Artist Cassandra Barney is working on a project called "What Saved Me," based on submissions from blog readers. This is my submission.
Yes, he's wearing a grape soda pin from the movie "Up"
e.e. cummings once wrote, "We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
I did not believe in myself until my husband believed in me.
I grew up a shy and introverted girl. I struggled with self-esteem throughout high school and my first few years of college. I felt that I was never talented enough, pretty enough, smart enough. People told me that they thought I was amazing, but I never really believed them. I was convinced that I would never measure up, and that I would have to get used to living a life of mediocrity.
But when I began dating Brandon, things started to change. He never gave me eloquent compliments, but quietly and sincerely showed that he loved me. He was always gentle and considerate with me. He expressed appreciation for my virtues and my morals. He recognized my strengths and told me how they had blessed his life. He told me I was beautiful, not just because of how I looked, but mostly because of who I was. He served me, and thereby showed me that he adored me. Day by day, he encouraged me and uplifted me.
Slowly, gradually, his love changed me and helped me to believe in myself. Because I had someone that honored me, I learned to honor myself. He saw me as my Heavenly Father saw me, and helped me to focus on my divine gifts instead of my natural weaknesses. One day, I realized that I did not struggle with my self-worth anymore. I had truly learned to love myself, because of the love that Brandon had for me. That selfless, Christlike love has helped me to be happier and better than I've ever been before. I am grateful for this wonderful man who helped me discover my self-worth. My husband's love is what saved me from living in ignorance of my divinity.