I wish I could look you in the eye right now and say, “________________, you are oh, so valuable!”
How do you think you’d feel when you heard those words?
Warm, fuzzy validation?
What might be your initial response?
“YES, I am…”
“You’re kidding, right…”
“Yeah, I know that, BUT…”
“Please…don’t say that!”
I’ve spent a good part of my life believing in my head I’m valuable, and yet not embracing a sense of value in my heart! Even when I put up a good front, most of my many years, I’ve felt ‘less than,’ ‘not quite enough’ or ‘just okay’ more often than feeling tremendously valuable.
I endeavored to be the best me possible but struggled with an underlying doubt I couldn’t measure up.
And, always, a little interior voice echoed,
“You’re not enough,
I know I’m not alone when I describe this experience. So, why do we doubt our value? When did we begin to sense our lack of worth?
Most roots creating feelings of inadequacy originate during the formative period of childhood. They grow deeper with peer, school and workplace interactions. By the time we’re able to identify them, we’re adults beset with multitudes of responsibilities, and exploring our own issues must be placed on the back burner.
The realization that I am ‘oh, so valuable’ has for me dawned primarily in my journey of spiritual discovery. The ‘head level’ belief has grown into a ‘heart level’ assurance of my intrinsic value to God. God’s value has been the springboard from which I’m still learning to value myself as well as valuing others.
My first deep realization came during a season when I discovered a person whose love and acceptance I desired more than anything no longer valued me. During one of that season’s darkest moments, I read Psalm 139 from the Living Bible. The ancient words, paraphrased in modern English, sank into my spirit, assuring me in the darkest, deepest depths of my being that the God of the Universe values me.
I invite you to read this portion of scripture for yourself (The Living Bible can be found on one of my favorite sites: www.biblegateway.com.) Snippets from this passage that changed me forever:
1O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
3 You chart the path ahead of me… Every moment you know where I am
5 You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.
12 For even darkness cannot hide from God;
15 You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!
17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly… when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!
While I still have a long way to go in this arena, I feel assured I will continue to grow because I believe God wants us to grasp the divine value attached to our lives and will, with grace and faithfulness, teach that truth.
In the next few Listening on the Journey… blog posts, I will delve more deeply into the discovery of VALUE. I hope you’ll join me.
Until then, I hope you’ll ponder this thought: “__________________, you are oh, so valuable!”