselves the truth. Will any man ever find me good enough? quickly changes to No wonder I am single. I don’t deserve a husband. I am pathetic/unworthy/unattractive/boring/insertliehere. Don’t ask questions for which you already know the answer.
Are you worth loving? Christ died so that nothing could ever separate you from the Father’s love for you. Do you have what it takes? The Bible says with God, everything is possible. Are you good enough? No one is–we are all in the same sinking boat [church-going Christians, abortionists, politicians, homosexuals, hard-working moms] without Christ.
Are you fat? Possibly you’re overweight, but if you call yourself a fat girl all day long how will you ever find the motivation to lose weight? Will anyone find you attractive? If you believe you are unattractive, it will show in how you carry yourself and interact with others–and the thoughts will start to define you. The “I am unattractive” lie makes you unattractive even if you are flawless in beauty!
Where do you go from here? Self-awareness. I challenge you to pay attention to the thoughts flowing through your mind today. Write them down. Put a big fat x through each and write the truth next to the lies. If you struggle with constant thoughts about your appearance, stand in front of the mirror and TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH.
Your mind will not change overnight. But after months, maybe years, of learning to capture your thoughts and speak Christ’s truth over each–you will be free. And then you have to keep fighting for freedom that comes from knowing & believing the truth.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Have you experienced the destructive nature of thoughts? What lies are you believing & what truths do you want to believe?