[two_fifth padding="0 20px 0 0"][/two_fifth] [three_fifth_last]

As a child and well into my teenage years, I had low self esteem and never believed in myself. After my parents got divorced when I was 11, I put immense pressure on myself within all areas of my life that I felt like I could control - like my studies - in order to try bringing some normality and stability into my life, and to mitigate the chaos that seemed to surround me. I began to yearn for, above all else, a sense of security, and I thought I would find that in my own works and "doing well,". Which absolutely failed.

From placing so much of my lack of self worth on what I believed my security to be found in, I grew to intensely dislike everything about myself and my circumstances. I couldn't be truly honest with others or allow myself to be vulnerable. I just could not accept who I really was and my situation, and from that, my walls got higher and higher.

I encountered the love of Jesus at aged 15, I started beginning to grasp the fact that my life is purposed, and that I am loved, valued and accepted by my Heavenly Father just as I am, with all the baggage that came with me. I remember being absolutely broken by Romans 8 as I truly began to appreciate the enormity of His love. Now, from knowing that - I have such a sense of stability in my heart. It's been a journey, but it's changed everything!

Yet when I look back at my journey thus far, what's become apparent to me is that my external circumstances haven't had a radical change. My home life is by no means perfect, and - naturally, there have been hiccups. My family certainly haven't been reconciled, but both of my parents have been remarried to beautiful new partners and I love both new families deeply. I truly believe that knowing I am immensely loved, valued and accepted by Jesus and being secure has enabled me to choose joy in every instance. Whilst I have absolutely seen my own life move forward by His grace, the work that God has done in me has primarily been an inside job. He has truly calmed my soul. The journey is by no means finished - I definitely still struggle with true honesty to others and myself; and with allowing myself to be vulnerable to others as a consequence. But what I can say is that choosing to trust in God and living life from that trust is a daily (hourly) decision that has immeasurably changed my life.

From initially feeling like I had no sense of security, and feeling like I had Home taken away from me - I've come to value it more than ever from realising that I was looking for it in all the wrong places. Yes, I choose to love my external circumstances and myself, but that's not what my security comes from. It comes from Jesus and His love; He is Home and truly, He's got this! [/three_fifth_last]