Fill in the blank: I am ____________________.
What are some words and phrases that immediately come to mind? Do they originate from a place of pain and brokenness? Are they kind? Are they even true?
I’ve found that many of us are quick to fill in that space with negative words and ideas about ourselves that we’ve grown to believe, most of which have been spoken over us at some point in our lives. We walk around with these inner voices defining our identity, unable to see the truth as defined by God.
How do we break free and grow in the confidence of knowing who we are in Christ? Honestly, it takes work. It’s not a quick fix; it’s a process, and the deeper the hurt you carry, the longer it may take to heal. But it’s SO worth it. You are SO worth it. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through these steps and spend the time in honest reflection, opening your heart to His voice.
Identify the lies.
In what ways have you been made to feel unloved, unworthy, ashamed, or rejected? What blame are you carrying that wasn’t your fault? Who told you those things were true, unalterable character flaws that mark you as “less than”? Begin at your childhood and write down a list of wounding words that have stuck with you - disclaimer: this part may be painful and reveal things you weren’t expecting - but it’s important to know the root of the issue so we can dig it out for good!
Replace them with the truth.
Every lie we’ve believed can be counteracted with a scripture-based truth. Jesus covered our sins with his death and resurrection, and all God sees when He looks at us is love. God does not condemn, criticize, or accuse us - those feelings come only from Satan. Make a new list replacing the harmful things others have said with the life-giving words God speaks over us in the Bible. Keep this list handy for moments when the lies come knocking again at your heart’s door.
Depending on your experience, you may need to forgive someone who hurt you in the past, or even someone who is a negative influence in your life right now. Forgiving does not mean the pain wasn’t real, and it doesn’t erase what happened; it frees you to let God make it right in His way and move forward with your life. It could be that you need to finally forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made - nail them to the cross and stop beating yourself up over things you can’t change. Let Jesus carry that heavy baggage you've been dragging around with you all these years. He can take even the pain and failures of our past and weave them into a beautiful story of redemption.
Stop negative thought patterns.
This will look different for different people. It may involve setting boundaries with people who are toxic to your well-being. It may mean unfollowing people or deleting certain social media apps that cause you to compare yourself to an idealized version of someone else’s life. Maybe you need to spend less time reading celebrity gossip magazines and more in God’s word. (Zing!!) The point is, identify your triggers and cut off the negativity at its source. Don’t let those voices creep back into your mind. Be proactive about what you allow to have a say in defining your identity. Pray for God’s words to be louder than any others trying to bring you down.
Speak life over yourself until you believe it.
Lastly: repeat, repeat, repeat this process until your first response in filling the blank is God’s truth about you. Say it out loud when you’re struggling: I am not worthless - I am worthy of love and respect. I am not an outsider - I am a beloved, chosen daughter of the Most High. I am uniquely created, accepted, forgiven, restored, never forsaken, victorious, intimately known and immeasurably loved by my Creator! Can I get an AMEN?!
But seriously, there is great power in a woman who is secure in her identity, and it spreads to others around her. When you have been through this process and experience God’s healing, you can’t help but speak the same truths over those around you who are caught in the battle. That’s the beauty of freedom in Christ!