Self-Esteem Week: Kendra Thaler

Kendra Thaler on Self-Esteem

Would you believe me if I told you there was a time that I tried to commit suicide? What if I told you that I tried it more than once?... You may not believe me but it is true. But God had His hand on me and kept me alive for a purpose- a purpose that I did not understand or what to believe in until years later. When I was a child I used to wonder why God made me the way He did.


 I was teased and bullied in elementary school because I wore glasses, I loved to wear dresses (even though I wasn’t Pentecostal yet), I read my bible at lunch, got excellent grades and I was a “teacher’s pet.” I can recall at most having 2 friends each year who at times betrayed me, leaving me alone. I always felt so different and disconnected from everyone else like something was wrong with me. I will never forget my first day of junior high. I cried the whole way to school and begged my mom to home school me because I didn’t want to be bullied anymore. The kids would be bigger and probably meaner. She just smiled with tears glistening in her eyes for her baby girl and told me I would be okay. Needless to say, I assimilated and began to run with the wrong crowd. I joined the cheer squad and ditched my more modest clothes for short skirts and tight pants. I wanted attention. I wanted to be loved so that I wouldn’t feel so lonely. I started to attract the attention of boys… the wrong boys. I remember one boy in particular who I had the biggest crush on. I thought he liked me too because he would call my house and he would always speak to me at school. One day a girl who didn’t like me walked up to him in front of me and a bunch of others and said, “hey do you like Kendra?” He laughed, rolled his eyes and said, “Are you kidding? Kendra is way too dark. I like light skinned girls” I was mortified, and embarrassed.

When I got to high school, I put on a mask. I dressed the part, always had my hair done and was always dressed to impress. Regardless of the male attention I was constantly getting, in my heart I hated myself. I just wanted to be loved. When I was 15, I felt like I was in a downward spin. Boys didn’t fulfill the needs I had and my friends didn’t understand my issues. They would say, “you are so pretty! Get over yourself!” Church wasn’t meeting my needs… So I took matters into my own hands and tried to kill myself twice. It was a big scare to my parents. I had to seek help from a school counselor. But I was hardened, mean and I didn’t want to talk about it. I would just sit and look at him like he was crazy. When I was 16 years old, my sister witnessed to me and God filled me with the Holy Ghost! It was the first time that I ever felt the love, peace and joy of God. I promised God that I would never walk away. I felt like I didn’t need a guy, I didn’t need anything but Gods spirit. But there was one problem. My sister lived 6 hours away, I was still in high school, my dad was a Baptist pastor and I was not allowed to go to an Apostolic church because my parents thought it was a cult. So that meant going back home to a Baptist church filled with immorality and worldliness and falling back into the same habits. Even though I didn’t want to.
In college I joined a sorority and started modeling. Before I knew it, things I said I would never, ever do, I did. I found myself at parties drinking hard liquor and driving home intoxicated. I found myself running with the wrong people, spending time with the wrong boys, and one day at 19 I lost my purity completely and totally. I wept form the depths of my soul that day and I wondered, how did I get this far? I was tired of hiding behind a mask. Tired of living in the pits of sin.  I had lost all self respect, all compassion, all gentleness and all love from my heart. And I didn’t know what happened.





And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)




About three months later I hit rock bottom and cried out to the Lord for help. He came to my rescue! Over the course of a year God rebuilt my life. He refilled me with the Holy Ghost, and poured out a Holy Ghost revival in a Baptist church! He He sent me a wonderful and loving man, Brendan. A man who respected, and loved me for me! I remember the day that I met my husband. I thought I was cute in my weave and jet black straight hair. He didn’t compliment me then. He didn’t compliment me when I was in designer jeans and stilettos. He didn’t even compliment me when I was all dolled up for a photo shoot! The very first compliment he gave me was when I was in an orange and plaid dress, with an orange sweater, my hair in its natural state all pinned up, no make-up and my glasses. He told me I was beautiful. That he loved the way I was dressed and he loved my natural hair. What’s more- we waited for marriage. He led my husband and I into truth. From the day we came to Pastor Clarks church we held hands, looked and one another and knew that God had led us. The next service we went into revival with Evangelist Jason Hood, and it was that revival that God really dealt with me. He cleared my heart of bitterness. During that revival Jesus loved me, he dealt with me, he taught me how to pray and in his presence he wrapped his arms around me. He healed the hidden fears that I disguised so well. He did something that I never thought possible- he took off the mask. I was never the same. I haven’t been the same since.

So what taught me to love myself? Was it the way that God can truly change ashes into beauty? Was it the way he sent me a man to be a mirror that reflected that God saw in me? Was it the mercy, patience and kindness that the Lord showed me?
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)

 I don’t have a definitive answer. But I can say that God can heal a heart. He can melt away the icy coldness that the world packs onto our hearts. When I look in the mirror today, I love myself. I am so grateful to God for pulling me out of the filth and changing me!!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (1 Corinthians 5:17)

13 comments

  1. Oh my word, this is fabulous, Kendra! Thank God!

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    1. Thank you! God has been SO good! (this is the abridged version lol)

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  2. What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing, Kendra!

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  3. This is great isn't it? I love the fact that we all have different stories, it almost guarantees that if somebody somewhere is struggling with something, one of us will probably speak on it :D

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    1. Yes I love this! I can't wait to read all the stories!

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  4. This was so good! I read it twice!! ;) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. To God be the glory! Thanks for reading!

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  5. Awesome testimony Kendra!!! I can't wait to read THE BOOK!!! :)))))

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    1. Thank you!! I'm still working hard on it! :)

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  6. I love to hear your story, my friend! :)

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  7. That's a wonderful testimony Kendra

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