Stop. Before you read any further write down three “I Am” statements about yourself. No seriously, I’ll wait…got a pen and paper yet? Ok. Go.
- I am ______
- I am ______
- I am ______
What did you fill in the blanks with? Maybe you wrote “I am” a mom, wife, friend, or perhaps your job title. Whatever you wrote, it is who you believe you are, and you wouldn’t be wrong with anything you wrote.
We tend to measure our value by the things we wrote down. We feel like a good mom, when our kids are doing well. We feel like a good wife when we’ve cooked our husband’s favorite meal and see the satisfied look on his face. We get a raise at work, or praise from a boss and feel like a contributor to the office. It isn’t wrong to feel valued in the circumstances. In fact, it is always great to receive praise, we need that from time to time. The danger here lies the guilt that follows.
If you value yourself by who you are on your list, than there will always be a list of things not being met that you feel guilty for. Why? It’s simple. You cannot be everything at once.
I will write on being a mom for minute because it’s one of my own “I am” statements, and how this guilt pertains to us mommies. If I write “I am a Mom”. Then, I measure my self-worth and my value by my kids. I begin to make my kids the centre of my world. I listen to their every word, invest my day back into their world, worry about their future, their eternity, their health and wellbeing, and place them ahead of everything else. But wait a minute…what about my husband? I also made the “I am a wife” statement. And now, I have not put him into the center of my world. He has been left out and he feels it, and now I feel guilty for ignoring him. So, in effort to ensure that he is no longer left out I focus on him. But, then I go to bed wondering if I’ve spent enough with my kids for them to know how much I love them and I go to bed feeling guilty again and like I’ve let people down. Get the pattern? I work at one thing that I feel makes me valuable, then realize I’ve left out another and feel guilty and begin all over again, all the while stressing myself out and stretching my time very thin.
We need to hang up that guilt. We need to let go of our own “I am” statements to see where our true value lies. We need to stop being people pleasers and expending our energy and resources on making others the center of our world. Yes, God has asked us to do certain things in life like going out and making disciples, training up our children in his ways. But, God also calls us to him first and foremost. Here’s three more “I Am” statements for you:
- I AM loved my the Creator of the universe who took the time to craft my body, and build in me my character.
- I AM being pursued by the God who wants nothing more than me and my time this very second.
- I AM who I am only because God thought of me first. Before my parents wanted children, before they were even born, he thought of me.
You see? Your value is not measured by your own family, or your work ethic, or what you ate or didn’t eat, or whether you took the stairs or the elevator today. Your value is not measured by how many friends you have, the size of your house, or how many dishes you didn’t wash today. Your value is not even measured by the way your kids grow up and turn out to be, or whether anyone around you even knows your name. Your value comes from who you are to God. The God of the universe who made the stars, the planets, the days and the nights also took the time to handcraft you from the inside out. That’s where your value lies. As a fearfully and wonderfully child of God. Yes you, no matter how old you are, no matter what you have or haven’t done, YOU are still a child of God. That verse still pertains to you!
So, hang up the guilt that tells you each night that you failed somewhere. You didn’t. Run to the arms of the Father who longs to be with you. Silence the busyness and frantic days that tell you you need to DO something to be of value and JUST SIT with God. Your Dad of all dads, who has nothing so urgent on his plate that he cannot be still you.
Join us next week on the blog as I write about being still.
Thank you for this preview into what you have prompted Sarah to write for next week. I pray that as people read this that they will feel the holy spirit move upon them. I thank you for your almighty wisdom in teaching us all that you would have us know about learning to walk with you Father. I thank you for your written word, that we might have peace and guidance as we discern and hear your truths in each of our lives. I ask that you just be with us in the next few days as we spend the weekend in your word and prepare for a new week. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.