worth /werTH/ noun: the value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.
When you Google the meaning of the word “worth”, the above is the first definition to appear. At first glance you may think of material items that have a price tag on them. Often the shinier, bigger, or “prettier” objects have a larger price tag. But instead of applying this term to material items, let’s apply the word “worth” to human beings. The Google definition states that “worth” means “the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated”. Who decides this for another human?
For me personally, it was my friends in middle school that first began to label me with how much I was “worth”. They used to laugh and joke with me that I looked like a boy, Joe Jonas to be exact, and I would laugh with them, while secretly on the inside their jokes were becoming my identity. Now let’s be fair, I had the biggest eyebrows you had ever seen, my hair was cut up past my chin, I didn’t wear makeup, I had braces with mini shock absorbers connected to them, and my fashion sense wasn’t exactly up to par. Looking back now, I totally see where they were coming from – in fact, it’s quite comical now. However, back then, their jokes were the beginning to a long road of self-confidence issues.
After middle school, I began my freshman year of high school with excitement, as I thought this would be my time to finally shine, my time to be “popular”, to be a part of the “cool crowd” – yes, I finally had my braces off, this would change everything! To my dismay, this didn’t change a single thing. I tried to fit in, I tried to wear the cool clothes, I tried to act like the “cool kids”, but none of this was cutting it. Boys were calling me a midget, one boy told me I was so ugly that I should burn any photo that ever existed of me, and the girls, well, they were girls. They tried to fix my hair, my makeup, my clothes – they told me that one day I would “blossom”. My self-esteem plummeted. When would I ever be good enough? When would boys ever pay attention to me? Would I ever find love? Could I ever possibly be cool enough to be invited to this party, or that sleepover? Again and again, my peers were telling me no. However, things began to look up after my freshman year, I was about to discover a friend, a love, and a passion that I had never known.
After freshman year ended, my friend, Jessi, invited me to go to church camp with her. I accepted! She had been so nice to me throughout freshman year – she never, ever judged my appearance. There at church camp, I met Jesus for the first time. I fell on my knees, and cried out to the Lord as the song “How He Loves” played in the background. I was finally experiencing a love that I didn’t have to do anything to attain. I didn’t have to have thin eyebrows, long hair, and fashion sense. I didn’t have to drink, smoke, or “put out” to be noticed. My Father saw me, loved me, and cherished me for purely who I was and nothing more. This relationship that was blossoming between my Father and I started a 3 year recovery process of who I had previously thought I was.
Now, I will say, the recovery process was not easy. I didn’t just all of a sudden believe I was worth more than what my peers had labeled me, and in fact, I still stumbled into the trap of believing I was worth less that what my Father made me – I still allowed my friends, and more specifically boys, define who I was. But this drastically changed my Senior year of high school. I had been through extreme highs and lows on the journey to finding my worth, when I came across a verse that changed my life.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Let that sink in.
For someone who believed she was no grater than what society was labeling her, this was huge information to come by. A masterpiece. Me? I just couldn’t believe it! No one would ever look at a priceless painting – a masterpiece – that an artist such as Picasso had created and call it ugly, worthless, or “burn” worthy. And that’s when it hit me – I was beautiful!! I was worth something more than what I had believed!! The simple fact that God Himself crafted me in my mother’s womb made me worth something – something much more than just pretty clothes, pretty hair, or pretty makeup. He is the ultimate Artist, and His handiwork made me valuable.
At this point in my story you’re probably thinking, “Okay, cool story. But what does this have to do with Motivation Monday?” Let me answer that for you – I am motivating you, challenging you, to dig deeper into what you are worth. Find it out for yourself! Do not believe what others have labeled your worth. You, by nature of being hand crafted by God, have a worth that is unfathomable.
And while we are at finding our worth for our selves through God, I want to motivate and encourage you to lift other humans up! Encourage them that they are beautiful and loved just because they simply exist! Do not, I repeat NOT, withhold love from someone because they do not meet your beauty standards – these people are children of God, which make them worth every second of your time, compliments, and energy.