Not too long ago, I lacked self-esteem, refusing to care for or accept myself. I had a serious case of the “I feel worthless” syndrome.
My parents tried to encourage me.
“Put on some makeup, Paige,” my mother would say hesitantly, knowing any suggestion could cause an eruption from me. Talking to me was like walking on eggs for her.
“Just leave me alone!” I would exclaim, louder and angrier than I had intended. I knew my parents had spent many sleepless nights worrying about their daughter. I wanted to be alone, which in return made me feel lonely, angry, and self-destructive. But then something happened to change that.
One Sunday evening, my mother insisted that I go to a stake youth fireside. In the car on the way to the stake center, I argued with my mother. As I remember, I was always looking for an argument, anything I could use to blame others for my misery.
“I don’t want to go to their stupid fireside. I’ll just sit in the car,” I said.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Paige. Of course you’ll go,” my mom answered.
When I walked into the chapel, I noticed a group was already sitting, not in the pews, but on the stand. Trying to go unnoticed, I sat down.
A youth leader tapped me on the shoulder, “Paige, why don’t you come and sing with us?”
“I’m sorry, Sister Daines, but I haven’t been here for any of the practices. I don’t even know the name of the song.”
“Don’t worry,” she said as she helped me up from my seat, “you’ll be fine.”
Before I knew it, the stake president was introducing “a vocal number by the great youth of the stake.” Panic raced through my heart.
The pianist touched the keys and the opening bars of “I Am a Child of God” echoed throughout the chapel. Tears slowly slid down my cheeks, and I began to sing with the group. I knew the words to this song. I had all along.
“I am a child of God,” the words came from my lips. I looked out on my parents who were smiling from the front row. Their eyes said, “We love you.” My mother began to cry, and I knew I was not alone. I was a child of God and had been sent to parents kind and dear.
From that moment, I knew I had value. I was significant to my parents and most importantly a child of God. Finally, I stopped listening to all the negative voices inside of me and heard a voice that said, “Paige, you are a child of God.”