Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hello to my dearest friends!

In case you didn't notice, it's been a LONG time since I've posted anything on this blog. I have a few reasons for this, none of which are very good excuses, but they are what they are.

First off...I've lost pretty much no weight at all... I think around month two, when I realized I'd lost a grand total of 4 pounds, my 10 pound a month goal wasn't going to happen. But, things are changing in my life and list of priorities, with exercising and getting into all-around better health being in my top 5 (don't fret, my "priority list" is quite detailed, so to give it a 5 isn't bad at all...).

Second, up until about two months ago, I didn't have internet access at home. Now I do! By God's grace and provision, I was able to purchase a netbook (very affordable, fyi) for my apartment. Now I am able to update all the time, and I most certainly plan to!

Third, I've been ridiculously depressed. In the name of transparency, I've been down in the dumps. Being unemployed and not having much to do each day takes a toll on a person's self-esteem and self-worth. I can feel myself slowly climbing out of this pit, though (Not quite fully out yet, but I'm praising God in advance for what I know He's going to do in my life).

One thing that He has been driving home to me more often each day, is that I need to stop looking to my "self-esteem" and "self-worth". Now, don't get me wrong here, we all (sisters in Christ) have beautiful worth and value because we are God's children. We are His princesses, children of the King!

For a while now, though, I've had a really hard time finding any value in myself. I had started feeling that to say that "well, Jesus loves me" was just a mantra for losers who have no one else who likes them all that much. Like when the nerds we grew up with insisted, "well, my mom loves me!" Of course...she's your mom...what else is she going to do? For a season, I honestly felt that the love of God was my last resort. If all else fails, I can lean on God.

I'd like you to take a second and watch this YouTube video.

The Awe Factor of God - Francis Chan


Please don't misunderstand me, I've known about this video for a few months now, and I'll be honest with you, it still hasn't fully hit me. I haven't seen it and gone, "oh well, in that case, I can now change every negative thought about myself, because God, being this big, still loves me." It's been a process, I promise you. But the more I think about this video, and just how big God actually is (we'll never truly know until we get to see Him), the more I stand in awe.

Now, one way to look at this video is to say, "wow we must be pretty special if God cares so much for us to send His Son to die for us. As tiny as we are, He still cares." This is true. God sees us as special to Him, and He does care enough for us today to pursue us with all His Heart until we finally get it.

But, the main point I'm finally starting to get from all of this, is we need to drop the need for high "self-esteem," and focus on our "God-esteem"! We would be NOTHING without our Savior, and yet we keep trying to find ways for our relationship with God to make US more special! What a warped view!

Up until recently, I was in this race for me. Trying to do all I could so God would like me more, or be more pleased with me. Sadly, though I knew Jesus is the only reason I'm getting into Heaven, I was living as if I had to help Him make my case! Like, "well I've done this this this and that over there, and I was part of this event and I gave some money to this homeless person and I tried to be patient with my grandmother and, oh yeah, I also accepted Christ."

I hate to even put this into words. The thought of it makes me sick! How could I think Jesus needed my help!?

If we believe we need to do something on our part (works-based faith) beyond accepting Christ into our lives, in order to be saved, we are in effect telling Jesus His sacrifice was insufficient...

2 Corinthians 12:9a
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

So, if His grace is sufficient...but we claim He's insufficient, we're calling Jesus was a liar, then He wasn't the truth... so who is it that we worship?

No, our God is sufficient for all of our needs. He will never leave us or forsake us, and there is nothing that can separate us from His love!

So, ladies, as you ponder these truths, and as I pray for all of you, please continue to pray for me, because I'm still battling this fact in my heart. Pulling away from self-esteem to focus more on God-esteem is not an easy task, but I'm trusting that God isn't going to give up on me until His work is completed in my life!

I love you all my dear sisters! God bless you!!!


  1. Alex. Before I say anything, may I say that you, my dear, are wise beyond your years and you possess a talent and gift for communicating (writing) that few years older than you possess.

    You should write and write often!

    Your transparency (and oh how I love that) is to be commended. You have spoken freely about things that many -- many who struggle as well -- would not write of; and certainly write so aptly as you. So, thank you for your honesty and the balance you are obviously striving to maintain as you ride out this season.

    You know, Christendom has seen it's share of powerful, influential leaders who also greatly struggled with feelings of depression and even possibly manic disorders. Yet -- as God is the one who made them, He also was able to use them mightily in spite of their earthly emotional struggles. Thank you, Lord, for that! That gives hope to all of us who seem to endure bouts of this throughout life.

    I'm reminded of the song that states: "Sometimes He calms the storm -- other times He calms His child..." He doesn't always deliver us from our tendency toward these lows, but He will use what we learn in the valley to further His kingdom -- and isn't that why we're here all along?

    So yes -- welcome to the great cloud of depressed witnesses.... we may have a "thorn in the flesh" that buffets us and (hopefully) keeps us a bit more humble than we'd normally be... but when you've seen how God uses even that which we consider ugly in our life for His glory, you begin to actually "go with it" for as long as it lasts, knowing that you will have even more grace with which to minister to others you see struggling as you. He does not waste suffering -- we can, but He never does.

    On the other side of the cloud (the season of feeling low) is the coveted feeling "normal" and good again -- but the brokenness we learned in the valley is always a part of us -- creating a beautiful mosaic as out of broken shards of beautiful china. What was once one kind of beauty in it's wholeness, is now a whole new kind of beauty as the broken pieces are lovingly put together to form something new -- a mosaic crafted by Him through each of our sufferings.

    So perhaps you're being mortared in place right now, on God's creative board of mosaic making. But from the sounds of these posts you write -- only more and more of His wisdom is going to come from your heart when He lifts you up and brushes you off, showing the gorgeous work He's done. A work in progress -- sure... but with God, even in the work phase there is beauty. And that beauty is oh-so evident in you.

    Keep writing -- He is speaking through you without a doubt.

    Your friend,

  2. Thank you so much, Ruth! It means so much to me to hear that my random writings can make some sort of impact. I've always loved writing, but for the first time I'm trying to take it seriously. I just write what I feel (I'm surprised there aren't more spelling and grammar errors in my entries, because I rarely edit), and hope that the thoughts God gives me to write help someone else.

  3. Part of my journey has been accepting grace. I think you might be being too hard on yourself by characterizing what you were doing as thinking that Jesus needed your help. It's hard to believe sometimes that God thinks we are worthy of His grace. Accepting grace is just as important as letting go of trying to work our way into heaven. Much love!

  4. I completely agree, Megan! I mean, there is a balance. But I'm learning to accept grace as well. It's a gift to us, that we don't deserve, but just as any gifts we don't deserve, it would be absolutely horrible to give it back and say, "thanks but no thanks." There comes a point when we have to just realize He gives us His grace, and take Him for His word.

  5. Have I mentioned just how excited I am that people are commenting here? YAY! hehe