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Maintaining my self-esteem could only happen when I had it. Growing up, I had a mother who encouraged it – and a father who stomped it down, every chance he had. "You're just like your mother." "You'll just get pregnant when you are dating" (Boy did that offend my ears as an avid Christian, even in my childhood."

But as I read my Bible, listened to the people at my church, and grew out of a religion I automatically "inherited" from my grandmother., I found too much in the Bible that told me I was of great worth indeed. Jesus died for me (and everyone else), I was no less than a "child of the King.". And more. Jesus, unlike his contemporaries, spoke "at par" with women. Look up "Jesus and the woman at the well," or check out how Jesus' friendship with Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus was warm, rich and full of honest give-and-take – Even though He was somehow God besides. If the God-man Jesus was that way with women, then my way with men had – and has parity. It is the, "God don't make no junk" reality found within the faith I still follow.

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Knowing your identity, who you really are, who you were made to be makes all the difference. It gives a purpose to your life and a strength to the soul, during hard times you can stand strong in the truth of who you know your self to be and find peace when others disparage you. Knowing how t validate and affirm yourself thro God most high is healing t the soul.