Last year when I restarted our blog I wrote a post on self worth and how I was on a mission to find it. You can read that here if you would like, I was a mess of uncertainty. Along the way I developed and used a few valuable tools in order to grow and gain ground in my journey. I also realized it wasn’t self worth I was looking for, but instead it was a sense of purpose and the desire to fulfill the calling God had placed on my life. Through some hard lessons I also came to understand that purpose would not be found in the opinions or praise of others. To be one hundred percent, completely, totally, honest – I am easily defeated by the judgment/opinions of others, I can wallow for days over harsh words spoken to me, or an off hand text message. I was soaring high with good feedback, and struggling with debilitating anxiety over slight (even constructive) criticism.
True self worth and purpose has to be based in something more than abilities, looks, or people who you surround yourself with. Self worth/love should still be found on dark days when it seems you have lost all the things you hold dear. It should not be so easily shaken that it can come crashing down because of a misread text or ignored email.
Lately I have noticed my mind to be filled with jealously, lack of empathy, full of hurtful thoughts, and bitterness – all too often these dark emotions turn into one big fiery ball of anger. I have an ability to mold my Facebook newsfeed into one perfect shiny life – a mom who has more kids than I yet she is able to; homeschool, maintain a successful job/career (perfectly balanced work/home life I may add), does non stop DIY projects, is on vacation 99% of the time, is the “perfect” size, has a beautiful home, is always in style, a seemingly endless bank account, and everyone wants to be her friend – whatever she puts her hand to success and praise follow. Who is this woman? I don’t really know, but she is out there in my world. Why do I do this to myself?
Chasing after someone or something that is not in your plan only distracts you from the work God has placed on your life. Comparing yourself to another family, person, or bank account, and diving towards the dreams someone else was meant to fulfill isn’t going to create happiness or self worth. Instead you will find yourself to be utterly unhappy and left feeling inadequate to those who you are chasing, eventually you will burn out and ultimately feel useless.
I would go as far to say the opposite is true as well, suppressing your dreams, talents, and abilities is just as dangerous to unfulfilling the purpose on your life by going down the path of comparing and competing. As a mom I have struggled with putting my husband and children before my dreams and desires. I am not saying a life of service is wrong by any means, but what I am trying to get at is the question is it possible that those hopes and dreams have been given by God? When He placed dreams and visions to fulfill in our hearts, who are we to suppress them out of guilt and neglect?
Jesus said that it was better to cut off an arm then let your hand do sin – now I am sure He did not physically mean to harm the holy temple that is our bodies (created and woven together by our Lord Himself), but I would go as far to say He meant a drastic and likely against the ‘social norm’ measure. Perhaps for you this means cancelling the satellite television, not renewing a cell phone contract, putting a stop to shopping at local malls, or stop watching YouTube videos. It might mean instead shutting down social media; Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest accounts. Or life changing like quitting a job where your integrity is at stake, staying away from certain friends, not buying junk food, or perhaps not over indulging in alcohol consumption. I am not sure what a drastic measure may look like for you and your life – but I can bet it will be something you do not want to give up, and it will most likely be painful to withdraw from.
But what is more important; being popular, successful, and winning the prize of balancing it all? Or quieting your mind, and opening yourself up to a place where you can listen to the Spirit inside of you. Staying open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance requires daily training and retraining to keep your ego in check in order to humble yourself before the throne of God. Knowing you are not better or more loved than anyone else, your path will look different from another but each path is just as blessed and just as important to God’s plan.
Life is about shaping the person you are into the person God has planned for you to be, each process is tailored specifically for you and your personal growth. The Christian walk for me has been a personal journey, constantly changing and evolving based on how far I have come in my relationship with God – I can grow leaps and bounds in one moment and then other days I struggle with the same hurdle for what feels like years, only to put it away and not yet get to the other side.
Over the past year God has been growing me into a person who knows where her self worth is found. He has been building my confidence one step at a time. He has allowed me to learn some hard lessons, but has always shown me the better plan he had for me at exactly the right time. God is good. His ways are definitely not like ours, but how can they be? He has seen the beginning and the end – who better to trust then the author of creation.
I have some huge dreams rumbling around my mind this past week. In order to better hear the message God has for me I have uninstalled the Facebook app from my cell phone. I feel like God is possibly asking for more, but I am going with that baby step and hoping He meets me more than halfway. In the past fifteen minutes I have picked my phone up no less than ten times, swiped sideways out of habit to open the app. An addiction for sure that needs to be kicked to the curb. More fun like this picture needs to happen with my kids, rather than time checked out is the goal!
I would love to hear about the ways God is working in your life, and where you feel He is speaking to you. I am always so interested in the ways He communicates individually to each one of us. Let me know what has been going on in the comments below.
Happy Weekend Guys!