There is a secret battle that wages in every human heart.
Secret because we don’t want to talk about it. And secret because the silence makes us feel so alone in the fight. But we are not alone! The war for a healthy self-image may hit us socially, emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, (you name it). There will be some area of our lives that each of us will feel that we are not enough–or that we are too much. Our confidence will be attacked in one way or another. Like arrows shot from an enemy, the attack may be harsh words from a close friend, or the rude attitude of stranger. It could be a simple failure and our own thoughts that knocks our confidence to the pit.
Self-talk is the key to winning the battle
Many Christians make it a habit to “pray-on the full armor of God” in order to prepare for such battles. As we get dressed, we ask God to give us the “breastplate of Righteousness” knowing that our King’s emblem is our true identity and that His goodness covers our failures and protects all our heart. We imagine securing the “belt of Truth,” as we trust that His promises are real, and He is greater than our fear. As we put on our shoes, we ask to be equipped to run, walk, stand, whatever His will, and that He will lead us with His peace. Before we start our day, we take up the “shield of faith,” knowing that fiery darts will come, but God is still who He says He is and He equips us to be more than conquerors. But victory doesn’t just come to those who believe, we must fight for what we believe. We must take the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” and use it. (Ephesians 6)
Becoming warrior women who are confident (and beautiful!) is an adventure.
As a woman who has faced many storms in life, I am often asked, “If God is so good, why doesn’t He keep you from these difficult circumstances?” My answer is, “He is so good that He keeps me through them.”
Storm: a disturbed state of environment, marked by significant disruptions to normal conditions. A center of low pressure w/ system of high pressure surrounding it. Opposing forces create stormy weather.
Why should any of us think that life is not fair because there is a significant disruption in our environment? In my experience, the more turbulent a storm, the deeper my faith has grown.
There is a certain sweetness that builds when we face difficulties without casting blame or comparing circumstances.
There is a balance between self-care and selfishness. Finding this balance will likely always be a challenge for most of us. I’m fifty-two years old, yet I, too, often feel the guilt of taking time for myself, especially now that I have slipped back into a self-sacrificing mommy mode.
The “mommy-mode” of always putting others first is actually a beautiful thing when our heart is right.
To be “others-conscious” and put our family’s needs above our own is sweet and honorable.
As long as our heart is.
Since my last post, I have been swept up in a tornado of drama and difficulties that tend to consume those of us who love an addict. The chaos and confusion isn’t new to me, but over the past years of my son’s addiction, I’ve found a way to continue with most aspects of my own life, no matter how out of control his was. This time, however, Continue reading Finding Balance When Life Changes→
As Easter approaches, let’s consider how Mary’s mamma-heart must have felt during Jesus’ persecution and death.
As moms, we believe in our kids. Sure, we see their faults and we get frustrated when they don’t follow our wishes, but we see beyond the present day; we see their potential future. If anyone should point out their imperfections, we defend them because we know that, one day, each of them will be great!
I imagine that this must have been especially true for Mary. Granted, her son was perfect–but she was not. Surely she got anxious about the expectations she had for Him. After all, she was told (directly by an angel!) profound promises about His future yet she had to wait thirty years before He began His ministry. Continue reading Confident for Our Children→
I love to people watch this time of year. It’s easy to tell who is holding onto Summer and who is enjoying the Fall. It’s especially fun to see those who are eager for Winter–I saw “one of those” last night, in her high boots and thick sweater. I let out a little chuckle when she walked by. It hit me funny since I had been walking barefoot on the beach in shorts and a tank top just a few hours earlier. As I looked around at all the other people who were wishing they had prepared for the temperature drop. I was glad I had changed!
Does this fluctuating weather represent your life like it does mine? One minute it I feel the warmth of all the wonderful things that are happening. The next moment I’m chilled to the bone with the difficulties that I am facing. I’ve been here before. In fact, I’ve been facing the challenges of my son’s addiction for many years now. Continue reading Changing Emotional Outfits→
I recently heard a recovering addict refer to herself as a dandelion: ugly and annoying to most but beautiful and useful to those who know her.
Her analogy has me thinking.
As the mother of an addict, I’m often baffled by the way my son returns to his drug of choice even though it makes his life so much more difficult in so many terrifying ways. I do not see him as ugly and annoying, but his behavior indicates that this is how he believes most see him. My new friend, however, recognizes that some people see her worth. She recognizes the stigma her past has put on her, but is beginning to shift her focus away from her shame and toward her worth.
Part of “recovering” from any ugly past is overcoming the stigma
As moms, we see our children as beautiful and useful–even when they mess up or become rebellious–because our hopes and dreams for them are strong. We believe in their potential. Unfortunately, it is hard to recognize your own beautiful potential when you are trapped in a lifestyle of ugly mistakes. The ramifications of bad choices make it hard to see what could be.
It’s hard to imagine a field full of beautiful flowers when at the time all it boasts is ugly and annoying weeds.
People are compelled by convictions.
When we mess up, we often allow our experience to form our opinion of ourselves. We experience a divorce and take the identity of a” divorcee” and a struggle with addiction names you an “addict.” I have a hard time with that, but really, when we get married we become a “wife”; when we restrict our diet we become a “vegetarian” (or such). I just hate this epidemic of people restricted by the stigmatism that their ugly mistakes have made.
What we experience does form our identity, and therefore we act according to who we are–in most cases it would be wrong not to. If you don’t act according to your marital status, its a moral issue. Your choice of diet, on the other hand, may or may not be a strong conviction, but each of us should BE true to who we believe we are.
Unless, of course, we are believing a lie.
A vegetarian who eats meat totally contradicts who she says she is. If she had no conviction about the matter, then her change in diet is not much of a concern. We might ask her what changed her mind, but it’s really not any of our business how someone else eats, right? If, however, she had strong beliefs on the matter and suddenly she was straying, I would try to encourage her to “remain true to herself,” wouldn’t you?
The only thing truly ugly and annoying about someones identity is hypocrisy.
It is upsetting to witness someone take on an identity that contradicts who they really are. I may never really understand why does my son keeps going back to drugs, but this one thing I am sure of: I still believe in him, but my convictions will never change his identity, only his will.
Dandelions have the potential to be beautiful or destructive.
As a little girl, my daughter loved to pick the bright yellow dandelions in our back yard. When their season of bright beauty past, and they turned to seed, she loved to blow the beautiful puff off into the wind. They started multiplying like crazy! When we told her that the flowers were actually weeds, I think we broke her heart, but once she understood the truth, she stopped the behavior that was causing an epidemic in our lawn.
Are you a dandelion?
Yes, the beautiful flowers are weeds, but they have worth. I hear you can even eat them! They are adaptable and able to grow even in cracks of pavement where their is very little soul. Try to pull them up and you will learn that they are extremely strong. Unless you succeed at pulling out the whole root, they will likely grow back. Most of all, dandelions are highly influential. They may go through an ugly season, but their beauty only multiplies as they fully recover and start all over. Why? Because they were designed with the potential to experience a Supreme MakeOver.
So were you.
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. -Romans 6: 16 NLT
Do you see yourself as ugly and annoying or beautiful and useful? Recovering from an ugly past is a process, but it is a possibility. There is a Supreme Stylist–God, your Creator, who can make you completely new again if you simply ask. It is what He does. It’s what He loves to do.
Don’t let your mistakes–or the stigma they have caused–define you. BE who you were designed to be: Strong, adaptable, highly influential, beautiful and useful. After all, weeds may go through an ugly season, but they multiply a lot faster than other flowers do!
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become part of this movement and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.
Imagine how the friends of Jesus felt after His crucifixion. They were so sure He was the Messiah, the One sent to become their king and free them from Rome. He called Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life, yet the reality was, He just suffered a brutal death!
Faith: the substance of things hoped for
Reality sometimes rocks our faith and twists our beliefs with doubt and confusion.
Perhaps you, too, have had a dream suddenly become a nightmare? Has your hope ever turned to despair? Maybe your future was looking bright but then crisis hit, confusion came or tensions arose and now you’re not sure what is true anymore.
I am a mother who has grieved the loss of a daughter and suffered the emotional turmoil of having a son ensnared in addiction. I know this dream-gone-bad feeling.
Today I share with you a special guest blog that I wrote for my friend Rachel Britton, who asked me to testify about becoming bold in the journey of life.
My son's addiction had a way of training me in boldness. I hope this story is an encouragement to you.
Please share with anyone you know facing similar struggles.
Some women are strong and naturally bold; their journey to maturity includes becoming more sensitive. Others, like me, are sensitive and by nature far less bold; our journey to maturity involves finding courage.
In the years of helping women dress according to their personal image identity (or Img.ID), it has become obvious to me that we must first understand our authentic clothing personality–there are six of them. Three of them are strong, while the other three are sensitive. While many of us are a combination of two styles (being both strong and sensitive) none of us really mature until we discover our true nature.