Recently I was looking back through a conversation from a few years ago between myself and a friend of mine. She’s several years younger than me, and hadn’t had very good luck with dating or boys in general, and in one of her really disheartened moments after a relationship-gone-bad, along with a dose of low self esteem, she asked me what was wrong with her. This is my response to her, and to everyone else who has ever asked that same question.
“I understand the low self-esteem thing. It’s a battle I’ll have for most of my life. I still have moments when I feel worthless and I have no idea why Bob ever wanted to marry me. But being the loving and protective husband he is, I’ve been chastised by Bob numerous times for letting myself believe or think any of that. I know the “textbook” answers–that I’m a priceless daughter of God, of infinite worth, with many talents and skills and gifts, etc. Do I always believe that? Goodness no! But being reminded helps.
“Whether I write about when I’m feeling great and then go back and read it when I’m feeling down, or whether someone else tells me, I seem to need constant reminders of what makes me important and valuable. So you might not feel like it, but I can count at least 5 people off the top of my head who think you’re fantastic, adorable, brilliant, beautiful, and worth more than any guy will be able to understand in this life. No gentleman would be settling if he fell in love with you. Quite the opposite! Because you’ve got that amazing personality, high standards for living life, a lovely sense of style, and talents that many don’t possess, any guy would definitely be marrying up if he married you! That’s not to say that guys are worthless–because they definitely are not. But you realize that you’re the one who chooses to marry who you will. Any amount of men can ask you, but you’re the one who will say yes or no in the end. You’ve got more power in your hands than you give yourself credit for.
“I had the toughest time dating for the first 2 and a half years of college. All of my roommates had date after date and what seemed like about a dozen guys at a time after each of them. I couldn’t understand it. I was pretty, wasn’t I? I had a fun personality, right? I was talented, too, wasn’t I?
“Looking back now, I realize that every dateless Friday night led me in a very round-about way to meeting Bob. It was tough, and I shed a lot of tears and spent a lot of lonely days and nights praying and asking what was wrong with me. You know what I learned? There was never anything wrong with me. I had some things to learn before I met my future spouse so I’d be who he needed me to be. And it took a lot of hard times and a lot of humility to become that woman. But look where I am now–happily married! You’ve got plenty of time to find who you’re supposed to find. And if a couple of broken hearts lead you to meet the right people who will eventually introduce you to a man who will fall head-over-heels in love with you for the rest of eternity, don’t you think that’s worth it in the end? I promise it is. I’m proof that it is.
“Keep your chin up. Keep learning, keep feeling, and when you don’t think you’re worth much, turn to someone who knows that you’re worth is far greater than rubies or diamonds or gold, and ask for a pick-me-up. You can always reflect back on this little letter, too. That’s what I’m writing it for, even though you’re worth far more than any amount of beautiful words.
“I love you and I hope you know that.”