All my life I have been plagued with self-esteem issues. This didn’t change after I become a Christian. I have struggled with my self-image. I still have those words from years past ringing in my mind: drug addict, whore, worthless, pig, fat, the list is too long to list all of the words used against me. Many of them I used myself to keep myself in that bondage to Satan. Yes, as long as I believed Satan’s lies, I was in bondage to Satan. I may not have been serving him, but I was still wearing the chains of self-deprecation. As I say that I think of Marley in A Christmas Carol with chains hanging off of me and holding me down. That actually fairly apropos. Remember in the old version of A Christmas Carol where the spirits were floating outside Scrooge’s window with chains on them. That’s really how I felt. I felt like I was on the outside looking in and I was so chained in my self-hatred and self-loathing.
Then a couple of years ago, about 1 1/2 years after I got clean, I was praying as I drove somewhere. Honestly I do most of my best thinking and praying either in the car or the bathroom. Of course, I don’t pray enough, especially since we are to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) As I was praying I was praising God for all He had done in my life and out of my gratitude I prayed “thank you God for making me ME!” As soon as I said those words I stopped praying and looked around and thought “who said that?” I shrugged my shoulders and realized I had so those words. Today, I am thankful He made me ME! I also think that maybe if I had been obedient, if I had given thanks for everything like I am instructed to do, (I Thessalonians 5:18)that maybe it wouldn’t have taken me almost fifty years to like myself.
I also have come to realize that even those I’ve lost Marley’s chains I still feel like an outsider looking in. I am still Scrooge looking in on the present but not able to participate, because he carries so much brokenness and baggage from the past. I still feel like I am an outsider. I imagine many of us do. I also know that acknowledging something and facing it, changes it. But it takes courage, which somehow I have plenty of. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquest of it (Billy Jack).
Recently I have referred to myself a few times as white trash. It’s shocked people and made them laugh. I think the reason I can say it and it no longer stings is that it’s no longer true. Oh I can still hang with the best of them, but I’m that person any more – I am a new creation in Christ. And maybe, in a few ways, it’s alright to feel like an outsider. Philippians 3:20-21 says “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” So I am a princess and (formerly) white trash.
My identity is no longer in worldly things, it is in heavenly things. I am a daughter of the King, a royal princess seated in the heavenlies, and I wear a crown on my head. He wore a crown of thorns, so that I might wear a crown of jewels.
Today is Easter Sunday. He rose from the dead. He died so that I might have abundant life. John 10:10 says “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” But I have to obey Him to get it. All those things that seem so counterintuitive really aren’t. When I thank Him for something, even when I don’t feel it, He changes my heart or He changes the situation and I thankful. But first I have to obey. Obedience is a choice, not an feeling.
Happy Easter! He is Risen!