Our Chaotic Responses to Compliments


These are the words we hear as little girls. Or new brides.  And perhaps again when we are pregnant and “glowing” or dressed up for a special occasion.

“Thank you” would be the proper response, but tell us we look good when we don’t feel lovely and an inner struggle emerges. We may try to act confident–and end up something prideful or arrogant; or we may reject your words rudely… or ever so politely.

Violinist in ViolaceousI was pregnant and alone when I received the most compliments in my life. Talk about chaotic responses! I desperately wanted to receive the encouragement being offered but, instead, the rejection that had wounded my heart was screaming out words far more believable. “If I were really that adorable, my husband wouldn’t have thrown me away like a used rag.” “They are just saying that because they know I am a pathetic looser.”

I cringe to write those statements, because I now understand that no child of God should bash herself just because someone else’s humanity injured her. No insults or rejections of an imperfect people should have the authority to form our identity! But we let them.

It took me a long time to find my worth after facing broken vows. I still struggle to believe I am valued; who doesn’t? But just as one rejection caused me to throw out the confidence that good parents had instilled in me, it also only took one affirmation to bring it back.

No, it wasn’t my next husband’s.

Although he is a wonderful man and I wouldn’t change him for the world, I have learned (well, am learning) not to give man the authority to form my identity. No human is a good mirror. We were designed to reflect the One who created us and only His opinion has the authority to give us true confidence.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you are longing to move on from the hurts from your past and be released from the struggle for your identity, I encourage you to simply ask God what He thinks of you. If you will watch, wait and listen, He will answer, and when He does, trust His opinion, value it over all others, and allow it to be your source of confidence and beauty.


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