I see you.
Yep, I see you! Well, not in a creepy way.
But I see your heart.
I see your heart because it's a lot like mine.
Overflowing with love and passion, ignited with dreams, brimming with possibilities, and fueled by grace.
But I also know something else about you, m'love.
You know you're meant for more. But if you're honest, you feel stuck.
First of all, deep breath, it's ok. Actually, you're right where you're meant to be.
I'm here to break some truth over ya, darlin. Ready?
You have a purpose and you are intrinsically worthy.
You know it's true. But, still you doubt. You don't doubt your friend's purpose or her worth, not for a minute. But, when it comes to you, well, you just feel like you must've missed the mark somehow, like you're too far gone, not pure enough, just not-enough in general.
Let me start by telling you, you're not alone, not one bit.
I've wrestled this throughout my adult life. And you know what? I came to a breaking point. A point where I couldn't keep running around my purpose, a point where I had to make a brave decision to accept the things that were purposed for me. The things I've known in my head and heart for years upon years, but that I was afraid to step fully into.
I'm finally giving myself permission to live into my purpose. I know who God created me to be. I know although He didn't send the pain of my past, He can use it, if I allow Him to. So instead of living as a victim to my past, I've found purpose in using my pain for someone else's gain, all for His glory.
Raise your hand if this sounds like you, girl!
You look around at other friends, family, and even those Instagrammers who seem to know exactly what their purpose is. They're pursuing their purpose – whether it's being a mama bear, wifey, teacher, digital diva, musician, nurse, non-profit leader, etc. They look like they've got it all together and like they've figured “it” out.
But you know what love?
Lean in, this is something that made all the difference for me.
Those who believe their purpose and worth comes from what they do will never be fulfilled.
Bold statement, I know.
I've gone around most of my life feeling like the black sheep of my family and friends. I never took the regular route. That path always felt stuffy, made me feel like constantly crying, and honestly made my soul feel like it was dying a slow death. My family loves me, I know that for sure! But, I was desperate for them to be proud of me, and honestly, I just wanted them to not have to worry about me, so I tried my hardest to follow common paths like nursing, teaching, and even office jobs. I spent a lot of time trying to fit in and trying to make other people comfortable but you know what? Each time I tried to fit in, I got sick. Not even kidding – physically sick.
I was desperately trying to find purpose in my position.
I only knew how to place my worth in what I did. In how early I woke up. In how busy I was. In my answer to “what do you do?”
I searched everywhere for my value, for my worth, and even when I thought I'd found it – it never lasted.
That is, until I encountered the real Jesus. The Jesus who says that He loves me, right now, as I am. He says I am perfect in His eyes. He says I can do nothing, nothing, to separate me from His love. In Him, I am free, set apart, of utmost value. He says I'm worth dying on a cross for. In Him, I am sealed, set for eternity.
Jesus taught me that my identity does not come from what I do, but rather, in who I am as a child of God.
Here's the thing, sister…
The problem with identifying ourselves by what we do is this: what happens when the ground crumbles and your position falls away? What happens when you identify as a mother and your kids grow up and move away? What happens when you identify yourself as a wife and realize that your husband is actually not the source of your happiness? What happens when you lose your job? What happens if you get sick and lose your youthful beauty?
At the age of 24, I had my entire large intestine removed and now am living with a permanent ileostomy bag on my stomach. Yep – a bag of poop on my tummy – for the remainder of my time on this side of eternity.
To be totally transparent, at 24, my worth came from the guys who told me how beautiful and how wanted I was, and I desperately wanted to be wanted. And then I had a bag of poop placed on my stomach. It's ok, we can laugh now! But at the time, it was devastating. More than devastating. I was living with such a heaviness, walking on eggshells, wondering how in the world anyone would ever love me with such a disgusting condition.
My identity was in my appearance.
What happens when our beauty fades?
What happens when we lose a loved one?
What happens when our efforts go unnoticed?
What happens when you finally get that goal and you still feel empty inside?
What I've learned is that when we rely too much on the outside world to tell us who we are, we will always fall short; but there's a solution, a perfect solution:
When we look up to our awesome Creator to tell us who we are, everything changes.
So this invitation is for you, darling. To the girl who is living in the tension between believing in your intrinsic worth in Christ at one minute and doubting yourself in the next.
This is for the girl who knows that there is more to life. This is for the woman who has placed her identity in her looks and position instead of the truth of who she is: greatly loved, wonderful, significant, and whole in Christ.
Does this sound like you? If it does, let's keep rocking this out.
I've wasted a lot of time thinking that I would have this one magical moment when I would finally realize who I am in Christ. This one firework moment where I'd finally be like “wham! I am awesome! I really am!”
But, golly, it just doesn't work like that. And that might sound like a bummer, but it's actually totally liberating.
You know what we have to do instead? We have to affirm ourselves, over and over, of who our God is, and who that makes us. We have to tell ourselves the truth, day in and day out.
Did you know that God thinks you're wonderful? That He's absolutely crazy about you?
It says in the Bible that you're fearfully and wonderfully made. Right there – God is telling you that He thinks you're wonderful. What a word. What a truth bomb. So, say it each day. When you wake up. Twirl around like Cinderella getting ready for the ball and sing it out loud –
God thinks I'm wonderful!
You are whole in Christ, wonderful, loved beyond measure. When you place your worth in something that lasts, in Him, you'll never doubt your worth again – at least not for long 🙂
Written By: Dana Marie Arnold