My Struggle with Self-Worth and Needing Validation

MAN! Have I struggled with this! Like.. STILL struggle off and on and have to pray my way out of the funk. I can't pinpoint when or what caused me to have low self worth, but as I grow, I like to think that self-worth is something that we all have but it has to be nurtured in each of us. Use it or lost it maybe? In today's messy world, your worth can easily be comprised and misguided if not affixed to a strong foundation that's unmovable.

Growing up, I felt loved... 2 parent household. Christian family. No complaints, but if I reflect, I do recall always needing extra validation from my Daddy... and that's just not his love language (which I'm just now realizing after reading the 5 Love Languages book). My dad is a "military dad" and for all of you military brats kiddos you know that comes with an unprecedented strictness that comes with slight intimidation lol. I can remember playing soccer and everyone else's dad was on the stands- mine, however, was running up and down the sidelines coaching me. It was so frustrating lol. He always told me how I could do something better, but I didn't feel like he spent as much time harping on my strengths as he did weaknesses areas needing more practice.

No shade towards my dad- I LOVE him... but I never addressed the fact that I needed validation from him and didn't feel like I got it as a kid. So I guess maybe subconsciously, I allowed this root to take place in my life and the need for validation grew... So as I went through the awkward and self searching teenage and young adult years, I carried this with me and of course, sought validation in others, particularly guys. I mean any guy who gave me attention... I just knew he would be my husband. Like literally, if someone said, "Jameka, I like your shoe" and smiled, I was head over heels. So embarrassing!

I was probably 16 when my need for validation in men became blatant and it took a downward spiral of about 6-7 years for me to recognize it and come out of it. My years of searching led to me to one answer... JESUS. Validation comes from HIM! Knowing your worth HAS to come from HIM because HE is the one who created YOU!

When you allow yourself to be dependent on man for validation, you're not in control of your life.  You become reliant on others for good feelings. You make your moves based on man's approval or disapproval. UGH! I was such a broken person during my teen years.... I didn't know who I was (See my post "Be Still And Be Who God Has Called You To Be" ) and because I let go of my walk with God to unsuccessfully find validation and myself in other things and people, I was dragged deeper in sin than I ever could have thought or planned. I don't want anyone to have go on my empty quest... It's not worth it!

I'm 25 now... If I could go back in time, here's the advice I would tell my teenage self. Maybe it will be an encouragement to someone else who struggles with their self-worth.

1) Jesus loves you and he's all you need. I was saved as a teenager, but I gave in to the world's appeal thinking that it would satisfy an appetite that only Christ can be filled. John 4:14 says, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

2) Sin will take your further than you wanted to go and keep you there longer than you want to be. DON'T DO IT! Is there anything  else to say here? No, but I'll still say something lol. God's grace is sufficient. I often reflect on all of the dirt that I've done, and I find myself wondering why God didn't allow me to reap the long term physical consequences of my actions (I've definitely dealt with the emotional consequences and have had my shares of strongholds though)... and I have no answer. I'm so unworthy of God's grace, but if I had the chance to go back, I would never have walked down the paths that I walked down. At 16, I would have never predicted that I would have been a slave to fornication, been comfortable and unphased at the thought of children (yes, plural... who does that?) out of wedlock, an almost alcoholic, slave to the party life, emotional wreck, etc. There were times where I really just gave up control and was willing to surrender to the worldly mess that I was caught in. God had already and has continued to be more than enough that I didn't need to take that path. I never intended to go that far, but that's what sin does to you! 

3) Talk to someone who will be an accountability partner and give good Godly counsel.
Sigh. I didn't have the RIGHT friends as a kid; and right now, I just "barely" (in P.O.P voice) have friends lol. Again, because I was a stagnant Christian and filled my mind with worldly desires and philosophies, I preferred a multitude of  fake friendships who were wrong and doing wrong, over Christians friends who would tell me about my self. The friends I had didn't even know I was a Christian, and if they did know, they knew I was not a good one lol. Proverbs 12:26 says, "The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray." I WISH I would have had friends that would have said, "Jameka... NO MAAM. Get yourself together!" Now, as an adult, my mom and my older sister are my 2 closest counselors. I can speak freely to them because 1) I'm not doing secretive sin and dirt that I'm embarrassed of but 2) I can truly respect their opinions and counsel because I know they will not sugarcoat anything for me. When you're in sin, the sin will keep you away from anything Godly. It's hard to have good Christian friends as counselors when you're in sin because you won't want to hear anything they're saying. 

4) Grow in your faith. Not because someone told you to, but becausee your walk with God is proactive treatment. Your Christian walk can make or break your outcome when faced with the world. This is at the root of anything that you struggle with. If you're struggling with sin, know that that's of the devil. The only way to counteract the devil is with God. Guard against Satan's attacks, which you know are coming and are stronger than ever, by preparing with the Word of God. You have to grow for your OWN SELF! Your Christian relationship CANNOT be inherited. Going to church service alone will not be what guards you completely against the devil. Over the last year I have been more and more serious about reading my Bible daily, and I've been praying God would grow me more and more, and I've gone from reading 1 chapter a day to like 4 and memorizing 2-4 new verses each week. WON'T HE DO IT! He will! I see my walk with God as part of preparing and maintaining for a war. It's so necessary! Grow in your faith!

Knowing your worth and all of the other struggles that will come in your life can be nonfactors if you give them to God. You CANNOT try to be successful in living for God in this world without God. It's just crazy. One of my verses for this week is John 16:33, says "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Your worth is made known and made full in Him.

Resting in God,

He Turned It- Tye Tribbett
Beyond- Joann Rosario

Dear God, Thank you for Your deliverance! You are SO GOOD! I will never understand why You love me and have kept me. I pray for anyone reading this post today, Lord. I pray that this post will be an encouragement to them. Lord, You have a specific purpose for each of us, and we can't afford to waiver in our worth and seek validation and completion in anything BUT YOU! I pray for anyone who needs deliverance with this issue... Grow them. Strengthen them. Surround them with Godly counsel to support them. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.