My self-worth is not based on how “in control” I am of my life. No matter what happens to me, my self-worth is based on who and what I am in Christ, and, more importantly, who Christ is, period.
This past year, I have learned that the only reason that I am a good person is God. I know that goes against the modern grain of self-empowerment, self-actualization, self-improvement. Every effort that I have tried to make this past year in my own strength has only brought me down further. It was only when God took my strength away for months at a time and brought me to a point of physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion, that I was able to truly call out to Him for help.
I want to have a good relationship with God. I want to pray and do Bible study and to actually “feel” something when I talk to God. I want God to be real in my life. I want him to exist as my Holy Father, my best friend, my confidante, my Rock, my Provider, my perfect Husband. I want to take Him off of my “to do” list and I want Him to order my steps in a day in His will and His way.
I want to have a good marriage. I want to have a real loving relationship where both of our needs are being met but only because both of us are putting God first. I want to be a good wife to my husband. I want him to have full confidence in me and lack nothing of value. I want to do him good and not harm all the days of my life.
I want happy, well-adjusted kids. I want to be a great mom to them. I want to be their friend, but their parent first. I want them to trust me with ‘themselves’ in a way that I never trusted anybody in my life growing up. I want my husband and I to be the ones that teach them about God’s love. I want them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ at an early age so that they won’t have to go through the same struggles that I went through when I was their age. If, at the end of the day, they want to rise up and call me blessed, that would be pretty cool too!
I want to have a productive career/profession. I want to be good at what I do and to feel good about doing it. If I can’t help people directly in what I do to earn money, I want to be able to have some free time to help people on the side. I want to be able to help my husband pay down our debt so that we can have a future and a hope.
I want a clean house so that anyone can open a drawer, closet, and garage and see everything neat and tidy in its place. I don’t want my house to define my worth as a woman, but, rather, I want my worth as a woman to come shining through in my house.
I want to lose weight. I want to be thin and healthy going into age 35. I want to exercise and eat right and to feel good and energetic instead of old and tired.
I could add being a great friend, wonderful daughter, trusted church member, good neighbor, nice lady to stand next to in the grocery store, but I think you are getting the drift. It’s a short list, really. Short of Miss America wanting world peace, my needs are pretty simple. The thing is – and THIS IS POWERFUL – none of that matters. Yes, I need God and He needs to be first in my life; but our relationship is not defined by how much I read His word or spend time in prayer. My heart and Him in my heart is where the meat is. I have to authentically cry out to Him in those moments that I would rather scream or curse. I have to turn to Him to meet my every need instead of getting ticked off at myself or my husband or kids.
I can have all of the above, but I have to feel good about myself first to get it. I know that, as Christians, we are told that we have to go on faith and not feeling, but if you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s kind of hard to get past go with faith also. Life as a woman is a true catch-22. You are supposed to be this great person with this great life to the point that Oprah wants you to help her host next week’s show. The only problem is, that as females, we are taught that everything we are as people is defined by everything else in our life. That is SO screwed up!
I never thought that I could come to a place where I just did not care anymore. I still was able to take care of my kids, but that was done on auto-pilot pretty much. I was to the point where I could lay in bed and watch TV to escape everything else around me. Pull the covers up and escape. It has taken months of seeing several different doctors to finally find out what the problem was. But, the REAL problem was that I had been burning the candle at both ends for years. I had been running on exhaust fumes, trying to prove who I was and how good I was since I came out of the womb. After all that I have experienced, I realize that I can’t prove myself to anyone. God has to prove Himself to them first, and then maybe, if He wants it to happen, He will use me in their life in some way – for His glory, not mine.
I pray today – 11/24/09 – that I won’t lose this lesson. I pray that I can keep this truth – with His strength – in my heart. I want 2010 to be a year of a new me. Not a new me with a checklist of things to do that year, but a new me, with a new heart and a new understanding of my worth in Christ alone. Hey, maybe by 2011, you will be able to come and do and do a closet inspection (literally and figuratively)!!