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Friday, February 12, 2010

The Search For Significance

"I'm fat,"

"I'm ugly,"

"I'm too old,"

"I'm too young,"

"I can't compare to her,"

"Why would he marry someone like me?"

"I'm a bad mother,"

"I'll never be good enough"...Shall I go on?

How many of us hear these words echo in our heads on any given day? Multiple times per day? Every moment?

I know this negative self talk is something I struggle with, thankfully, not as much as I used to. These are lies that we tell ourselves. Sadly, some of these lies have been instilled from the time we are very young.

For many women, we grow up thinking that our worth comes from how thin we are, how shiny our hair is, what parties we get invited to or how good our grades are. Later, as adults, we think (or are told) our worth comes from how well our children do in school, how clean our houses are, how much money is in our bank accounts or what brand purse we carry or what car we drive.

We strive to outdo our neighbors. Unfortunately, this behavior isn't limited to non-Christian women. How many of you strive to bring the best dish to the church's potluck, or sell the most cookies at the youth-group bake sale? How many of us triple check our children before leaving for church, making sure they look "just right"...and who among us clean our homes above and beyond our typical routine when we know the pastor's wife is coming over, or the ladies from church? (I know my husband gets excited when the ladies from our church come over because I go crazy with cleaning and the house becomes spotless and smells of fresh bread and cookies!) And don't get me started on how we really over do it at the holidays only to weep silently in the bathroom out of exhaustion - or because the turkey was dry?

Why do we do this to ourselves!?

Why is it that we constantly feel the need for reassurance that we are good enough?

Why do we feel that value needs to come from some outside source - mirrors, friends, family, children...etc. I struggled for so many years with the search for significance; looking to everyone and everything for validation of who I was - searching for someone or something to "define" me, to give me worth, to say, "Yes! You are needed! Yes! You have worth! Yes you are loved!"

Every path I walked down in search for answers lead to some form of destruction - alcoholism, depression, illness followed me as I wandered farther and father down the path which could have lead to what often stems from such an ego-centric journey...that is, self-destruction.

That was until I found the answer to my never-ending quest for significance - I learned that I was a child of God! I learned that I was made for a purpose - His purpose. I learned that I was loved - SO loved, in fact, that God Himself gave up His only Son so tht I might be forgiven for my sins (John 3:16). I learned that I didn't need to be "good enough" on my own merit - that I was already good enough because I am His daughter! (Ephesians 1:14) I learned that it didn't matter that I had done things that were so incredibly sinful because through Christ's selfless act of love, His death, His sacrifice, I was made new and that my sins were erased - a clean slate! (II Corinthians 5:17) By coming to faith in Jesus Christ, I was given a purpose - to be a servant, to do whatever it is that God Himself wants me to do - What greater purpose is there than that!

"The Bible tells us that, 'while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us' (Romans 5:8). In fact, we 'were dead in trespasses and sins' (Ephesians 2:1). What worth is there in dead things? None. God imputed to us His own righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21) not because we were worth of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way. But - and here's the miracle - He actually loved us in spite of our condition (John 3:16), and because He did, we now have infinite worth."

How awesome it is, and what a relief, to know that we do not have to be good enough on our own merrit!


I, for one, am happy to know that my worth isn't determined by my husbands ironed (or not!) work shirts, or the dust bunnies on top of my ceiling fan, or the extra weight I need to lose or even my college degrees.

Instead, my worth comes from knowing that I am a child of God - chosen before the world began as His daughter, made worthy by His death on the cross - justified by faith, made whole by His love!

It is my prayer that while your children are running around the grocery store, or when your bread burns, or after the scale gives you news you don't want to see or during times when you feel less than lovable, that you remember that you are a child of God, made in His image (Genesis 1:25-27), fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:13-16).

Hold your head up high, woman of God!

Look each day in the face and say, "Today I will walk each step with confidence knowing that I have worth and that I have a purpose; to use the gifts God has given me to serve the best purpose there is, His purpose. I will keep my ears open to His voice, my eyes open for opportunities to serve and my heart open to love others, and be loved in return. My value is given to me through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - and no other." How awesome to know that our search for significance ended the moment we said, "Yes" to Christ! Now go out and celebrate who you are in Christ! Give praise to Him who delivered you from what could have been a never-ending and pain filled empty journey of self-hatred. Praise to the truth - the truth that set you free!

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