Updated: Aug 9, 2020
Shout out to Roger Washington who put in a request to write a post on this topic. He is a leader at my home church and stated that he counsels a lot of people on the issue of feeling insecure and low self-esteem.
BT Dubs. When I say insecure I am not talking about the TV show. Lol
But I do love that show. Haha. Anyyway...
Insecurity is a real issue. It's not selective on who it attacks. It attacks the homeless person that lives under that city bridge, the teenage girl who didn't make the cheerleading team, the college football player who made a fumble, the resident physician who is at a prestigious training program and the CEO of whatever latest greatest company exists. It robs you of your peace, your self-esteem, your relationships, and ultimately your future.
I lived in a world of insecurity for almost all my life. From coming from a very dysfunctional home, to being sexual abused as a child, to being cheated on by every little boyfriend I had. These events created deep seeds of insecurity which took root in my heart.
And the insecurity lead me all the way to marrying someone in efforts of feeling my insecurities and voids to later finding out they only entered the marriage for immigration benefits. So blow after blow, after blow. I've had all the reasons to feel insecure and not have the greatest self-esteem.
But something changed in my heart and mind that allows me to see myself as loved, precious and valuable.
I remember I hit rock bottom after the marriage failed. I was lied to, used for immigration benefits, cheated on, and left in a ton of debt for things purchased for that other party. And I remember sitting night after night in my pool of tears asking God why? Why did this happen to me? And as I asked this questions, so many scary truths surfaced.
I feared no one would love me because of my tainted childhood, and because I didn't see myself as valuable because of my childhood, I settled for less than the best because I didn't see myself as worthy of having the best. Although I saw so many read flags from this guy, I ignored them in hopes of being married and starting a new story of no dysfunction, abuse etc as I saw and experienced in my childhood.
But little did I know my mind was filled with so much dysfunction, it would be almost impossible to rid my environment of dysfunction when it lived deeply within me.
The "why me" questions caused me to dig more into the depths of my heart. I started to look at patterns and themes of dysfunction in my family line and realized I was sadly lining up with the traditions.
This concept in physics comes to mind. A current will flow through the path of least resistance. So in the same way with family patterns, it's easier to do what your mom did, what your father did or what your grandparents did because you've witness or experienced it most of your life, so it comes as second nature. But if you want to cause a shift or break a deeply engrained tradition, it's like swimming against the flow of a river.
It's uncomfortable, difficult, its unfamiliar terrain. So if someone's father was an alcoholic, it would be very easy for that individual to become one as well. If you lived in a home of abuse, it is very easy for you to be a victim or a culprit of abuse in the future.
But when you realize you want a paradigm shift, it takes renewing of your mind, changing of your environment, establishing boundaries. It just takes lots of hard work!
So as I began to till the soil of my heart and pull out those deep seeded roots, there were things I had to make common practice and other things I had to rid myself of in order to get to this place of being totally in love with me, comfortable with who I am and in a place of seeing myself as valuable and worthy of nothing but the best. And please don't get me wrong, I am NOT perfect nor do I desire to be.
I am simply a woman in progress, ameliorating myself day by day through the work of Christ within me.
Here are the things I did to go against the grain and go against the path of least resistance in order to break the chains of insecurity and generational dysfunction from my life:
1. When negative thoughts came into my mind about my past and the mistakes I made, I found something that spoke against that lie. When I felt not worthy of love I was reminded that I was hand picked and chosen by the Greater of the Entire Universe-- God (Ephesians 1:4). When I felt that my mistakes were too many I was reminded that God casts my sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
When I felt that my life was over, I was reminded that all things work out for the good of loves that love the Lord (Romans 8:28), that what the devil used to harm me God will use for my good (Genesis 50:20), that God began a good work in me and He will carry it to its completion (Philippians 1:6).
This spoken word piece essential sums of verse I found that spoke against the lies in my mind.
2. I surrounding myself with people who spoke positivity into my heart and mind. I had friends who just couldn't understand what was happening in my life and heart and could't pray for me or were not the happiest for me that I didn't tell them that I was married and now divorced (there is so much behind the story and I at one point didn't consider myself married since I didn't wear a white dress and walk down an aisle but simple went to a court house. But that story can be for a later time).
I joined a Bible study group and took this course called Freedom by Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands. The course really helps you to dig deep and uproot on the negative or hindering things that prevent you from living a joy-filled free life. Check the course HERE, and here is the video that covers the first chapter.
3. I really struggled with condemnation and guilt. So, I reminded myself that God loves me and forgives me for all my mistakes and will also restore me for any hurt and harm done to me. A couple go to verses that really encourages me are.
And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
4. I had to continually remind myself that I was enough. For most of my life I struggled with feeling beautiful externally and even internally with having the personality that people would like. But now! I know I am a fine glass of wine and I know I'm hilarious, bubbly, charming, and fun to be around!
To help me believe this truth, I had to literally write on my bathroom mirror in hot pink lipstick, "I SEE ME AS YOU SEE ME, LORD."So every time I went to the bathroom, I saw those words and I would speak those words over myself.
And thankfully, God sees me as a Mighty Woman of God. He seems me as whole and well loved. He calls me His beloved. He seems me as a priced possession that He gladly died for on the cross. If I was the only one of this earth, He still would have come down from Heaven--which was a complete perfect utopia-- and died for just me.
If you are struggling with low self-esteem and insecurities, know that you are not alone. I was the queen sitting of the throne of insecurity land, but look at me now! 😄😄. How your story is now is not how it will remain. Just put to practice changing your mind set and the word you either speak internally or outwardly. God totally loves you and you are totally WORTHY, BEAUTIFUL, LOVED, ADORED, and VALUED!
Enjoy this song
Worth By Anthony Brown
Fun Facts About Jenn Jenn
I love love love traveling. Due to the fact that I have been "in between blessings" lol, for lack of a better word, traveling has been on a halt. But I am believing for a trip to Thailand in 2019. And this December 2018, I will be going to my little sisters wedding in Ghana and God willing, a friends wedding in Dominican Republic in September 2019.
These are the countries I've been to thus far:
Ghana too many times to count, France x 2, Germany x 2, Amsterdam, Hungary , Brazil , Argentina , El Salvador, Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, Mexico, Canada, Italy, England, Spain, Many states in the US, Dominican Republic
Next on my bucket list: Thailand 2019 , Dominican Republic 2019, Greece 2020, Israel 2020
My favorite country thus far has been Hungary. I love walking museums and the country is so rich with history and architecture.
Jenn Jenn in Budapest, Hungary in 2010