I always thought of myself as someone strong in morals and in faith. But when my first husband left me while pregnant, I felt like an immoral, throw-away-wife. My faith was severely tested as I began to question my convictions against divorce.
During that time I became one.
Like most women, my life centered around my marriage and with my husband’s betrayal I lost my purpose and I found it very hard to even think of anything except myself and my horrible situation. I became the epitome of self-consciousness: I wasn’t aware of anything else going on around me.
I wanted to return to my former naive, bubbly and optimistic self, but I couldn’t find my way. I now knew life’s pain and it was hard to believe things could be good again. I remember having to massage my chin and literally pull the frown off my face because I couldn’t find my smile. I knew I was dragging others down and I knew how much I used to hate being around people like myself.
In physiology, there is something called “self-concept dislocation.” Betrayal and rejection are just part of what causes a woman in my former situation to question who she is and what she believes. Yes, the fact that someone you loved and trusted leaves you hurts badly, but there are other repercussions that are equally effective in “dislocating” your self-conception.
No one wants to think of herself as sad and despondent, so when our emotions get the best of us and we cannot shake our sorrow or anger in our own strength we struggle with a new conception of our own weakness. The belief that we are strong is dislocated.
When this happens, we have three choices: deny it and cast the blame to someone else, stuff it and do our best to fake our strength, or accept our weaknesses and give ourselves grace. No option is easy, but only one of them brings healing.
If you find yourself in a place of self-consciousness and self-contempt, I encourage you to find your strength in knowing that when you are weak, God can be your strength. Let Him help you. Life may not be fair, but He is good and He is the only One who can make a difference in so many of the challenges you face. He is willing to forgive you, maybe you should be too.
Jesus, help me to stop focusing on myself and my problems and start focusing on you. Be the lifter of my head, the healer of my heart, the One who gives me strength to go on. Please forgive me and help me forgive myself and others. Amen
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com