Words can hurt. Especially when spoken by a loved one. But even when they are spoken by a classmate, co worker or neighbor they tend to sting – leaving us bewildered and wondering why do we place so much emphasis on what has been said by someone that even we have not deemed to be a close friend or acquaintance. Then there are those words “spoken” by “them” or “those people” – whose source are rumors, stereotypes and statistics. And finally, there are the unspeakable evil mutterings we hear in our head that we often attribute to a variety of sources including the enemy directly. Negative words that tend to define can have such a negative impact on how we feel about ourselves and ultimately effect what we do. Think about if for a moment. Estimate how many negative messages you have heard by the time you turn 18. Statements from popular culture and the classroom married with messages we tend to create to understand child sexual abuse. They scream that you are worthless, ugly, unwanted, too tall, too short, too fat, too dark, too light, dumb, useless, too poor, dressed wrong, and just generally pitiful altogether. It is no wonder that many adult Survivors of child sexual abuse struggle with low self esteem. Could it be because we answer to and believe what we’ve been called by other people? Is it because we have determined that “their” definition of us is the truth? Probably. And this is so very unfortunate.
If only we would take the time to ask our Creator and Father – what He has to say about us? What would happen If we dare to ask Him what He has to say and then sat quietly and listened and courageously BELIEVED His answer?
That is this week’s Survivor challenge. Make a list of the negative things that have been said about you. The list of names you’ve been called. All of them – the foul words, the painful words. The words that speak to your feminity or lack thereof and your sexuality. The awful words you hear in your head –the thoughts that repeat over and over again – “you are worth nothing”, “you are useless” and “no one of any value will every want a piece of trash like you” Write them down. Let the tears flow as you write. Take a break if you need to –but write them down. And then rip that piece of paper up into as many small pieces as you can and throw them away. Next, go look in the mirror and make a promise to yourself: Starting today, I believe what God says about me and not what other says. I trust the most powerful, wonderful, awesome Father there is and He declares that I am HIS MASTERPIECE.
Read Ephesians 2:10:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. New Living Translation
10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Amplified Version
Read it every night. Meditate on it. Print it out and carry it with you. Create a colorful poster of it and hang it next to your bed. Hang the poster by your mirror. Challenge yourself – tell yourself every morning and every night –I am God’s Masterpiece!
If you suffer with low self esteem consider this prayer:
For so long Father, I’ve listended to the negative things others say about me. And only you Father know how much it hurts. Only you know the tears I’ve cried. But Father, I’m tired. I’m tired of being hurt. I’m tired of letting the awful things that others say about me stop me from living the life I want to live. Lord, sometimes I feel like I am in a prison. A prison of negative words. A prison that keeps me from speaking up, making friends, trying new things and going new places because I fear rejection or that others will see the version of me that others have created me to be.
But today Father, I come before You. I want to believe what You say about me. Your words say that I am a masterpiece and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your word says I am a new creature. You say that I am washed clean and forgiven. I want to believe this Father. I want those words to be the words I hear in my head. I was once told that Jesus came to set us free. I want to be free God. Heal my heart Lord. Help me forgive those that have put be down. Lord fill up the emptiness inside of me that I have filled with fear and anger. Exchange Lord my fear and anger with the Truth Lord and with grace, mercy, forgiveness and your loving kindness. Fill me up Lord. Fill me up! Help me to see me me as you see me. Open my eyes Father!
In Jesus Name Amen.