Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and wonder who you really are? Sometimes, okay often, I stop and wonder exactly that. I wonder how people really see me, what will I be remembered for, why would anyone even like me? I remember being told once that for every negative comment you need something like 7 positives to fix it. I know personally that it only takes one comment to ruin my day or even make me question my own worth. You know...that well meaning family member that wonders if you've been stressed lately because you've gained weight, the person the de-friended you on social media, the lady that thinks you're weird because you home schooled your kids, the commercial that tries to convince you you're not fine the way you are, and on and on it goes.
I face my own war daily with myself. I do realize that it's not healthy and that the things questioning my self-worth are all lies, but it's not enough to just know that. Somehow I need to believe it. That's easier some days than others. The days I am home spending time with my family boost my image of myself. Listening to my teenager tell me she's thankful she can talk to me about anything, hearing my six year old tell me she loves me more than anything except God and Jesus, my eleven year old who wants to cuddle up with me as much as I give her time for, the husband that shows appreciation for the meal I made, all make me feel valued because someone else is showing interest in me. But what about the next day when you try the new recipe that flops, you don't have your daughter's favorite outfit clean, or you're too busy with paying bills and doing laundry that you can't give extra time to the kids or even your husband? You see the problem is I've let my self-worth become directly connected to other people in some way. So many days I've convinced myself that I'm only valuable if I make others happy and satisfied in some way. Until I get my mind out of this pattern of thinking, I will continue this war I've waged with myself where I am both my adversary and ally. So what do I do?
Sift the truth from the lies. The fact is I am loved. Regardless of any mistakes I make, I know there are people around me that love me if I take the time to recognize their acts of love toward me. Besides that my worth lies in my Creator. I am made in His image (Gen. 1:26-27). Not only I, but everyone around me. We are in the image of the same Creator which means my value is the same as everyone else's.
Find forgiveness. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12) God is waiting for everyone to come to Him, and we can start each day made new. A wise mentor in my life told me to keep short accounts with God. I mess up, I stumble, I fail, but nothing is beyond the forgiveness of God. My wrongs are no more or less than anyone's. I have experienced personal renewal when I go before my God and give over my load of junk. My conscience is clear, my heart is without burden, and I have demonstrated a trust in Him alone, not other people.
Someone sacrificed a life for me. One of the most popular verses of all time is John 3:16, but the message will NEVER change. God loved us ALL, loved ME, so much the He sent Jesus, His Son, to die for us, to die for ME. I am ashamed to admit that I don't demonstrate enough thankfulness for this sacrifice, that I don't share enough of His sacrifice for everyone around me. This great sacrifice, my trust in the One that gave Himself for me, has secured my eternity!
I write this message for myself, but I am thankful if it helps someone else, too. God is my redeemer, He values me, and I need to surrender in this war from both sides and realize that this war I've waged is without merit. I will not give Satan a foothold into my self-worth. "For I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)