Happy New Year from the EmpowerMoments Team! To allow our team time to enjoy our families, we will be on winter break until February 4, 2013. In the meantime, you will be able to catch up on some of our favorite EmpowerMoments’ series. This week we are featuring our favorite posts from the Love series. Have a blessed weekend!
This is hard to admit…I struggle to love myself. As far back as I can remember, this has been an ongoing struggle. As a child, I struggled to accept myself physically. I thought that I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls, my nose was too big, I was too skinny etc. As I grew up I began to believe myself to be physically beautiful, however, this was only because other people (namely members of the opposite sex) started to notice me.
Boys and men noticing me opened a whole new level of struggle. My love for myself was dependent on what they said, did, and felt about me. As my teenage and college years rolled on, I ALWAYS had a man. It was as if my sanity depended on it. When one didn’t work out, it wasn’t long before I had another one. I’ve settled for Quasi-relationships where I was never given a commitment but behaved as if I was married. I’ve been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. When abuse wasn’t on the menu, I got periodic calls filled with empty expressions of “care” when they wanted money, sex, or whatever else. I went running every time, even to the point of leaving my bed and home in the middle of the night to go attend to them.
Sadly, I have never received what I’ve chased after so desperately. I don’t know what it feels like to be loved by a man in that special romantic way. In my adult life, I am FINALLY learning to really love ME, by seeing myself the way God sees me:
1) There is nothing wrong with how God created me. “…He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)
2) “… I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…” (Psalms 139:14 NIV)
3) I am special to God. “…before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart…” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)
4) I am a princess, and deserve to be treated as such! “…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)
Not until we begin to see ourselves the way God sees us will we ever really love ourselves. We must love who God created us to be in order to achieve the destiny He has called us to. For me, relationships with men were my indicator that I did not love myself, but maybe that’s not you. You might overeat, or not eat enough. You may be engaged in dangerous behavior or be sinking in depression. You may be just floating through life not taking authority and letting the devil do whatever he wants. All of these are indicators of not loving who God created you to be. It’s time to see you the way that God sees you. “…For God so loved [insert your name here] that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…” (John 3:16 NIV) How could you not love yourself when you understand just how valuable you are!
Thank You for loving me! Teach me how to love myself that way that You love me. Forgive me for searching for love everywhere but in You. Forgive me for the times that I have made You feel as if Your love wasn’t good enough. I love You and I am so grateful that You love me in spite of my imperfections, faults, and issues. I am also grateful that not only do You love me just the way I am, but You love me enough to continue to push me toward where You have destined me to be. Give me wisdom and strength to keep moving in that direction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to love yourself the way God loves you. You are a princess and you deserve royal treatment. Carry yourself like royalty. Do not expect others to treat you a certain way when you have not set the standard.
1) Take Care of Yourself Physically
Even Esther went through a year of beauty treatments before going in to see the king. Strive to be physically fit, eat well, exercise, take care of your skin, etc. (See Esther 2: 12-13a)
2) Enjoy your own company
– Aside from your devotional time with God, learn to enjoy hanging out by yourself. (i.e. go to a movie, out to eat or on a solo vacation) Learn about yourself, what you enjoy, your interests etc.
3) Don’t settle for FAKE love
– End the quasi-relationships, friends with benefits, no strings attached arrangements. God has so much more for you! The true definition of love is given to us in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, we are not to settle for less than that!
4) Don’t Struggle Alone
– For those times when you struggle to love yourself or when loneliness is pressuring you to seek FAKE love, pray and ask God to connect you with another WOMAN that will esteem you, pray for you and hold you accountable to the call God has on your life!
**EmpowerMoments is looking for fresh talent in 2013. We currently have an array of openings available such as writers, marketers, recruiters, etc. If you are interested in learning how you can utilize your gifts for the empowering of women worldwide, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, best contact number and email, and a brief snippet about yourself. If you promised God that you would do more for Him in 2013, this is the perfect opportunity to fulfill that promise! God truly has need for you!**
Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois. She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher. Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery. She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”