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.