My name is CJ Rapp and I am just like you. Another gal doing her best to be a good wife, daughter and friend. One of the biggest challenges in my life has been overcoming insecurity and low self-esteem. It hasn’t been easy… in fact my journey has been a long difficult road. Let me tell you a bit of my story.
Growing up I was awkward… about twelve I shot up at least a foot taller than the boys who loved to tease me and call me “Olive Oil”. I started having trouble with my skin and between braces and pimples, well… I just felt ugly. I had trouble in class which made me feel stupid and I struggled socially which made me feel like an outcast. I would often cry myself to sleep at night wondering how I would ever make it through those strange adolescent years. Then just when I felt the most overwhelmed… just when I thought I couldn’t stand another minute of my life, someone told me my sister got the brains and the beauty in the family. Those words were the final straw in a long line word weapons that poisoned my thoughts and wounded my heart. They became my truth and I grew up believing the horrible lie that I had little worth or value; and I lived like it.
At 28 years old I began to follow Christ. I commited my life to him and began to read the Bible. As I read it, I discovered that the words were kind, compassionate, and full of love. The more I read the more I realized that God loved me and that he didn’t think I was stupid, ugly, or worthless. He said in his Word that I was priceless, a masterpiece, a treasure, and that I was his child. He even loved me enough to send his son to die for me. That was shocking! The girl who grew up believing that she had little worth or value was passionately loved and desired by the creator of the Universe?
The more I read the more I realized that in my hands I held the keys to freedom and healing. Not just for me but for other people just like me. Maybe you were hurt by the sting of unkind words. Perhaps words have not been a problem for you, instead living up to cultures definition of beauty has affected your self-esteem. There are tons of struggles that can affect your confidence, self-esteem, and value. No matter what it is that robs you of your security I’m hear to tell you that there is a path to healing and hope. You can overcome the lies that have lodged themselves in your head and heart. You can examine your thoughts and take captive the thoughts that contradict God’s Word.
Three years ago God called me to write a book that helps people identify negative, harmful thoughts and replace them with the truth or the treasure of God’s Word. I called the book, I AM says “You Are…” . This has been a labor love. A project started so long ago has been focus grouped, rewritten, edited, and now, finally, will be published in mid February. My heart, my soul desire in writing this devotional Bible study is to help other people find the same hope, freedom, and healing that I have found. I want you to know what the God I love has to say about how much he loves and treasures you. I invite you to take this journey with me. I invite you to join in the discussion, ask the tough questions, explore, whatever… this is a safe place. A place where you are valued and loved.
Looking forward to the journey ahead.