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Self-esteem? Nah sis, Chris-esteem!

Have you ever felt like you weren’t enough for someone? It could have been in a relationship, friendship, or even to a family member. At some point, we have all felt less than what we’re truly worth. We use a common excuse that sounds like:

“I’m just human, this is who I am…”

Or we simply compare ourselves to others, in which we start to desire their life more than we care to live our own. Truth is, since junior high I seemed to struggle with my self-image, what I thought were weight problems, and never feeling like I was enough for anyone. I was in and out of trying to lose weight and be someone who I really wasn’t. 6 years ago I signed up for my first gym membership and that was the year that I became obsessed with 5am mornings at the gym, pre-workout and protein shake. I had lost about 15lbs that year and a year later, in 2015, I continued to go to the gym and I maintained the weight off. I remember that year I wore myself out by doing two-a-days at the gym and before I knew it, I became a “gym rat” as they call it. I was squatting a few 45 weight plates and people began to tell me that I was losing a lot of weight. In my eyes, it wasn’t enough. I wanted six-pack abs and a skinny waist. But who was I really trying to impress with my body image? Myself or was I trying to fit into the world’s standards and what was considered beautiful to them?

As for my skin, I was always self-conscious about my it and I didn’t feel comfortable in it. I remember times where my skin would be “so bad” that I cried in my room because I felt so uncomfortable. Although people would tell me “it’s not even that bad”, it was always something I struggled with because I looked at myself through my own lens. I wanted to be like the other girls who didn’t have to “try” to look pretty, I always thought about how others saw me. But what I’m about to reveal to you, is how I’ve come to accept myself for who I really am and how I’ve stopped allowing the opinions of the world to come crashing down on me.   

“I traded my self-esteem for Christ-esteem…”

            Since I’ve accepted Christ into my heart, the way I see myself has taken a turn. I accepted the pure fact that it was no longer about me and the way I saw myself. One of the first things the Lord used to speak to me about my “low self-esteem” was a song. See, the power of music and lyrics is vital to our minds. The famous “you become who you hang around” is true for music too. This may sound a little cliché for those who listen to KSBJ (Christian radio station), but when I was coming to Christ my desire to listen to secular music was immediately broken. I began to delete song by song on my phone because I’d listen to it and ask myself “how does this glorify God?” (but I won’t get into that, that’s a whole new topic, haha!) There’s a song by Mercy Me that the Lord used to speak to me about my identity in Him. It says:

“Days will come when you don’t have the strength

When all you hear is you’re not worth anything

Wondering if you ever could be loved

And if they truly saw your heart, they’d see too much

You’re beautiful

You are made for so much more than all of this

You are treasured, you are sacred

You are His

You’re beautiful

For all the lies you’ve held inside so long

They are nothing in the shadow of the cross

Such a POWERFUL song, it speaks God’s truth of you! I remember the first time I listened to it and it absolutely wrecked me and I broke down and cried. I realized I had been pleasing the wrong people and most of all: I had set my worth in what the world saw me as.

The LORD says: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” -Song of Songs 4:7

God says you have NO flaw in you. You are made in His image, not in the worlds. We are MADE to look like Him! So if that’s what He thinks about you, why should the opinion of others matter? You don’t need to be loved by the world or pleasing to the world.

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men (humans)? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”-Galatians 1:10

It’s critical to know your identity in Christ and who God says you are. The enemy is out there to steal, kill and destroy your identity. It’s important to stir yourself up in His Word and cast out the opinions of others but also of our carnal mind.

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God”-Romans 8:6-7

Choose to believe His truths rather than the enemy’s lies! The enemy? Yes, the devil is a liar y’all! He will use anything in this world to get you to believe otherwise! It’s important to know God’s truths. So, what are God’s truths, you ask?

God says that you are…

  1. HIS! (Isaiah 43:1) You have absolutely nothing to fear. You belong to Him. He is your Father and you are His child. He is going to take care of you if you just let Him.
  2. MADE IN HIS IMAGE! (Genesis 1:27) Everything He has created, He created it and saw that it was good. You are good, believe it.
  3. LOVED! For God so loved the world (John 3:16) that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross. God wanted to be reconciled to His children, He did everything it took to get what was His back. His Son was crucified for you. I don’t know a sweeter love than that.
  4. Fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) He is who created you. He knew you before anyone else even thought of you. You are priceless to Him.
  5. You are precious and honored in His sight! (Isaiah 43:4) Don’t give away your worth, don’t put your worth in people who don’t value you. He sees you for so much more than you see yourself. Our Father thinks so highly of you! He honors your life and loves you so much more than anyone could ever love you! Don’t allow others to treat you any different, although they may, you know who you belong to! You may not be precious and honorable in the world’s eyes, but our God sees you for who you really are.

He knows your worth because He is your worth. So after reading this, my challenge for you is to look in the mirror (do it!) and speak what’s true about you. It’s easy to be led by your emotions, but the Lord provides peace when there is a renewing of your mind. “Remember that you should not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:2

Sis, today choose to believe the Gospel’s simple truth about yourself.

In His love,

Joscelin

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Faith Blogger

A CROWN OF BEAUTY FOR ASHES

The scripture that has forever marked my soul. It’s the perfect depiction of what the Lord has done in my life. He literally took my heart of stone and put in me a heart of flesh. (Ez. 36:26) Next month it’ll be 3 years since He encountered me in my bedroom. (Yes, my bedroom!) At that point in my life, my heart was broken, I was at my absolute lowest, I knew I was missing something. There had to be more to life than what I was used to. The truth is that words will never be enough to explain what Jesus has done…

He became the Restorer of my soul.
He became the Joy of my heart.
He became my reason to Praise.
He drew near to my broken heart.
I became like a well-watered garden.

I never understood what it meant to be truly loved until Jesus walked into my life. He gave Love a new meaning. Before, I would’ve been crazy to think that someone could love me with the Love that He showed me. I became so marked by what He had done on the Cross. I knew that by no means had I been worthy of His life, yet He showed me differently.

The day that He encountered me in my room was the day that I became DESPERATE for something else. It was the day of my Salvation and the day that His goodness brought me to repentance. He met me right where I was at and to you that is reading this, I have news for you… He will meet you right where you are at too. I’m here to remind you that He took on a cross for you, He reached back into hell to take the keys that now give you complete access to Him. You may not feel worthy of His blood, but He took on every ounce of pain just for YOU. All the pain that He so selflessly endured so that you could have the CHOICE of someday choosing Him. I did not feel worthy of Him at ALL, but it is the moment in which I understood how much He really loves me that I accepted that I really was forgiven. You’re never too far gone to Him. Rejoice in that, sis and let Him love on you before you let anyone else love on you.

I learned very quickly in my walk with the Lord that nothing and nobody in this world has the power to satisfy my needs or desires like Jesus. Just as He told the woman at the well, “If you drink from Jacob’s well you’ll be thirsty again and again, but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!” (John 4:13)

Sis, don’t fight what the Lord is trying to do in your life. It may not feel good, it may feel uncomfortable, it may hurt, it may feel like a loss, it may feel like the pressure keeps coming, but sis, it’s NOT a lie when they say that pressure makes diamonds. God is trying to give you back the crown of beauty you are meant to wear. He’s trying to redeem you from those ashes that you thought were unredeemable, unworthy, dead and bring them back to LIFE! But sis, there also comes a point in time where we have to willingly drop the things of this world, leave them at the altar and take a drink from the Living Water. Everything else will keep you running back to the well like the Samaritan woman did.

The Lord says that you are SO worthy, you are absolutely loved, you are precious in His sight, you are beautifully and wonderfully made. It doesn’t matter what your momma, daddy, boyfriend, friends or coworkers have to say about you. What matter most is what He already declared over you.

God wants to encounter you the way He did me… whether it be in your mess or chaos, He wants to change your life the way He did mine. Your life may not look like mine used to look before I knew Him, the only thing I know is that the same God that turned me into something beautiful from the ashes is the same God that wants to do something amazing in yours. The world will only tell you differently, but you no longer have to live in defeat or despair when you realize you’ve got Him.

Sis, I pray that you wear your crown of beauty with Joy.

You will glow like never before because you are pregnant with a purpose. I dare you to walk like it, talk like it, act like it.

“Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14

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Faith Blogger

DREAM BIG

Sis, how many times have we thought about our higher calling and disqualified ourselves? Been there, done that. “Me? No way! I’ll never be able to do that! Why would He pick me?” See, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! And once we’ve accepted Him into our lives, we are to live out the Great Commission- “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations!” (Matthew 28:19). With the great commission comes greater things than you could ever imagine. Sis, you are simply not made to live small, you’re meant to dream substantially greater things than you could ever imagine! His ways are HIGHER than our ways. His thoughts are HIGHER than our thoughts. In Ephesians 4:1, Paul writes that we are to walk Holy, in a way that is suitable to our high rank, given to us in our divine calling. Sis, God is saying that you are of high rank, the favor of the Lord is on you. You are MEANT to live a life worthy of Him. I may be working an 8-5 job right now, but I choose to BELIEVE that the Lord has GREATER things in store for me. Simply because His word says so and that’s why I bring all the scripture in. His word has already been spoken over my life and your life. Hebrews 10:38 says that His righteous ones will live FROM faith, but if fear holds them back, His soul is not content with them! God is pleased by our faith. If we constantly live in doubt, how will we ever be able to enter in to the will of God? Faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation NEEDED to acquire the things we long for (Hebrews 11:1). So what that scripture tells me is that in order to receive all things promised in our lives we must activate our faith. Be a doer, not just a hearer.Let me stop there.I want to be real with those who are reading this because I believe that vulnerability and openness go a long way. Everything I’ve had on my heart lately are actually the same exact things that the Lord has been dealing with me about. In our mess there is always a message. I’ve struggled to believe that He has more for me than I can imagine. For real though, sometimes I shrink back from the REALITY that my Father gives me. Anyone else felt the same way before? Life feels like a cycle and at this point, we’re just going through the motions. Oh, it’s Monday again? Cool. I need my coffee to survive. Sis, that Monday that we dread is a simple preparation of those big God-given dreams. Surviving means that we are barely remaining intact, just getting by, and just existing. If we are barely surviving now, imagine what we will do in reaction to those things that have been promised to us? We’ll ruin them! We need enthusiasm and excitement for the now. The Lord wants to see our faithfulness with the little or we won’t be able to handle the big! Our lives are not a destination, they are a journey, a voyage, a pilgrimage. If you believe that someday you’re just going to wake up and arrive at your destiny, you’ve got it wrong, sis. A journey with God is full of adventure and a beautiful ride of traveling from one place to the other with Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing, we are useless without Him. I’m not going to lie, I’ve tried it before. I’ve tried to wake up and miss out on spending time with Him because everything else seemed more important. I’ve tried to do life without being in constant communication with Him. It WILL NOT work. It never has and it never will. Before we can try to dive in all our God-given dreams, our lives must imitate Christ in the small.The promise that’s been given to us should never ever be of more importance than the One who’s given it to us. Has someone ever broken a promise they made to you? It feels like betrayal, right? I don’t know about you but I take pinky promises very serious. As childish as it may sound, I’m serious. You know who also takes their promises serious? God. If He takes them serious, so should we. It’s not a promise that we should just laugh off like Sarah did when the Lord told her that she would have a son because she was “past the age of childbearing” (Genesis 18:10-12). Your age, your current status, your background, your ethnicity, your socioeconomic status, etc., has no ability to qualify or disqualify you. So sis, I encourage you to stop disqualifying yourself from the big things, you’ve been made for such a time as this.Stop doubting.

Doubting means that we are hesitating to believe, it actually means that we are fearful of the things that may or may not happen. Crazy, right? Some of us claim to have faith but we are always playing out what-if scenarios in our heads and writing out those plan Bs. Sis, we cannot have any room for doubt in our hearts if we claim to believe in Jesus and that He is faithful. It has to be more than a song we sing on Sunday mornings. If we were to put doubt and faith on a graph, our data would conclude a ZERO correlation. These two can never correlate. Either we believe or we don’t.Dare to have unshakeable faith. He will never ever fail you, sis, so now is not the time to let go of those God-given dreams. Pick up your baton of faith and keep running with it. I hope you are encouraged with all that Jesus has been encouraging me with. Love you all.

In His Love,

Joscelin ♥