Friday, August 17, 2012

Hope and Virtue - A Guest Post!

We're off to Boston this week so Peyton can get some very much needed second opinions at the Children's Hospital there. Since I don't know what my availability is going to be like this week for blogging, I've asked some friends to help me out. I hope you enjoy my guest bloggers while I'm gone!

Today, please welcome Janae!

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Hello everyone! 

I'm Janae.

I blog over at Gourmet by Janae. It's a crafty, DIY project-making, Food on Fridays, living-on-a-budget kind of blog. Occasionally I include a photo of my husband and/or son in my posts, but I generally focus on the projects and things I make.

But today I'm inspired to write about something quite personal. I know many people who are currently going through some difficult and challenging times, myself included. I tend to not post about those things. But in the midst of witnessing and reading about so many different trials and tribulations, I realized it was time to face some myself, and possibly give a little light and hope to others who may be facing similar things, or maybe just to anyone who could use a little extra measure of faith.

One of my own biggest and most challenging issues is something that I know many others also have. It's not something that has a quick fix. A lot of people silently struggle with it. It has numerous different causes. It's something that no one may guess I really have a hard time with because I rarely let it show.

So here it is:

I find it difficult to love myself.

I do. I find it pretty easy to love other people--to love the girls I work with at church, to love my family and friends, to love and forgive others who hurt me, and to love complete strangers who I read about every day.

But when I look in the mirror some days, I sigh, and I wish I was different--different in a way that I can't change.

My husband tells me multiple times a day that he loves me, that I'm pretty, and that I'm incredible. I have a crazy hairstyle to take my mind off of how bland I feel I am. I make and wear jewelry so that I feel fancy. But at the end of the day when I look in the mirror after showering when I'm makeup free, hair down and wet, with freshly cleansed skin, I just see plain and sometimes worthless.

Adding to and probably causing most of this is the fact that I have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). When I have bad days or major breakdowns because of it, I sometimes look in the mirror and see plain, worthless, and ugly.

I grew up learning that my outward appearance doesn't hold as much value as who I am on the inside. But the terrible things that led to me having PTSD affected how I feel about that girl on the inside. Something pure and innocent was taken away from me, and I didn't tell anyone for nearly 20 years. Serious damage to my self worth had been done by the time I finally sought help for it. My value and me loving myself has always been directly related to those things from my past.

Then one day a few years ago I heard the most inspiring truth that has brought about more hope and understanding in my life than almost anything else I've ever heard:

What you've lost is far less important than the virtue you have to potential to possess. 

Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies."

vir·tu·ous
adjective
1. conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright  2. chaste

Being a virtuous person should be our goal. We can lose our innocence or virginity, but our virtue is not permanently gone and neither is our value as a child of God. It's far more damaging to look back at such experiences with regret and frustration than to look to the future with hope to be a virtuous person.

So this morning I woke up and this is what I saw when I looked in the mirror right after getting out of bed.


I may be plain in my own eyes. 
But I'm faithful to my husband. 
I love the Lord. 
I dress modestly. 
I'm genuine and loving toward others. 
And I am a virtuous woman.
And when I actually see that, I truly love myself.

You can love yourself too if you don't already.


I encourage anyone with similar challenges to seek out help and support for overcoming and healing from the pain and scarring that accompanies PTSD. You are welcome to contact me for guidance or support on this kind of issue. Please email me at gourmet.by.janae@gmail.com.

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Janae, thank you so much for sharing your heart hear with us!  Friends, please be sure to visit Janae over at  Gourmet by Janae.
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