If I could only say one thing:
The thought passed through my head, "If I could only say one thing to someone what would I say?" Truth be told, there are a bazillion things I would like to say, and it seems everything has varying degrees of nuances which I could expound upon as well. But when I narrow it down it seems to come back to "Believe You Matter" every single time.
Dealing with the issue of believing you matter isn't something everyone struggles with, but I did. We could get into the nurture and nature of it all, but I don't know that it matters for this post. Sometimes it's good to chase out the cause and face it head on and we need to. Sometimes it's simply a conglomeration of circumstances and no one reason can be found.
For a long time I simply thought who I was didn't really matter. What was most important was keeping other people happy, being who others wanted me to be, and not questioning the status quo. I went through a stripping down and building back up period which was hard. I shed a lot of tears, asked a lot of questions, and doubted so much, but in the end God showed me some amazing things that I really want to share with everyone.
Stop for a minute and consider your heart answers to these questions.
- Do you think you have to do something big to make a difference?
- Do you think you shouldn't have struggles?
- Does the silence mean no one cares?
- Do you think you have to do SOMETHING to matter?
I used to answer these questions with a resounding "yes" and I know people who still do. The truth is sometimes we do this to ourselves. We put ourselves in last place all the time because it feels humble. Or we put ourselves last because it's what we have been taught to do. And sometimes if we don't put another person's ideas, thoughts, and feelings first the fall out is horrible. We wonder if it's worth the fight, and sometimes we don't have the fight within.
Regardless of why we do it, ignoring ourselves shouldn't be done. We have to learn to take care of ourselves in order to truly take care of others. If we don't see worth in ourselves, then we wont see worth in anything we do for anyone else. Let me tell you a secret which I learned which helped me to push through this:
Your value is not defined by what others say about you.
Your value is not defined by what you have done.
Your value is not defined by what you can do.
Would you like to hear God's words?
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
I have loved you with a love that lasts forever.
I have kept on loving you with a faithful love. Jeremiah 31:3
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Here's the thing friend: the way you think about yourself makes all the difference in the world. You may think it doesn't matter, and you may think no one knows, but please believe me when I tell you how wrong you are. Your friends will feel it, your dreams will suffer, your family will lose out. You knowing and believing you matter and how valuable you are will change every relationship you have and everything you do -- for the better.
I know sometimes it's hard to really accept a new truth. We can see the truth, we can believe it for others, but sometimes taking it into our own heart is hard. I have talked about this subject many times, but there are still days in which I need to be reminded of my own value. Those verses I shared? They are only the tip of the iceberg. If you aren't to the point where you know how valuable you are, or if you need to be reminded, then I beg you dig into scripture and see what God says.
God is truth, and God is love, and God does not lie. I beg you to focus on the verses, and repeat them as often as you can. Because it matters. Because you matter. And you need to know and believe it.