Self-Esteem Week Year 2: Sister McElhaney



When Anali asked me to write, I wondered what I would write about.  I can honestly say I didn't struggle with self-esteem issues as a young person.  I’m sure it had a lot to do with my upbringing.  My parents were very encouraging.  Someone said to my Dad once, “You must be proud of this girl.”  My Dad said, “I’m proud of all my kids.”  That’s the environment in which I was raised.

Interestingly, the term “self-esteem” and concept were relatively unnoticed prior to the 1960s. By the late 1970s self-esteem had become a major focus of a great deal of research, and during the 1980s self-esteem became a national buzzword {source: http://www.education.com/reference/article/self-esteem2/}  I point this out because I was born in 1964, started school in 1969, and graduated from high school in 1982.  Self-esteem was not talked about when I was a child.

Does that mean people didn’t have problems with low self-esteem in the 70s?  Well, no.  I am well acquainted with someone who had very low self-esteem.  She spent a ton of time talking about how horrible she looked, she was fat (she probably weighed about 95 pounds!) her hair was too straight, her face was oily, on and on.  She cried when she turned 18 because she was an old maid!  She was obsessed about boys – who liked her, who didn’t, who talked to her, who didn’t.  I looked at her and saw a thin, pretty girl and just didn't get it.  She’s now in her mid-50s and still struggles with low self-esteem.

Another huge influence in my life was my brother, Rod.  He was only 13 months older than me and was born with hemophilia.  He suffered through much physical pain in his life, but his outlook was amazing.  Everyone loved him because he didn’t focus on his crippled leg or the things he couldn’t do.  He could sing with such anointing!  He was in dramas and had the quickest wit.  He knew how to make others feel good just by being around him.  How could I feel bad about myself when he faced life with such amazing determination?

Low self-esteem is often a spiritual condition.  Our focus is off Him and on ourselves.  We spend time staring in the mirror or contemplating our flaws or differences, instead of getting in the Word.  One of the greatest days was when I got my own revelation about women’s hair.  I heard many ladies complain about their unruly, uncut hair.  But as a young teenager, when I read 1 Corinthians chapter 11, I saw this “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her.”  God didn’t put this on us as a burden, but to bring glory.  That night I prayed that God would use my hair to bring glory to Him.  I have never been tempted to cut my hair or complain about it.  It’s for His glory!

Finally, several years ago my husband taught a lesson about self image versus God’s image.  We are made in His image, not in the image of Hollywood or friends or family.  He challenged each of us to look in the mirror each morning and say:
I am: 
·         Made in the Image of God
·         Chosen by God
·         A Child of God
·         An Heir of God
·         A Joint-Heir with Christ
·         A King and Priest Unto God
·         The Apple of His Eye
When your self-esteem is low, remember that!  You are much more than your weight or hair color or eye color.  You are the exact height and skin color God wants you to be!  Hold your head up, look the world in the eye and say, “I am a child of the King!”




Click here to go to year one of self-esteem week.
Click on the following links to go to this year's posts.



5 comments

  1. That was soooooo GOOOOOD Sis. Kathy!!! Its soooo true!!!

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  2. I hope this doesn't come across like yesterday's anonymous post! I'd like to think my self image was and is balanced. I certainly didn't spend my days thinking about how beautiful and talented I was, but I also didn't tear myself down. All of you are beautiful, wonderful, and talented - that's how God made you! Our greatest struggle often comes when we compare ourselves to others. "Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt

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    1. Of course not sister Kathy!! Everyone has different experiences :)

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    2. I am a Child of the King! So true! No need to get caught up in petty stuff.

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