How Loving Myself Led to a Major Decision

Many people are stuck in a situation they cannot seem to break free from. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they do not love themselves the way God loves them. Therefore, they do not see themselves the way God sees them. This puts a cap on their ability to see the greater potential and keeps them from making the tough decisions they need to make. 

I have said for years that many of you are one decision away from everything changing. But you won’t make the tough decisions unless you love yourself and see the value you carry that God created you with. 

What Would You Do if You Really Loved Yourself?

Ask yourself an important question: “What would my life look like if I truly loved and valued myself?” 

What would your decisions look like? What would your lifestyle be like?

Sadly, many Christians ask God to rescue them, but in reality, they are avoiding the tough decision they need to make. They hope God or someone else will do it for them. 

The reality is that we will make decisions based on how we see ourselves and our potential. When you love yourself, God’s perspective can shine through, so you can make decisions based on the discovery of who you are in His love for you. 

Making My Tough Decision

The subject of making tough decisions out of learning to love yourself, hit me personally many times in my life. In one season of my history, it hit my heart in enormous ways. 

In 2006, I left a staff pastoring position and stepped out to start a whole new ministry from scratch. I found myself during those years teaching a weekly conference to a local gathering that carried on for months. During that season, we felt a strong leading to plant a church, out of those who were attending and looking for a home fellowship.

I hesitated to start a church, because it was not my number one calling, but I knew it was needed. I also thought I could possibly raise up people to carry on the church work as I continued to spread teachings of transformation.

Humbled in the Disappointment

If I had a nickel for everyone who said they would jump, back me up and support me, I would be a millionaire. I learned quickly how cheap that talk has become in people. They can easily say something and not follow up on it. Somehow that is deemed acceptable. When it actually came to stepping up and starting this, I noticed many disappeared, got offended or started trouble.

Yet for years, I continued to pour into the people who remained planted and raised up leaders who could carry the work of ministry. It was extremely difficult. Like many pastors, I wanted transformation for the people more than they wanted it for themselves. This was a quick lesson I was learning on the fly.

I also experienced a ton of betrayal, misunderstanding and twisted communication. Most of all, I was hit square in the face with the reality that many people cannot see the big picture that God sees. I walked in with tremendous faith, but over time began to shake my head as to why things seemed to move sluggishly. Over the years, I have learned the hard way that many people want breakthrough, but they want to remain in status quo as far as their own personal change.

I don’t hate them for it. Many just didn’t have references for going to the next level. Others would need 24/7 help to get to the next level of growth. I was overwhelmed with the lack of spiritual fathering people had and I couldn’t be a father to everyone.

The Toll it Took

In that journey, I got sick a bunch of times. My skin started flaring up and I developed patches all over my body. My joints inflamed and fatigue slammed me. My body struggled with energy and I was worn out almost every day. 

Not only that, at the time we were coming to an awareness that our first born son Maximus was being diagnosed with autism. My daughter Abigail was born during this time as well. Many new experiences were occurring at the same time. In addition, we were battling our financial state from week to week, wondering how we would be able to break through. I was living in perpetual burn-out.

It seemed like many friends had vanished. Some wouldn’t even return correspondence after many calls and emails. Not everyone disappeared, but most did. Just when I needed the greatest amount of help, I felt abandoned. The pain was excruciating.

Meanwhile the church wasn’t growing and I was struggling to raise people up to the next level. Week after week, I would walk away shaking my head. God would release what seemed like nuclear power, yet very little change would take place during the week. I studied church growth, fasted and sought after counsel. I left more confused than empowered in most of my interactions.

The Attack of Self-Hate

The self-hate I was freed from before had now come back with a vengeance like a flood. I felt so out of control of the results in my life that I felt trapped. The self-hate moved easily into self-loathing, because I had no idea what to do. Each week, I would attempt a refreshed strategy, only to find myself in the same set of circumstances. 

An accusing cloud of depression loomed over me day after day, blaming me for everything that was wrong with the church, accusing me in my thoughts for every complaint and every disgruntled person.

I am the kind of person that thinks, “How can I grow through a given situation” rather than pointing fingers. This can work great in most circumstances, but it turned against me. I gave into the mindset that something was wrong with me and things were not moving forward because of all that is flawed in me.

Learning to Love Myself in Trials

It was during this time that God taught me how to love myself at a deeper level than I ever experienced. He taught me the value of being kind and patient in my inner self-talk. Every time I asked Him for direction, God would respond with how to love myself. Self-hate had snuck back in so it took some time to get it out. Over and over again, I had to stop blaming myself and learn to give myself unconditional acceptance.

This led me to a decision, based on loving myself to an entirely new level. I was led to a courageous step of faith to end our season of pastoring and close the church that we were shepherding. It was one of the toughest decisions to make, but also one of the clearest ones I have made. What gave me the courage to do it was that I came to a place of loving myself as God’s child; therefore, I made a decision out of that personal conviction.

Loving Myself into an Empowered Decision

What I believe God’s purpose was for that church season is probably best left for a future writing. But the key here is that I really had to love myself and kick out self-hate with fury. I had to make a decision for my family and myself. I had to love who God made me to be and not who people were trying to form me to be for them.

That decision broke the internal conflict off me, and freed me to further pursue what God designed me for. I could have easily stayed in the pastoral position, even though it was forcing me into an environment and role that was inconsistent with who I am. I believe many discouraged pastors are actually in the wrong position or situation, but they’ve never been taught that there is more to ministry than just pastoring. 

Way too many people don’t step out towards their highest potential because they’re afraid, but also because they don’t love themselves. Their lack of self-love lulls them to make few gutsy decisions. They have little idea for who they are, so they give in to what other people want them to be. I could have remained stuck and angry if I was ok with status quo. Self-hate wanted to keep me there. Too often we want God to change something, but we’re not willing to make the hard decision and take the risk.

Time to Step Out

I had to be willing to step out and the only way I could do that was to love myself enough to do so. I had to love myself into a decision that was right. That act of self-love involved stepping into the purpose that matched my identity and calling, not what people put on me.

There are many reading this who need to make the tough decision. They are hesitating, mostly because they do not love themselves enough. When you really love yourself, you gain astronomical courage to make choices that respect, honor and value who God made you to be. You see things better for yourself and your future.

Love Helps You Make the Tough Decision

Some reading this need to get out of a relationship, out of a job or even a church, but you haven’t loved yourself to take that step. I am here as a testimony that in order to see change, you have to love yourself into it. I am committed to loving myself each day and never letting go of what I have experienced.

I am not going to beat myself up when things are not working out the way I thought they could. I refuse to let life tell me anything that God is not saying to me. My body is coming into more restoration and I am receiving the amazing effects that true self-love can bring. With this conviction, I am thrilled to inspire your own personal self-love revolution.

The frustrating thing about helping people with self-hate struggles is I cannot do the change for them. Only they can make that choice. I can set the perfect atmosphere of love over their life. I can pray, prophesy and love every cell in their being. But until they accept that and tell self-hatred to pack its bags, they will deflect the love that God sends to them.

You may be struggling with depression, bad habits or a toxic relationship you are stuck in. You may be overweight, ill or in a dead-end job and you need to make a decision for change. Many are going through troubling seasons. You’re stuck, but you haven’t loved yourself to make the strong decision for freedom and healing.

These times of struggle are when you need to be kind to yourself more than ever. Loathing the life you have does nothing to heal. Love is the answer, but if you wait for it to land on you, you may wait your whole life. It is important to say yes to love in your heart; possess it for yourself and walk into a better life. 

I pray these words will instill courage within you to stand up and once for all, love who God made you to be and rip off those hindering chains that bind you. It’s time you take back what was stolen from you and take some people with you!

So where do you need to love yourself into change?

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