My inner critic led to my demise. Some people could sense my low self-esteem and manipulated and took advantage of me. I was driven to do my best to please others, but I never experienced relief or satisfaction. I believed I was a failure. Eventually my body could handle no more and I became extremely sick. I suffered emotionally and physically for several years.
But then God began to speak his sweet truth to me. He opened my eyes to the subtle lies my inner critic was constantly feeding me. Those words were not from him—they were never from him. At first I could not believe his words. They sounded foreign, untrue, even prideful. How could I say that I am God’s masterpiece when I feel such a failure and when I know I mess up all the time? How can it be that I am pure, blameless, and holy when really only God can be accredited those qualities? God celebrates and rejoices over me? I am wonderful and chosen?
Part of me would think, “Well, if God wants to say this about me, I guess he can, but I could never say it about myself.” I eventually realized that what I was really saying was, “God you are wrong!”
I began to think these phrases to myself—oh how I cringed at how false it all sounded. But I kept exploring these words that God whispers to each of us, over and over again. I do not really know when I actually believed them for truth, but there were obvious healthy changes in how I interacted with others and how I treated myself. Believing who God says I am was foundational for experiencing emotional health, which also led to my complete physical recovery.
I became hungry to understand my identity in Christ. My concern about what others might think of me lessened; my inner critic’s grasp weakened. The truth of my identity transformed me and a boldness I had never known before came over me—a boldness and passion to believe this truth, to speak this truth, to live this truth.