Let me preface this by saying this could be a long blog post. But, it is one I’ve wanted to write a long time. And, it is one I need to share.
My adoption has caused a lot of pain in various facets of my life. Yes, I am abundantly grateful that God saw it in His perfect plan for me to be born in Russia and find a home in America five years later. But, that does not come without its challenge—emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Simply put, it is because of my adoption that I have an extremely difficult time loving myself. I do mean difficult. I have spent the majority of my life thinking and wholeheartedly believing I am not good enough. I have believed I am unlovable; that I am worthless; that I am broken beyond repair.
I have a hard time giving myself grace because I have spent most of my life feeling like I have to prove myself. Or, I thought I have to earn someone’s love. My adoption is the root of a sick, twisted cycle where I think I always have to do more to be valued and appreciated.
I have yet to fully grasp my biological mother leaving me in the hospital on my birthdate was not the end of my story. I have yet to fully grasp that God does, in fact, have far better plans for me outside of Russia. All I have to do is look around me. But, it’s hard. It is extremely hard.
This mentality has completely stripped me of any sense of self-worth and gratitude towards God for creating me. I will pour out my heart to someone time and time again well before I even consider myself. I would love to say that is humble of me. But, it is not.
In fact, it is detrimental to my well-being. For me, learning to love myself means taking care of my body. It means honoring the body God gave me. It means treating my body with grace and mercy. It means encouraging one of God’s creations.
I should not deprive myself of the same love I give out to others. That’s a form of rejection to God. That’s saying to God, “The way you made me is not good enough. You did not do good enough.” Guess what? He did do good enough. He did more than good enough. He did so perfectly and intricately because He is a perfect, infallible God.
Learning to love myself means realizing I am one of God’s chosen people. Learning to love myself means knowing God will always be with me in every season of my life. Learning to love myself means accepting I am not a mistake or failure. It means accepting I am no exception to the love I pour out to others and the love that God gives me. It means God did not make a mistake when He created me and brought me to Him.
It means accepting I am a sinful, fallible human being desperately in need of undeserved grace. Yes, undeserved. Because His grace is undeserved, I should honor it, treasure it, and not destroy it with self-deprecating thoughts. It means realizing there will always be enough of God’s grace for me. My cup of His grace will continually runneth over.
Learning to love myself does not mean I puff myself up to be an incredible human being with no faults or setbacks. Learning to love myself means daily dying to self and saying, “I need you, Christ, today, every day, and forever.” Learning to love myself means praising God and thanking Him for creating me.
I have yet to reach a place in my life where I truly love myself for who I am in Christ and who He made me to be. I will get there one day. It may not be today, or tomorrow, or even next week. But, I will get there.
I challenge you: Examine yourself. Do you encourage yourself? Do you daily die to self? Do you praise God because He created you? Do you honor your body and the great temple it is for His Kingdom?
Do not neglect yourself. Love yourself and love who God made you to be because He did not make a mistake. He did not. No matter where your story began, where it is now, or where it will be in the future, your life has value. It has a purpose.
You are lovable. You are good enough. You are one of God’s magnificent creations. Make today the day you embrace Him completely.