I think we all have an Achilles heel.
I started niNe. magazine because I saw a society of people, especially teenagers, who had little or no confidence in themselves and didn’t experience or understand their worth in this world and their meaning to others near them. God had helped me forge a sense of confidence in myself and I wanted to share how to gain this with others. God had shown me my worth and helped me build my confidence regardless of not being a 5 foot 8 inches, size 2 model. My confidence was established even though I couldn’t play sports and my ultimate dream career of being a Rockette wasn’t going to become a reality. God still gave me confidence even though a long-term relationship ended, crushing my heart, leaving me with few friends to turn to. Even though I could have tried harder in school to get better grades, God still provided and helped me understand that confidence didn’t lie in perfection, but on my worth… what I could offer other people through my character, through the personality instilled in me by God. I was confident because I knew that I was worthy of great things in the eyes of God and He would carry me through. My confidence was established in HIM, the Almighty.
Having this confidence presented me great opportunities to connect with young women who looked up to me and admired my ability and wanted it for themselves. Out of this relationship I was able to present true confidence to teen girls through niNe. magazine. I was living in the gifts God had given me which allowed me to strengthen this confidence.
It wasn’t long until the recession hit and niNe. magazine needed to take some time off. This dilemma didn’t shake my confidence. I didn’t waiver, I still stood strong. I knew I had value in God’s eyes and he would reveal the next steps I needed to take until we could get niNe. magazine up and running again. I found a temporary job at a company that saw and knew what I was capable of but didn’t utilize any of my skills. I walked lonely hallways not looking for assurance, but looking for a friend. People started hating me because of my confidence and became jealous of me because of the knowledge and experience I had gained. I was shuffled around, blame was put on me and no one saw me for who I was… a child of God.
During this time of uncertainly and question, I protected my weaknesses knowing that Satan would attack me where it was easiest, but in this time I forgot to protect the precious gift God gave me, my greatest strength was not guarded and Satan took me down to my knees by picking away at my confidence.
Just like Achilles during the battle with the Trojans, while I was focusing on other distractions, I forgot to guard the one area that if destroyed could be the death of me. Satan certainly is conniving.
It is my prayer that we protect our vulnerabilities and understand that our greatest gifts still need guarding. It is in our distractions that we lose a sense of our identity and it is a long, arduous road to recovery. The road is worth the trek because on that journey we learn more about the God who has created us to be strong, powerful and loved. My journey in rebuilding my confidence is not yet over, but God continues to show me my worth in the darkest areas. I cling to that value with hope and assurance of a future rebuilt and strengthened by the God who defines who I am… his beautiful, loving daughter.