If I can’t be honest in my writing, then I can’t be anything. So I must confess that as I write this, I am emotionally exhausted and running on fumes. A few days of not feeling well (who gets a cold in July? Oh wait….I do), coupled with a few emotionally charged interactions. Healthy, healing and necessary conversations, but nonetheless, I am drained.
Which just happens to tie in perfectly to what I wanted to talk about this week. I love it when life aligns itself like that.
Here’s a question to consider: What happens when the thing you find your value and worth in is stripped away?
Let me give you an example: If I place my value in my ability to paint pictures and stories with my words, what happens when weariness stifles my creativity and I find myself searching for words and not finding them?
Does that suddenly mean that I’m not a writer? Does that mean I’m no longer significant in the world?
If you place your value in your career, what happens if your company closes or you get replaced? I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen undeserving people moved off the board like a chess piece in a corporate play.
Does that mean you aren’t successful? Or that your success is only measured by your title and income?
If you place your value in your role as a mother or father, what happens if your child goes astray or makes decisions that break your heart? What happens in those moments when you feel like you have failed as a parent? Gosh… that’s a painful one.
Does that mean you are a failure?
If you place your value in your degrees or all the knowledge you’ve acquired, what happens if you get a traumatic brain injury or dementia begins to fog everything you once knew?
Is your life suddenly less valuable or significant?
I had dinner with someone recently who described a few people in her life that she considers as “having it all together.”
According to who? Who gets to decide that? And what is the criteria? Is it education? By the square footage of their house? By all of their possessions? By appearing to have it all together?
I thought to myself how I’d rather sit with her any day. Because she is raw and real and doesn’t have it all together, but wants to so badly and watching her become all that God created her to be is better than watching any seemingly perfect alternative.
I built my house of cards once. It was big and beautiful on the outside and falling apart on the inside. Where no one else could see. And eventually it came crashing down with a cataclysmic effect.
What I was left with was a million scattered pieces of my life and my identity.
And what I learned over the next ten years and am still learning is that the degree, the career, the brand new SUV, the house filled with stuff I didn’t need did not determine my identity. Not to mention the debt. It only left me feeling like a lagging runner in a comparison race I was never meant to run.
But when it all was stripped away, I was still left. The part of me buried down deep. My true self. That kindergarten version with the crooked pigtails and the purple turtle neck and innocent smile. The me before the world told me who to be and how to perceive myself. The me that from the beginning, God looked at with adoration in what He created and felt that it was more than enough.
Maybe you find yourself striving. Maybe you feel like you never quite measure up. Like you’re not enough.
Or maybe you feel like you are. Maybe you are quite proud of all that you have strived for and the status you have achieved.
The universe cries out in response to both: Don’t you see? Don’t you see all that you are?
I know you may think that the parts that make you valuable and beautiful are the ones that the world looks at and says are successful and worthy.
But I promise you…when the earth begins to shake, those things matter so little.
You have a fingerprint unique from the other 7.4 billion people on the planet. Who are you to think you are not valuable and that is not enough?