Who the hell am I?

Value. What a thing is worth.

My counselor assures me that normal people exist. Healthy people. He says there aren’t many and there are fewer by the day, but they do circulate among us. If you’re really out there, I’m sure you don’t read blogs of broken people, unless, of course, for kicks. And as an impetus for gratitude.

I guess the “normies” arrive at adulthood with their value firmly rooted in all the right things. The immovable things. The unchanging things. But my kind…we nail our value to the wind.

  • My mom whipped into the parking space and she and I ran into the hospital. As the oldest of her siblings, she was the second matriarch of the family, and her younger sister had been in a wreck. That’s all we knew. I perched in the scoop of a waiting room chair under the watchful eye of the security guard while my mom frantically dashed back to check on Aunt Shelby. At the height of the wiggly age, I was not a wiggly child. Ever. I sat and waited as I was told to do. Almost forty years later, I remember the security guard’s praise. I was a tiny woman-child who hung the coat of her value on the hook of pleasing others and obeying.
  • I was well aware as I scooted out of my desk and walked to the front of the classroom I was one of the last to complete the assignment. As I made my way up the aisle, several fellas in my class coughed in contagion and loudly whispered “Overkill” as I passed. I smiled at their customary mockery, quite undeterred in my overachieving. As a student I measured my value in terms of grades and awards and scholarships.
  • I anxiously rocked by Chris awaiting a nurse to appear and call my name. I had never undergone twilight anesthesia, never visited this wing of the hospital, never had a colonoscopy. Afterwards, as I wafted between dreamy places, you’ll be both delighted and disgusted to know the doctor reported everything was the picture of health and I had the cleanest colon they had ever seen. I beamed. This girl will welcome achievement in any dress it wants to wear.

That’s all fabulous while the colorful pinwheels are spinning rhythmically, but it can cause quite the  ride when the wind changes. When you’ve lost the approval of others. When the breeze of favor redirects. When you’ve lost your job. When your child rebels. When your love leaves. When your house is in foreclosure. When you gain forty pounds. When you feel called to ministry and no opportunity surfaces. When your colleague gets the promotion you sought. When your child fails. When your health tanks. When you feel ostracized. When the bottom falls out of the bucket hauling our value (AND IT WILL, I DOUBLE DOG PROMISE), we are left with one question – “Who the hell am I?”

Our falsehood has to disappoint us, so it can stop cheating us. It will only be at the collapse of our propped up pretties that we’ll discover our sole value – God’s child. And that makes our value constant. Immovable and unchanging. Regardless of weight gain, abandonment, sickness, accolades, promotions, rejections – you and I have never been more or less valuable than we are right this minute. Classic cars and diamond necklaces retain their value in a world of flux, fickleness, and bipolar markets, but the absolute of our value exceeds even those rarities.

Need further convincing? It’s Jesus. Willing to bear nails through his wrists and the tops of his feet, willing to suffocate to death, willing to have your jacked up errors and mine heaped on him. That’s what we’re worth. We’re that valuable. And the world is powerless to affect it.

My kind, hear me well; our battle isn’t in establishing our value. It’s believing it.

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5 Comments

  1. Martha Davis
    Martha DavisReply
    February 17, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I realized that I was accomplishment driven in my fifties. I left a high ranking, high paying job when my health took a nose dive. To add to the dive my self-worth took from not working, my resignation was preceded my the betrayal of the company owner who promised, in writing, that he would always “look after me” because I had “helped him build his debt-free company.” In addition, my “hard and smart work” had made him a millionaire many times over. But when I got sick, he started looking for a way to get me out of there. The way he went about it was nothing short of a witch hunt!

    I left on my own terms but the betrayal of someone I trusted and my feelings of poor achievement sent me spiraling into a deep depression. I immediately got back into counseling and felt I was getting nowhere. And then one day as the counselor and I were talking, I realized that I marked the passage of time with one of my jobs! I was successful and the boss’s right arm in all but one job, so for me, my entire life, from first grade on was measured my some worldly achievement! The counselor didn’t event catch what I was doing! I said, “Do you realize I have an addiction?”

    He looked at me with a blank stare. “I’m addicted to achievement and I have beeny entire life!” The puzzle pieces started to fit and my spiritual journey during this time took a 180 degree turn.

    All those years I spent focusing on pleasing people should have been spent on pleasing the One and Only One who matters! I realized that if I had invested all that time in pleasing my Jesus that I wouldn’t be so confused and hurt. I wouldn’t feel so guilty when my adult children act like they weren’t raised right. I would have realized that Satan uses those high achievements to make you feel guilty when you fall short. He uses those feelings of doubt and poor self-worth to make you feel as though you never accomplished anything of value.

    But I have news for the devil: I am the daughter of the Most High King and when I fix my eyes on Him and think of what He did for ME, I’m more precious than gold! I belong to Him!

  2. Ally
    AllyReply
    February 18, 2015 at 12:55 am

    so good. love this!

  3. Heather Dudley
    Heather DudleyReply
    February 18, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I am people pleasing, indesicive, awkward, and overwhelmed mess of person. But I am one proud little sister that is for dang sure!

  4. LindZHaselden
    February 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Love this! So many things compete to define me. My performance, relationships, parenting, mistakes, the list goes on and on. So much peace in knowing that my value rests in Jesus alone. Oh to keep my eyes forever fixed on that Truth!

  5. Christy Moore
    Christy MooreReply
    February 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    DANG!!! Your writing though!!!
    And just like that I realized you were a mind reader,too!

    This is real talk! My very favorite so far. God is using you my sweet friend! Using you to give people hope they thought they had lost. You are a BLESSING!

    Keep on writing!

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