Wk1: Four Week Challenge

“It’s a girl!” the tech announced, for the fourth time. I cried while I laid with ultrasound jelly on my belly.  You see, I didn’t want girls. As the tears streamed down my face for reasons unknown to anyone else, in my mind I cried out to God, “Four girls? But... I don’t want them to turn out like me.” In my moment of my sadness, I heard the Lord shift my heart, “I like the woman you’ve become. If they turn out to be like you, they’ll be alright.”

Isn’t it funny how we see ourselves? I watched a video on Facebook the other day where they asked women to describe their bodies in one word. Nearly ALL of the women interviewed used a derogatory word. Only one woman said, “luscious.” Haha, if we could only see ourselves as luscious and perfect in God’s sight, both internally and externally.

As children we tend to have great self-esteem, believing we can climb any couch cushion mountain or take the dachshund in a leaping bound and fly through our field of dandelions. It isn’t until somewhere in elementary school that the teasing and name calling begins. Now, don’t get me wrong, not everyone who reads my blog had childhoods like that. And some of you, much sooner than you should have, had your own self-esteem ruined for reasons out of your control. For that, I am truly sorry.

As I sat there with the thought of my fourth child, a little baby girl, the gravity of the world weighed heavy. I thought of all the times I snuck out of the house to go to parties, all the boyfriends I had kept, all the poor choices I made as a young adult, and the violent boyfriend-turned-trafficker that turned into a drug addiction in order to cope. So you can imagine when I heard the words, “It’s a girl” I wanted to run and cry. You see, I only remembered old me.

But in the last nine years of rejoicing over this new found freedom and journey to help others, I have had to push those negative thoughts aside and remember who I am today. Today, I am a good mom and a good wife. I am a writer and a speaker. I have a ministry that God uses to help hundreds of survivors. I train some of the most influential people: FBI agents, undercover police, SVU and more. I am a great cook and it ends up that I can paint pretty darn well, too. I have a team that I weep for when I think of how they give sacrificially.

How different would we all be, would our lives and our relationships be, if instead of thinking of all the things we don’t like, instead of hanging on to who we use to be, that we spoke life over ourselves?

This week, I challenge you that next time you think a negative thought about yourself, counter it with one great thought and start shifting your perspective on yourself.

- Rebecca Bender