Define Worth

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

This has been a strange season for me.

There is a part of me which feels as if I have never run harder or been busier and yet, I have never felt more useless.

Over the past several months I have transitioned from full time employment as an assistant manager to an intern chasing a dream to a hopeful and expectant and eventually torn potential employee taking the next step.

That next step has proven to be accompanied by weeks of waiting, phone calls and emails. All the while I cannot get used to being home during a weekday not knowing when the next step for the next step is going to take place.

I am still chasing my dreams- but at a much slower pace… possibly a standstill… running in place if you will.

I am at the crosswalk waiting… inching closer to the curb waiting and praying for the light to flicker to the GO signal… in the meantime it is taking everything in me to keep from running into the oncoming traffic.

But why?

Looking back 6 months ago I dreamed of achieving everything I have been able to do thus far, and I would have considered standing at this door well worth the wait, for just a chance to possibly discover the direction of my next step.

However, in our “go, go, go” world, waiting is rarely looked upon as admirable place to be standing.

And I hadn’t thought it would take this long.

Not that I am not doing other things pouring into this dream… I am completing classes for Grad School, running errands, working on my writing, and helping out where I can…

But what is it worth?

All these dreams, and I feel as if though I’ve been sidelined. And while I know it’s only temporary… and a season to grow… that my “busy” doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s “busy” to be “busy”…. the voices creep in…

“Look at everything they are doing, and you are still writing papers two hours before the deadline.”

“A job, kids and a home… what have you done today? Who did you take care of?”

“You think that one day these ‘hobbies’ will pay off? What do you have to contribute that’s worth anything?”

And when I let it, it goes on and on. Until I find myself in the midst of an emotional battle closing in on a line of serious depression grounded in the lies of unworthiness and worthlessness.

Stuck in a dream I am unable to catch while the rest of the world is pressing forward.

In these moments the battle rests on precipice, able to go one of two ways.

It is terribly tempting in these moments to seek the safe options and chose the compromise. I will go back while I wait for the door to open, go back where it is safe and within my comfort zone.

But as I here the voices offering enticing terms of surrender, I here the small voice whispering lift up your shield and pick up your sword.

Where is your faith daughter? What have I said to make you consider going back? Consider compromise?

God, what am I worth? What do I have to offer? God, can’t you hear the other voices? This is… but its not for me. It can’t be for me.

What are you worth? For I so loved You, Brittany, that I gave my only son… 

… And I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made

(Psalm 139:14 = Lift Shield)

… I am created in Your image and

(Genesis 1:27 = Pick up Sword)

I will not fear for You are with me, I will not be dismayed for You are my God. You strengthen and help me and uphold me in your righteous hand

(Isaiah 41:10 = Go to War)

Friends, there are a lot of voices out there, but only one who can claim to know your worth, because He created you.

I looked up the definition of worth. According to Google worth means, “equivalent in value to the sum or item specified.”

With that definition in hand turn to the verse at the beginning of this post and hold on tight to it. What did God pay to bring you back? His Son. Guess what that means?

You are worth the price of God’s Son, you are EQUIVALENT  in value to God’s Son.

Let that soak in.

And stop letting the voices tell you any different. Your journey is yours alone. It will not look like anyone else’s, it was never meant to.

Do not strive for a busy life- strive for a full life. Somedays you will have a full schedule of running between two workplaces, taking classes, raising littles or cultivating those skills you wish to use to make a career…

Some days will be full of you just trying to hold it together during a season of waiting, or in moments of grief and loss. Others will be full as you set aside time to bond and create memories with family and friends.

My prayer is that at the end of everyday, when you lay down, you can see the worth in it. I assure you, your Heavenly Father certainly does.

Meanwhile I have one more verse- Proverbs 3:5-6, reminding you that our own minds, hearts and emotions can be misleading and swayed by lies. Turn to God for your truth, His word will remind you of exactly who you are and just how much you are worth.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

 

 

Thank you Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash for the photo.

A Story You’ll Use: Scars Part I

 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

John 20:17

Listen for The Voice. Not a voice.

These last couple of weeks have been a blur, on a personal level my schedule consisted of finishing my current degree program, making arrangements for the next steps in my new degree program and discerning God’s will pertaining to the direction in which I needed to walk this summer concerning internship and career opportunities.

And of course celebrating Easter.

As I was going through the processes listed above my first and foremost thoughts were tempted to revolve around what I am not. I am not qualified. I am not done. I am not ready. I am not sure.

I had and have these great dreams of doing these great things. (Not earth shattering great things, but personally world shaking great things). The things I have deemed would be great to do. The purpose I believe God may have created me for, what motivates and inspires me. My dreams.

But there is something about those next steps.

Taking the next step is absolutely terrifying.

Taking the next step is all we want to do, all we plan for, all we patiently train and study and move toward…

But when we reach that threshold there is this moment.

A moment of complete vulnerability as we realize this next step will not only reveal the strengths we have carefully crafted, but the weaknesses we have yet to uncover and develop.

The path has changed so many times before. I have no doubt that it will continue to take unexpected turns. Unfortunately I have not been able to convince God to hand over the map- not even to let me get a quick glance.

So in the middle of the chaos of life and choices and unworthiness and vulnerability-

Easter broke me.

Easter shattered everything. Easter shatters every prerequisite, every sensible and rational doubt or reasoning.

Easter is the epitome of the impossible, improbable and impractical. Defined by love more powerful than the depths of Hell and by a mission not even satan could foretell.

Easter reminds us that we don’t have to be qualified. We don’t have to know the answers. We don’t have to be ready. And we don’t have to go alone. He will qualify us, He knows the answers, He is ready and He is already there and right beside us.

Standing in the threshold is like the dawn of Easter morning. Coming out of the dark into the light. Behind you is where you’ve been and ahead of you is what is next.

And you may not know exactly what that day is going to bring and you may feel as if you had all the wrong answers and you may be fighting doubt and fear and despair and remembering “better” (aka safer) days but…

What is on the other side is so brilliantly and dazzlingly worth it, something that you yourself never could have imagined in your wildest dreams.

How do we know this? Amid everyday, ordinary life, how do we know that something as simple and complex as taking the next step will ultimately lead to something so awe-inspiring and wonderful?

Because He has called our name.

Just as He called Mary’s. Mary who had just come through the darkest night.

Mary who I am willing to bet was surrounded by voices telling her all she’d believed, all she held true, all she’d trained for was wrong. Mary who was surrounded by those waiting to crush her.

Can you imagine? I am sure that between Friday and Sunday morning, more than once the enemy had come against her, that the enemy had attempted to put visions of all the stones being picked back up in her head. As she clung to Jesus words, I do not condemn you either. I love you. You are worthy, not because of what you have done or who you are, but because of who I am and what I have done.

Easter reminded me to look closer when I was tempted to look back.

Because amid all of the failed paths and unexpected turns, I can see how it has all shaped me and brought me to exactly where I am now. I can see the story that they’ve crafted and I can recognize that had those paths gone the way I had planned it may have been good, but the story would not be nearly as great as the one I am in now.

And as much as I love a good story, only God knows what it means to me to be part of His Great story which we have only yet begun to grasp.

There is a song by I Am They titled Scars. The beginning includes the lyrics:

“Cause my brokenness brought me to You/
And these wounds are a story You’ll use”

God used Jesus’ scars to tell the greatest story. And that story has not ended…

As I set aside all the doubts and questions and replace them with the memories of the times He has done all He has promised…

He qualifies me. He strengthens me. He enables me. He calls me.

And the scars? Those twisted paths? Those thresholds?

They’re apart of the greatest story, one we have not yet fully imagined.