Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)
TITLE: Who Am I Anyway?
By Elizabeth James
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There is one fortunate thing however, I did have a good childhood, up until age 17 anyway.
Everything went downhill from that point, especially my "confidence level" it was basically non existent. I had always been a straight A student...head cheerleader, involved in sports, very confident in my abilities as a person. Yet now, I had no self esteem, no confidence at all in anything or anyone, especially not in myself.
The words spoken, cut like a knife, some of which I would not dare to even repeat...words that basically destroyed me as a person, inside I was dead. The old saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", is nothing but a complete lie. Word's not only hurt, they are destructive in a number of ways.
Shortly thereafter, all the word's and attitude's, and physical harm towards me began to cause me to turn inside myself, I began to withdraw. Now, I was actually beginning to believe I was a bad person, that I had no capabilities at all, believing everything that was being told me. This went on for a number of years. Needless to say, the pain and hurt ran very deep.
Then, one day I ran into an old friend I had known for long time. After her first hello in years, she said to me "You don't look to well, what is going on"? Your not yourself.
It was at that moment, I realized, she's right, I'm not myself! I lost my identity it seemed. I didn't know who I was anymore, I didn't recognize the woman in the mirror. Then I began to ask myself questions such as: Have you done anything to deserve such treatment? No, no one deserves to be mistreated. Do I like myself? That was an easy one, definitely not. Don't you care at all?
Being honest with myself was the hardest thing for me to do.
Some of us are alone and don't have family or friends to help encourage and build up, I was one. I had to encourage myself, being pretty hard on myself at times to. But, I realized if I don't, who will?
If we keep ourselves shut down, or keep those walls we built up, help can't get in, thus we are hurting ourselves even more. I could have lived for the rest of my life in that pain. However, I began to come alive again, but I had to speak to someone to make sure my thinking was right, I wasn't sure anymore.
To my delight I found out that I was thinking right. I do have worth...my life does mean something, I am not a bad person, I can do whatever I put my mind and heart into. I needed to be affirmed in that! So, I began telling myself that over and over again until I finally convinced myself.
All of this brought to mind the scripture in Isaiah, Chapter 61 verse 3:
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
The funny thing about that "lack of confidence" it was there all along, just buried, it took that confidence, which I thought I had lost, to even try and live again.
Confidence, 9 times out of 10 is still there, we just have to get ourselves to a place where we allow that stuff to be dug up, emptied out, then filled with positives, with truth and allow God to do what man cannot, I could not have done it on my own.
Out of all the pain and all the hurt that held me so tightly in bondage, was born a new person, a broken vessel mended by the hand of God, free to live life in full confidence, being given....
"Beauty for Ashes"
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