Another spring break has come and gone and of course there is a pain felt around the country as college students have already returned to their rigorous schedules and mounds of academic work. It’s safe to say that I’m not ready for school to resume. Let’s just skip to summer, amirite?! As sad as I am that my last spring break as a student has come to an end, I’m thankful for it and for the fact that this is the last year i’ll have to get over the “SB2K1# Depression.”
Anyways, let’s skip any more formalities and get to the heart of today’s blog. I’ve been trying to write this one for a few days now, but every time I’ve sat down and started to write, I could only get so far. But, I had a counseling session yesterday and after talking through things, I reached a conclusion.
So, here we go…
While in Chattanooga last week, I learned a lot. That tends to happen on missions/service trips, ya know? I learned a lot about myself and about other people. I learned about looking outside of myself and with that, the phrase of the hour is “know your worth.” I met a young woman while in Chatt that emulates everything I want to be in life. She is confident, bright, loving, kind, bold, confident, confident, and lastly, confident. She has an air about her that is both striking and tender. It stops you in your tracks and simultaneously draws you to her. The Lord shines so richly through her, it’s beautiful. It was an honor to meet her.
In a conversation with a dear friend about what it is that is so stark about this young woman, I was told, “she know’s her worth.” After hearing this, I talked to her about it. I asked her what it was that helped her realize her identity in Christ and not just accept that for herself and internalize that truth, but to outwardly express it. And ya know what she said?
“Gratitude keeps me low.”
What I find especially ironic about this is that the young woman who is so completely thankful and low (humble) is so brilliantly confident. That’s hard for me to reconcile because when I think humble, I usually and immediately think of someone who is quiet and in the shadows. And when I think of someone who is confident I usually and immediately think of a pompous prick. (Yes, both of those examples are extreme and not necessarily true, I recognize that).
But you see, the young woman I met was neither shy nor full of hubris. SHE KNOWS HER WORTH. And as a result, she was able to less heavily focus on her self, walk in who the Lord made her to be, and positively affect others.
She can look outside of herself because she knows herself.
And so, here’s me. A girl that’s trying so hard to be the best she can be, but struggling because she’s still confused as to what she’s worth. I’m a girl that looks for affirmation based upon the outward things that I do and appreciates, but struggles to accept the inward qualities that people highlight in me. Why? Because I don’t know my worth and because it’s way easier for me to complain and question rather than to be grateful.
I know that the Lord has blessed me with certain qualities that He’s grown overtime and they’re good ones. But ya know, sometimes I ignore those things that I am and focus on those things that I’m not. It’s stupid, I know. Yesterday, as I was talking my counselor I brought up my boyfriend (oh yeah, i have one of those now :P). He’s great for many reasons, but one of those reasons is because he constantly reminds me of those things that I am. It’s really sweet actually, and I didn’t realize how great it is until recently. At the root of it all, I’ve been deceived into thinking my worth is found in what I look like and what I do. However, my boyfriend has continually seen past that, he’s seen my worth. He saw it even when we were just friends, now that I think about it. In almost every conversation I have with him, somehow one of my inward qualities is highlighted. I don’t know if he means to, but it happens. Sometimes it’s hard to hear because I don’t always believe him, BUT It’s humbling because what he sees is the opposite of what I’m trying to do. I’m thankful the Lord is using Stanley to to help me see my worth. He’s seeing Jesus in me because that’s where my worth is found. What I’m trying to do is diminish that and selfishly and foolishly try to come up with my own definition of who I am.
But I’ve already been defined.
What I saw in the young woman from Chatt was Jesus. But the difference between us is that she saw it too, was thankful, and then resolved to walk in boldy in that. As she walks, gratefully knowing her worth, she is free to love herself and to love others without inhibition.
How beautiful it would be if we were less wrapped up in who we’re not and started thanking God for who are. How lovely it would be if we walked not only confident enough to stand up for ourselves, but to also stand up for others. Proverbs 17:22 says A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Basically, a thankful heart that knows its worth is a beautiful thing, but selfishness and doubt is life sucking.
It’s not an overnight process. But I don’t want to be in the dark anymore. I’m ready to know my worth. I urge you to join me and know yours too. 🙂
[Jesus, You’re really cool and really patient and I’m just really thankful.]