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Overcoming Low Self-Esteem Issues
"He set me free from
feeling badly about being 6'8!"
Overcoming low self-esteem is a major challenge for many people. This is true for men and women, and true for all the stages of life. As a result, individuals suffering from low self-esteem turn to self-help books, life coaches, join support groups, take on new pursuits, visit counselors and psychiatrists, seek to compensate in various ways, even take on risky habits and lifestyles. All of this comes in the effort to overcome low self-esteem. In this testimony you will learn how God overcame low self-esteem through a few short, but life-changing words! I personally heard this testimony and can vouch for the happiness of the person who shared it with me! I pray you will find her testimony a help in your own quest for freedom from low self-esteem and a new joy and zest for life!
A Woman's Testimony
A Question of Height
How tall are you?
Do you play basketball?
Are your parent’s tall?
Do you have difficulty getting clothes?
What's the weather like up there?
How tall is your boyfriend?
On and on the questions and comments come, thick and fast. If I had a British pound or an American dollar for every time a total stranger asked me personal, and sometimes insulting questions, I would be able live in the biggest mansion in Beverly Hills, employ a full staff and never have to work ever again!
Welcome to my world, a world in which I stand 6 feet 8 inches tall amidst a sea of much smaller folk! I love my height and praise God for it now! I love the fact that I'm in the elite top five percent of the tallest people on earth and revel in the fact that I'm so different from everyone else. Nowadays incessant, unoriginal questions like the ones above don't really bother me, but it wasn't always so.
Growing to Hate God
From the age of thirteen to twenty-nine when I was very uncomfortable with my height, I used to feel like the Statue of Liberty standing in a colony of ants! Even though I wasn't saved, I used to beg and plead with God almost daily to grant me the only desire I had – to be made smaller. I eventually grew to hate God with a passion for what I perceived as his cruelty toward me. Yet, years later, when I came to understand God's reason for refusing to reduce my height, it totally set me free and laid the whole issue to rest.
As a child I was only slightly taller than average. There was precious little difference between my two sisters and I. It was during the time that I left primary school to start secondary school that I shot up. I wasn't even aware of it; it was the sharp increase in attention from people that made me realize that I had grown a lot taller than I was before.
By then I was just about to hit the all important teens and I was trying to discover who I was, what I was worth, where I belonged and what my life was all about. The fact that I was different was very keenly brought home by the fact that no organization on this earth catered to my physical existence - at all - or so it seemed. I was excluded from practically every aspect of every day life. I couldn't stand straight on the bus; when I did get a seat I would have to sit sideways, my vision would blur when I hit my head on those wretched doors as I misjudged their height.
Everything was too small or too low! I translated this as: "No one caters to me because I am not supposed to be here." This belief became a tremendous stronghold in my life.
Then there were the clothes issues! If there are any tall women reading this, can I get a witness to the complete absence of decent clothing for us? Let's not even go there with the shoes! What shoes!? The situation regarding tall women's couture today isn't perfect, but fifteen years ago, forget it! My first encounters with depression were when I used to go shopping! It is pretty devastating for a woman to be unable to find the clothes that she wants anywhere.
At the time there was a certain store that supposedly catered to tall women. There was one dress in particular that looked like it had been made by someone who had been eating magic mushrooms! I'll never forget it - it was absolutely hideous! In despair I would sometimes think: "God, are you sure I'm supposed to be here?"
I would cringe whenever I saw people looking at me in "that way." Tall people know what "that way" means. A look of shock, disgust, horror - or, even worse, someone whispers to a friend in a way that you know it's you they are discussing. The friend turns around very discreetly, acting as if they are not looking at you, but at something in your direction, and then they look at each other again and start giggling. Or there are those other occasions where people try to stand next to you just to get a cheap laugh from their friends.
Being Treated Like A Freak
I would feel bad when I got into arguments and then I would get mad at God for my feelings of guilt. I'd be like: "Errr, helloooooo! What are you convicting me for? They – people who you created - were being mean to me.
Why should I feel bad? Did I start it? I was only defending myself! Why did you make me this tall in the first place and put me in a land where you knew I'd be treated like a freak?"
I did things to make myself fit in. I was waiting for the bus one day when I was in secondary school with the coolest girl who happened to be smoking. Without even thinking, I asked her for a drag of her cigarette. She looked at me in surprise and asked, "Do you smoke?"
"Yes," I lied. I took a drag of her cigarette but didn't inhale. I didn't want to choke to death on my first public attempt at trying to be cool! The next day it was known that I was a smoker, and it raised my profile considerably. For a while I hung out with the cool kids and would sneak off to the toilets with them for a forbidden but image-enhancing ciggy.
An interesting turn of events came when I was picked to play basketball for the England Under 15 Squad. The one thing that every tall person on earth is expected to do is play basketball, so in response to the second question at the beginning of my story, I can say, "Yes, I did play basketball!" I was one of eleven girls who were chosen from the whole nation to be part of the squad. I loathed every second of it!
However, my time on the squad led to three interesting discoveries:
1. I loved to travel.
2. Boys – tall ones!!
3. I couldn't give 100% to anything I wasn't passionate about.
Ripping My Heart to Shreds
A major turning point in my life occurred when I was nineteen years old. I took a trip to my country of origin for the very first time. I was visiting the market with my aunt, brother and sisters. Suddenly people began scurrying around frantically; I thought the market was being raided by police because not all of the people trading goods were doing so legally. My aunt asked a stall-holder what was going on and we were told that the traders were putting their stuff away to stare at me! I'll never forget the crowd of people; men, women and children, all laughing, pointing, staring, calling me names and basically ripping my heart to shreds. I couldn't believe that people could be so wicked. At that moment hatred for God welled up in my heart and I vowed to never believe in him again - ever.
Upon my return to London, I plunged myself into finding someone who could reduce my height. I read up on height reducing operations and contacted every person involved in the occult that I could find who I thought could do it. This became my passion, my obsession, my reason for living. I was absolutely convinced that somebody somewhere could accomplish this feat.
One vivid memory I have of that time is when I rang up a "black magic" practitioner based in North London. I felt foolish as I stuttered and stammered out my reason for calling: I asked if he had the power to reduce my height. I will never forget his answer. "No," he replied, "I'm not God." That statement blew my mind; a witch doctor acknowledging that God's power was greater than his! Amazing!
A Contract With Satan
I was undeterred, but an incident that could have potentially cost me my life, served as a wake up call. In a ceremony performed in my bedroom, I wrote a contract to Satan in my own blood, telling him that I would give him my soul if he would reduce my height. I had four candles burning on a pentagram and I went to sleep without putting them out. Two of the candles burned through to the carpet, setting it on fire, and as my duvet was just about to be set alight, I woke up.
I sensed that God had woken me up literally and spiritually. I never had anything to do with the occult again. I began to seek help from Christians, not because I wanted salvation, but because I wanted them to pray to God on my behalf and make Him see reason and reduce my height! It didn't work!
My Own Agenda
I had been corresponding with a well-known evangelist at that time who was so loving, caring and concerned about me that I decided just to write to him only. After a two year period I "gave my life to the Lord," or said the sinner's prayer and ended up going to a church. The first few years are a bit of a blur because, although I was attending a church and was involved in ministry, I had my own agenda. I figured that because I was now a Christian (which I really wasn't) and on God's side, He would surely now give me what I had desired all these years.
One morning I was getting ready to pray and I found myself thinking, "I'm not going to ask the Lord to reduce my height anymore." I didn't know where that thought came from but I obeyed it.
That same week the Lord spoke to me and said: "It's not that I cannot reduce your height but I will not reduce your height. I say, you are fearfully and wonderfully made; if I reduced your height, I would be agreeing with Satan that there is something wrong with you, and darkness has no communion with light."
It all made perfect sense. That one, powerful, life changing statement from the Lord ended over a decade's worth of feuding between us. Demonic thoughts and beliefs about my height were demolished in an instant.
I used to fear that I would never be happy, have fun, feel normal or enjoy life. All of those fears have disappeared. The Lord has been so very good to me and has triumphed in the area of my biggest defeat; self-acceptance. He has been more than enough and true to his word. The journey isn't over yet and there is still a long way to go for me, but I've come a long way too!
I want to encourage anyone who is really battling with accepting something that the Lord has done. Nothing from the Lord is evil. Satan will work overtime to cause us to challenge God's sovereignty, his faithfulness and his word. But I can testify that all the fears that I had, that were so very real, have not come to pass. The Lord has been shown to be more than faithful and Satan more than a liar. Give the Lord your deepest fears and insecurities. He already knows about it and wants to set you free - if you will let Him.
"He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he." Proverbs 16:20 (NKJV)
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