"Please, oh please pick me!" There were only two of us left—me and another girl named Carol--and I couldn’t bear to be the last one chosen…again. My unspoken plea went unnoticed though. The popular kid in charge of choosing up sides for our sixth grade ball team said with contempt, "If I have to choose one of them, I’ll take Carol." Something was the matter with me. I didn’t make mistakes—I was a mistake. I couldn’t do anything right. I felt stupid, unattractive and just plain worthless. Although eventually I earned two college degrees, had a precious husband and two adorable children, these feelings of inferiority and shame continued to haunt me.
When I became a Christian, it was impossible for me to believe the gospel message that God loved me just the way I was. I felt that I had to perform for God and try to make Him like me, so I could like myself. I also felt that I had to perform for others so that they would like me too. When I made mistakes I beat myself up unmercifully, telling myself that I was hopeless and that I would never change. I read Bible verses about God’s unconditional love for me, and even taught them to others, but I couldn’t stop feeling ashamed of myself.
Slowly, over the years, God began showing me practical ways to let go of the lies I believed about myself. I learned how to see myself through His eyes and stop looking to my own accomplishments or the approval of others for my sense of worth. I found that by spending just a few minutes with the Lord every morning I could make amazing progress in shedding my feelings of inferiority and the lifestyle that went with them.
I am thrilled to share these things with you so that you can get rid of your feelings of inferiority like I did. As you spend a few minutes a day reading this book and doing the short exercises, I pray that you will understand how precious you are to God—that you are unique, created with a purpose and a plan. I pray that you will understand that when you surrender your life to the Lord— no matter what kind of mess it is in--God can use your weaknesses, your mistakes and even your past sins for your good and His glory. And I pray that you will experience the Lord’s unconditional love and forgiveness, through Christ, like you never have before—that deep within your spirit you will find a new confidence and a new hope. I know, from experience, that when this happens, an exciting transformation takes place: You will finally be free to become the person you have always wanted to be.