Have You Ever Wondered if You are Enough?

I have conversations with many women who have experienced lives with a lot of cool happenings. They are from all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds. They are from all education levels as well as from all levels of what the world may measure as 'success'.

One of the things that seems to be present in most every deep conversation that I have with anyone is the heart's cry for the desire to have a feeling of “worthiness” or “appreciation” or “validation”. 

I hear successful, seasoned, articulate, people, appearing almost child-like, expressing a single hope … to feel that they are valued by someone or some organization or team that they hold in high regard. In essence, they echo a very strong desire that is present in many of us … How can I cultivate feelings of self-worth or value from those that I 'need' to validate me so that I can know that I am okay?

The thing I am beginning to see is that contrary to our first initial response to this idea in our minds, self-esteem or self-worth does not come from someone else to us. 

It comes from the inside out. It is part of a transformation process whereby we learn to not listen to the internal critic we have that tells us how and where we are lacking. The negative and hurtful voice that reminds us of every failure and each time we have missed 'the' mark.

To counteract this unwelcome conversation, we can remind ourselves of the value God has placed on us.

If it's not entirely clear to you how big of a sacrifice God made for us in giving His Son to trade places with us by taking on our sin so that we might gain His righteousness, ask yourself who would you be willing to give up your child for.... especially, if they didn't even show signs of wanting or needing your sacrifice.

The Creator of the Universe decided that you and I were important enough for Him to give the greatest gift. 

With this understanding, I can get behind the idea that there must be something in my life that holds value and a special place for God, since He gave it all for me and for you!

Self-esteem in it’s most simplest definition is … doing the next basic right thing that God shows us … even if we do not ‘feel’ like it. This is turn, gives us a sense of well-being, security and not one of being dependent on someone else's approval.

When we do a super job on something, and we all do this at times, we truly know deep down, that it was a fabulous effort and success on our part and it lifts us up. Even if no one else noticed or complimented us. We just know.

That's how understanding our value and the truth that 'We are Enough' is reflected back through us. It is from the inside out. It is a gentle knowing that we stepped up to the plate, gave it our all and it worked!

We are dependent on God alone to lead us by His Word, His Spirit and the godly wisdom of those who live in accordance with His Will that He places in our lives.

You may be thinking, that sounds pretty simple. 

The concept is simple, the training and reprogramming of our minds to receive or act on this revelation is limited only by one thing … our rejection of the idea that building our self-esteem is dependent solely on the choices we make. 

Especially, since when it comes to our choices and decisions, the moment of 'perfect' certainty NEVER comes. Yet, hindsight is 20/20.

A little good news. God can uses our less-than-stellar and bad choices just as easily as He can use our good ones.

Oh, it's not as easy for us... but this can be the sandpaper that He uses to shape our character and smooth out the future of our journeys.

We have, for far too long, marinated on the idea that we need the approval and acceptance of others to feel whole.

So, here’s the good news and the bad news … YOU are in the driver’s seat of your own feelings of self-worth.

Whether we feel competent or able to build personal self-esteem, we can do it. Move confidently in the knowledge that YOU are a unique and gifted individual, loved by a Perfect and Holy God who ONLY wants what is best for you.

Each of us are created in God’s image and according to His design. What we do with what He has given us to work with is best determined by surrendering all of the hopeless feelings that come from depending on anyone else, but God, to make us feel a particular way … um better.

By surrender, I'm not talking about our initial decision to follow Christ as much as our decision to allow Him to conform our will to His. This process comes after we have accepted His gift of salvation.

When I finally began to understand that surrendering to His ways (by recognizing that my ways can be pretty costly at times), I learned that His sanctification process (that's the part where He's making us like Jesus), is actually quite easy to understand (not an easy path, but definitely a clear path). 

He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to place our faith in His ability to work all things together for our good.

We can't do that while still holding the reins.

As I began to step fully into surrender (not a once-and-done thing... this is where we take up our cross and die daily to ourselves), I found that the answer to most of the major decisions and choices in my life have been made for me by God. And, as/if I wait on Him, He truly makes them abundantly clear at the right time.

We, as navigators of our own little universe, often find it hard to simply, wait. We would rather do just about anything else!

We often tell ourselves that time is 'a wastin' while we are waiting. 

A little more good news. The Holy Spirit leads, but the devil drives. (Guess who always wants us to hurry on to the next thing!)

Think about how God creates. He made the heavens and the earth in 6 days (not here to argue whether it is a literal six days), but He's been working on heaven for 6000+ years. Can you imagine how awesome it must/will be? 

That will make living down here about the same as living in a trash can.... so if God is perfect and He is waiting for the right time, why should we try to hurry through our 70-80-90 years?

When having a down day … instead of sitting around feeling down about all the things that cannot be changed, do the next basic right thing in your world … consider the things that can be changed and get to it.. at a pace that doesn't overwhelm you. It's not a sprint; it's a marathon. 

Wash the car, walk the dog, clean the closet, pray, reach out to encourage someone else that is going through something that is obviously more difficult than the “down” day you are experiencing. 

When you get up, show up and do the next basic right thing, you will be completely amazed at how it transforms feelings of unworthiness or hopelessness into positive ideas that provide the necessary emotional fuel (stamina) we need to truly understand our value.

The Bible teaches us to think (consider, meditate) on the things that are good, lovely and of a good report. 

God has put within each of us, a tiny little voice that whispers, “this is the way to go or the thing to do…" So, we have the option to go confidently in that direction. 

It's not nearly as important how people respond and react to you as it is how to respond to His still, quiet whispers. It is in quietness, that you will find your strength and your confidence to move in the direction He is leading.

Our feelings may appear to be insurmountable walls, but they are in reality, nothing more than perceived blockades that keep us from what we truly long for. 

No other person can build us in a way that is sustainable. God has designed us and has great purpose for us. The greatest enemy we have at times is our own passivity. 

Passivity, being the inability or unwillingness, to ‘push against’ the inhibiting thoughts and feelings that limit us and keep us from experiencing the simple joys and pleasures of each day we are given.

For each of us, there is a sweet spot of daily living and it is the same rhythm that leads us to maturity. It is simply choosing to do the right thing, regardless of how we feel about it. 

What we think or focus on will impact what we believe. What we believe is what we will do and how we will live.

So, the question in any given situation becomes, What am I able to do in this situation? 

Relinquish what you cannot change and you will become all you are meant to be.

And, by all means, e l i m i n a t e – every excuse for not doing all that you are able to do … to envision in your own mind, the YOU that God sees!

The greatest impact you will have is the life you will live out with those in your circle of influence. 

It isn't rocket science; it's intentional living...

And the answer is.... 

Yes, You are Enough!!

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships.... even when it's hard? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

Would you like to learn more about establishing healthy boundaries so that you can cultivate relationships that bring more joy?  Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days

Have You Ever Seen the Real You?

Several years ago, I had laser surgery on both eyes as a preventative measure against narrow angle closure glaucoma. During the weeks of my procedure and healing, I had to wear my glasses during my waking hours and not use my contact lenses. 

Not so bad, right? 

Well, not anymore. But, it wasn’t always that way … At age 11, my already coca-cola bottle thick glasses were upgraded to bifocals. Pretty tall order for a little girl who weighed about 70 pounds soaking wet. 

Not the accessory that I wanted to add to my daily wardrobe. It didn’t matter how pretty my frames were, no one could see them for looking at two eyes that appeared to be a “uni-eye”.

The fun really began when I wanted to start wearing makeup. Guess what makeup does — it enhances your eyes so they can look larger. I tried every way possible to get mine to look smaller. 

I prayed often for my eyes to be healed.  If that wasn’t enough, I had overactive sebaceous glands and large pores.  So add acne to my list of “how do you see me now” wonderment and you get the idea of what middle school and high school were like for me. 

I was blessed to have cool, name brand clothes. But, no matter how I wrapped it, the package that I presented caused people to stare and whisper. And, of course, that made it a challenge for people to be friends with me because it meant they would risk also being considered, 'not cool'.

There were many times that I came home in tears wishing I never had to go to school again. (I homeschooled my girls, probably, in part, to feelings that I carried from this point in my life).

Fast forward to age 17 – I discovered benzoyl peroxide, got my braces off and found a doctor that would fit me for contact lenses. 

With an overall improvement in my appearance, and starting college, I was moving up from stay-to-myself-shy to Sheri-the-social-butterfly. 

Suffice to say, my life in college was much different than high school, except for the grades. 

I had been a bookworm for way too long – at one point, in life, around age 13, I would read a Nancy Drew Mystery every single day. I was probably the only kid who checked out the maximum amount of books at the school library and actually read every one!

Over the course of life I married and gave birth to three amazing and beautiful daughters! 

During my pregnancy with my oldest daughter, Angel, I prayed every day that she would have perfect eyesight, straight teeth, clear skin and curly hair! Everything I didn’t have… and she’s pretty well batting a thousand, apart from a little astigmatism. I prayed for AnnaLynne and Rachel too, but probably not with such fervor about their personal appearances. (If you've seen my daughters, you would agree that God sure did make them pretty! LOL)

I learned that my self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth were not necessarily better because I had evolved from my caterpillar stage to the butterfly phase. Regardless of the outward changes, inside I still felt empty, unlovely and unlovable. 

I equated outward appearance to feeling loved, accepted, cool, and all the things. What a disappointment to find this wasn’t the case at all.

At 22, after having grown up in church and spending some years being the prodigal, I got my business straight with God and began a deeper journey to intimacy with Him. (By far, the best decision I've ever made by-the-way!)

At 39, I began doing a Christian weight loss program that focused on drawing closer to God so He was my comfort and not food. 

During this journey, I learned that God had been with me through all of those years.  He was and is the Father I need to teach me how to do this life well. It is beyond belief the difference having this knowledge made in my life. 

You see, I lost my dad in a car accident at age 9, I missed out on the valuable male insight he could have provided about guys, dating, not compromising my values to feel loved, marriage, car repair, career paths etc. I lived that loss numerous times like when I would attend a wedding and I would watch the bride walk down the aisle on the arm of her father. 

I began to ask God for the abundant life His Word promises. This would take me on a journey that led me to value people but to no longer be driven by my desire for love and acceptance from them.  

I began to see myself as God sees me. I saw that I am beautiful and that every struggle I have faced has served to draw me closer to Him and to the understanding that He has seen me at my best and my worst and loves me unconditionally.

All the while, He was patiently teaching me to love myself. He sent little messengers along the way, like the little four year old girl who put her hands on my face and told me that I was pretty, that Jesus loves me, and when I get to heaven He would heal all the “holes” (acne scars) on my face.  

Once after we had both attended a leadership training, a friend that I served with at church told me that regardless of the acne scars that I have, the more he had gotten to know me, the more they seemed to disappear and they in no way “detracted” from my true beauty. I was proud of him for his courage.

So today, when I wear my glasses and someone comments about how thick they are, I can respond without feeling embarrassed. I smile when I touch my skin and find that as my daughter Rachel suggested, by eliminating foundation makeup and simply using a concealer as needed, my skin has actually improved. I would have never imagined I could look in at myself in the mirror without a heavy layer of foundation makeup on my skin and see beauty. 

Wow, God! He can certainly change our perspective and our hearts!

Sometimes, I still ask God to heal my skin and eyes. I know He can if He chooses too. I am now happy behind my peepers, when I choose to wear them, and in my own skin. It probably helps me to be more considerate in my actions so that my inner beauty can shine through.

So at the end of the day, and in the midst of the many times I’ve felt embarrassed, having learned to love and see myself through my Father’s eyes truly has made the most amazing difference. I have stepped out of my shy-I'd-rather-be-in-the-shadows season of life and gone on to pursue much bigger things than I would have ever imagined I could do or have the courage to even try.

If you struggle with feelings of low self-worth, I hope you will take these to the Lord. (I highly recommend a journal... it's the best low/no cost therapy I've ever found). God has a wonderful way of reminding us of what a treasure we are to Him. 

Allow Him to whisper His truth to you and ask Him to allow you to see you through His eyes.... You will never 'see' the same again! 

Until next time,

-Sheri x0
Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships.... even when it's hard? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

Would you like to learn more about establishing healthy boundaries so that you can cultivate relationships that bring more joy?  Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days