This post has been coming, it's just scary to write.
I've always not liked myself in some way or another, I don't know why honestly- I just have. I remember being 12 and my mom hugging me as I cried because I just didn't like who I was. Girls have a tough life I think, there's so much out there on who you should be, look like, etc. I wasn't unlike many others in my feelings.
To be perfectly honest, becoming a member of the church didn't fix this. I knew I was/am a daughter of God and that he created and loved me for me. But, coming from a converts perspective LDS people are ridiculously talented in many ways.
I'll just cover a few things I felt.
Stupid. Yep, I came in knowing NOTHING I didn't know the Book of Mormon at all, hardly knew the other scriptures, didn't know any missionary terms, had no idea how to pray in the manner that our church does, give a devotional, what? haha, hymns-nope, fast, girls camp. That's just a small list of things that members do not realize converts don't understand. It takes a while to comprehend it all, feel comfortable, and be able to participate with confidence.
Lack O' talent. You're average LDS member can play the piano, sing, and probably lead music. I've always been in band, and have taken piano lessons but that means squat when it comes to the musical capabilities of our members. I hyperventilated inside whenever asked to play a hymn and eventually just stopped piano completely because there was no reason, someone knew it better. I regret that though.
Judged. Yep, there you go. Members judge, they're human so it's not unrealistic. I remember my first YW's lesson, it was about keeping the Sabbath day holy and the teacher talked about how we shouldn't wear flip flops and t-shirts. What was I wearing? Flip Flops and a T-shirt. haha. I think most judgement comes from not understanding, especially those who have been members their whole lives. They don't understand what it feels like to be a teenager and be at the level of a 4 year old in understanding of the church, it's doctrine, scriptures, principles, etc. I felt often embarrassed.
I'm so grateful for the members that didn't judge me, that loved me. That understood where I was coming from. Through them I am here, I am an active member of the true church of Christ. And in two months I'm going to be a missionary for Him.
Back to the topic at hand.
So how does a girl who doesn't like herself continue going to a church where she feels inadequate?
but the real reason is because- IT'S TRUE! haha
Oh goodness, there was never a point where what I learned or felt made me uncomfortable.
I KNEW I was somewhere right. I knew I could feel God's love, even if I couldn't feel my own.
I've been reflecting on these past 7 years since I've been active. I've grown in my knowledge, self-worth, love, devotion, and more. There couldn't have been a better thing to happen to me than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I still don't like myself 100%, who does? That's where Christ comes in. Even if I can't see anything in myself, He does.
That promise keeps me going.
As my mission has been approaching, I've been feeling quite anxious. I'm sure all pre-missionaries feel this way in some form or another.
I still don't know a lot, but I sure have a strong testimony. That I know.
I know I'm a daughter of God, that he LOVES ME.
and he LOVE YOU.
what greater knowledge is there than that.
because of this eternal love, you can return to his presence because of his Son.
Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, Savior, Brother, and Friend.
He is the Prince of Peace. He is my Peace.
2 Nephi 33:6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
He is my Jesus. He is your Jesus. He is here and ready to help you, comfort you, and love you.
His sacrifice goes far beyond just the remission of our sins but to the depths of our hearts. He knows our sorrows and our feelings. He will redeem you from all. He will change you in every possible way. He will make you understand your worth, even if you can't feel it sometimes, and He will never cease to comfort you.
He has overcome the world, and through Him we can and will overcome anything.
I know I'm a daughter of God, that he loves me and has a plan for me. I struggle with my self-worth, but I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I know that if I lean on my Savior He will help me.
I can be the most beautiful instrument in the hands of God, more beautiful than the piano :)
Because I will bring souls unto him, through love I will do this.
I'm super ready to put that name tag on and declare to the world (Tempe Arizona) that Jesus is the Christ. His arms are open to all!
The Gospel is true my friends, it is true.