I turn 35 this year.
Whoa. 35, that weird number between young and ancient.
Age sneaks up, but it always causes you to look back. Honestly, I’m not the look-back-type because I like to press forward, but when I think of the time between my 16th and 22nd birthday I really wish I could go back and speak some things to myself- the girl who always looked for her value in others.
Those birthdays seem so far away, yet so close. I remember the late college nights, the good times, and the overwhelmed times. I remember the boys, the drama, and the pure college craziness. Been there, done that.
But also when I look back I remember my ability to make a few dollars go a REALLY long way. I could stretch a dollar. I knew that my small check from working weird hours at Ruby Tuesday’s between college soccer practices wasn’t going to get me far, so I budgeted for *important* things – like clothes and money to go out with my girlfriends. I mean, who needs food or gas?!
Looking back now, I spent far more time budgeting my money and time than I did budgeting my value.
Let me say that again: I spent FAR more time budgeting my money and time than I did budgeting my value.
Hear me out--
We go to Target with $20 in our purse looking for a great deal on the latest fashion top. The paper money we plan to spend has value and so does the cute top we are getting ready to add to our spring wardrobe. We see financial value very easy. We know what things are worth and what we are willing to spend to get what we want. I’d like to tell you how I’ve realized there is another currency that most neglect to consider. VALUE.
I’ve spent the better part of the last 15 years since graduation trying to find my value that I gave away so freely in college and in my early adult years. I wasn’t saved until my sophomore year of college and even then I wasn’t fully committed to living out God’s word. I had an emotional response to a sermon one day, considered myself saved, and went on about my [party] business. It wasn’t until around 2004 that I fully committed my life and heart to Christ.
I wish I had known that I was looking for my value in all the wrong places. In relationships with guys, in my prideful language, in my physical appearance, and in the perception that others had of me. I wanted a mirror to say that I was the ‘fairest of them all’. Looking back on it – I found my value in so many fleeting things. Those guys – I didn’t marry them. Prideful language – it isolated me. My physical appearance – it’s not sustainable over time. Perceptions of others – usually ends in judgement, and people come in and out of our lives, so their perceptions are circumstantial and situational. (Plus we only let them see what we want them to see so their perceptions are just a reflection of what we put out.)
I didn’t know at the time that the value I was hoping to find in all the wrong places was actually available from God. I didn’t need to seek out my value. I already had it. He gives it to me freely, but I was just giving it away in hopes of finding it. What a crazy cycle!
I wish I had known that whenever I walk into a situation I have the option to add to or detract from my personal value. I can give my value away and pray the person I give it to returns it back unharmed, or I can go to God and allow Him to show me how valuable I am. In His presence we find our worth. We find our purpose and we find our value. Others will never make you feel more valuable than God can. Not that boy. Not that job. Not that GPA. Not that circumstance. None of it. Promise.
And, when we step back from our own need to feel valuable we also realize that placing the responsibility on others to make us feel valuable is also wrong. We can’t enter into relationships and situations constantly seeking approval, acceptance, and a reflection of worth and value. We need to have the mindset of BYOV “Bring Your Own Value”.
What if we did that?
What if we sought our value from God, and God alone? Then, we could enter into relationships without expecting others to fill our voids. We wouldn’t be ‘needy’ in our relationships. And, we could be more giving to those who don’t yet know their value, because when we give of our time or share our value in the heavenly realm – He will always restore that value and fill us up.
If my younger self could have heard these words or even allowed them to just soak in for a moment, I think my path could have been different. I would have stripped away my insecurities and become secure through His presence in my life. I would have avoided the crazy cycle and a-whole-lot of heartache. I could have begun owning my identity and stopped searching for it in all the wrong places.
Prayer: Father, I pray that these words would fall on fresh eyes and ears. I pray that any seeds of self-doubt or lies about our worth would be revealed. I don’t want to be deceived any further. I pray that You would open our eyes to see all that You have for us, for us to see our full value in You & in You alone. Help us to fix our focus on Your fullness and not on our perceived inadequacies, because Your word says that You will heal our hearts and restore us. We pray that the value we find in You will be visible to others in a way that we can share all that You have done for us, past, present, and future. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Meet my friend, Chrissy Fukushima...
Chrissy is a wife and a mother to 3 beautiful children. When she isn't leading the staff at a school for inner-city students who are emotionally disabled, you will find her barefoot in the yard tending her garden or behind her camera capturing her children thriving in the daily adventures of living in the country. Chrissy is a passionate writer who strives to motivate women to find redemption and purpose in Jesus Christ through her blog and social media feeds.
Follow her on Instagram @Simplewildlove
Check out her website: Simplewildlove.com
I met Chrissy at She Speaks last July. One thing I learned about her is that she is a HUGE FAN of Elevation Worship just like me!
Elevation Worship just released their new album, There is a Cloud.
Not familiar with Elevation Worship? That's ok! Comment below for a chance to win a copy of their new album. It is full of encouragement and wisdom-reminding us to trust God and watch Him work again and again in our lives.