Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Paradox of Self-Esteem

I seem to be going through an interesting phase regarding my self image.  At first, arriving at Focus was really liberating.  No one knew me and I could see if the Taylor mold of who Bethany Smith is actually fits the person I really am.  I discovered a lot about myself. I can be outgoing and push myself to step outside of my comfort zone. And in the process, I gained a lot of confidence. I felt secure in who I was and was proud that I was diving in without fear.

However, time went on and the honeymoon of self exploration faded away.  Being with new people was a great way to discover more about myself, but I also realized a lot of insecurities that I thought I had grown out of.  Because of the community at Taylor, I quickly figured out who I was in regards to those around me and that followed me for my 2.5 years. But being put in this new social situation where I couldn't "fall back" on the good traits I had built at Taylor was really scary.  If I messed up once in an area I usually excel at, I figured that mistake was doomed to define me.

Please don't worry.  I have talked this over with several people and have the support I need.  And through talking with people, I have realized how many other students feel the same way in this new situation.  I guess what I have had to accept is that Satan really does attack me with lies daily, especially in times like this when God is pushing me to grow in confidence.  I know the idea of Satan whispering lies into your ear might sound uncomfortable/stupid/cliche to some of you, but I really think its true.

The last few nights I have been reading through the book of Joel (which I love) and found this verse really encouraging

"You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and there is none else.  And my people shall never again be put to shame."

                                                                                                       Joel 2:27 (ESV)

God is with me. All the time. Everywhere.  He is God. He is so much bigger than the lies that Satan tries to get me to believe.  Because I am reconciled with Him through Jesus Christ, I never need to be ashamed ever again.

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