I've had some pregnancy related health issues and was put on bed rest this week by my doctor. With my husband working full time and my mother stuck in California (her flights have been canceled because of the winter weather) it has been difficult to get up and do things for myself because I have been in so much pain. During trying times like these and the only two people I know I can count on being unavailable, I have been struggling with feelings of loneliness and disappointment that so few friends have asked me how I'm doing, or offered to come over and help out. It's been a long painful week (physically and a little emotionally) and I admit, I've been feeling sort of sorry for myself.
But then... I recently read a Facebook status on my good friend Noemi's page about self-worth and it really got me thinking. I don't remember the exact quote but it basically said that we should never let another person determine our value (worth) when Jesus already set that value as he died on the cross for us. Her post really touched me at my core and was a turning point in my attitude this week.
Now, let me just say that I've been "in church" my whole life practically. I'm a Pastor's grand-daughter but was raised in my grandparents home (from the age of 9) so I definitely feel I had the "PK" experience... I'm basically a product of the faith my mother and grandparents instilled in me from such a young age. The bible was the guide my family always used morally, socially, in our finances, relationships... in everything! I actually find myself quoting the bible in random situations like office meetings and of course, my co-workers have no idea but it's just kind of second nature to me. Now please don't get the wrong impression, I am not saying this to boast. I realize that I was blessed to be raised in a family of faith but in many ways, this has made it soooo easy for me to take my relationship with God for-granted. When something is so ingrained in you, it almost stops being "special" if you let it. I'm not quite sure how to word this but I hope you get what I mean. Anyway, back on track here -- when I read my friend's post it REALLY HIT ME! Especially for the particular season I have been going through, it's like I let this powerful truth float to the back of my mind and have really been doing just the opposite - I have been letting others determine my value.
I read a lot of Joyce Meyer books and I think she is an awesome teacher of the word. She is my favorite and that's basically because I can relate so much to where she has been and how she has coped throughout her life. In her book "The Confident Woman" Joyce addresses the issue of insecurity and learning to stand firm in the security that God gives us. That book really ministered to me and though I read it several years ago, I plan to revisit it soon. When I was a child, I was exposed to the world of addiction and how it can completely shatter a family... it shattered mine. My parent's marriage not only deteriorated as a result of my father's addictions but I was abandoned as well. The abandonment of a parent (father-daughter) has such HUGE impact on the self-esteem of that girl and it has been my life's journey to pick up the mess and move forward as a confident woman. My confidence cannot come from myself, but only the trust I have in God and his plan for my life. My confidence can only come from the assurance that HE LOVES ME and LOVED ME SO MUCH that he sent his son to die for me. This simple, powerful truth is so easily forgotten in the midst of our circumstances, life and relationships with others.
I'm grateful that God has placed people in my life and out of his love for me, I have also been blessed by the love of others. But what happens when these people get to their wit's end? Human beings, we tend to have limits and though very few people will admit it, our love isn't naturally unconditional. Not even a parent's love... well, not every parent I can say that from experience. Corinthians says that "Love endures all things" but when the going get's tough, are we really ready to make that commitment in our families and friendships? And if not, how do we handle it when our closest friends say "I can't take it anymore"? Maybe life just pushes us further apart, maybe we just can't deal with each-others baggage anymore, maybe the relationship has just become too difficult... who knows? But how do we handle this? Do we stop believing that we are worthy of love? I did... but I assure you, only for a short time!
The feeling of abandonment is the most difficult of all for me because it always takes me back to the issues with my father. I hope one day to be completely healed from that and truly forgive my dad. Just when I think I have, something happens that triggers a feeling that was hiding deep down inside. When it feels like people who I love are giving up on me, it is by far the greatest challenge but ya know, my faith is in he who LOVED me and he who determined my value a long time ago when he said "you are worth my blood, you are worth my life".
I am blessed to have those people in my life who have stuck by me... who have with all my flaws and weaknesses decided to love me and not give up... But I am learning now that these people I can only count with one hand. And that's ok! I know my worth and I will no longer let anyone else weigh in.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well." - Psalm 139:14
From the heart,