(Listen to the audio version of this article here.)
I loved to play dress-up as a girl. I’d steal away to my stepmother’s closet and search out the highest heels, the longest string of 80s chunky beads, and the tiny samples of lipstick that she saved from Avon orders. If I was lucky, I’d also find the plastic tiara that somehow ended up in the toy box from a distant prom or Halloween costume.
There is a musty photograph of me somewhere smiling, head turned to one side trying to keep that crown from slipping off my blonde bobblehead. While memories of my childhood are patchy, like Swiss cheese, this one remains. Perhaps, because it has been captured in still life. Perhaps, because even at a tender age, I remember feeling like my worth needed to come from outside. My value in what I looked like or did. Not who I was inside. Like somehow, covered in rhinestones, my life could mean something.
All That Glitters is Not Gold
It’s amazing how long I’d live on this messy planet before realizing I didn’t have to settle for a crooked and cheap little crown. I didn’t have to believe in the counterfeit. I didn’t have to bow down to the lies I’ve believed about myself—and still struggle with at times today if I’m honest. Hisses like:
I’m not loved or loveable.
The list slithers on.
Where do these lies come from?
I wish I could answer that and not sound like a Southern Baptist preacher.
What I’m going to say today is that maybe it doesn’t matter. Well, it does, but maybe not as much as something else:
Fighting the lies with the truth.
What Does God Say About My Worth?
Fast forward a couple of decades from me playing dress-up to me with emerging silver streaks of hair around my temples (I now understand why there are so many blondes in their 40s). Today, I can rest in this truth: I am loved. Beloved.
Finding our worth can be as simple as dusting off our Bibles (or buying one) and learning more about what God says about us. We don’t have to look further than the very beginning:
In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”
Let that sink in for a minute.
We are created in the image of God. Now that’s value.
Later on in the Psalms, these lovely words are sung: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (139:14).
There are people out there, both past (like the psalmists) and present, who are resting assured in the truth that our lives and bodies and souls are wonderful. In fact, every hair on our head and every unruly brow that needs a good tweezing were lovingly placed there by God. He knitted and fastened and breathed grace into every inch of our being, from our dimply thighs to our graying crowns.
Today, I can rest in this truth: I am loved. Beloved.
And what is more, we were not only created in the image of God and wonderfully made, we also can reflect the glory of the Lord as we are being renewed and transformed. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, the Apostle Paul says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
If I, a simple woman with a messy life, can reflect the glory of the Lord, so can you.
Pain in the Process, but Beauty is Coming
Learning my worth has been a slow and painful process. Excruciating at times. The lies have been heavy, unyielding. I’ve carried them awkwardly like oversized luggage though the O’Hare airport. Through knobby-kneed childhood, beer-soaked adolescence and heavy-on-the-eyeliner college. I’ve wrestled with them as I’ve become an adult, some days, almost suffocating under their strength. There is so much weight to carry in this world. So many lies to sift through. So many monsters.
But I’ve also lived to feel the lies’ weight lifted, so light it’s like the pillow of air beneath the soft flutter of butterfly wings. There is pain in the process of discovering our worth, but beauty is coming.
Walking Forward in the Truth
Sister, if you are burdened by lies or wondering how to find your worth, can I encourage you for a moment more?
You can put your fake crown down.
God has created you with a loving care that is unmatched.
You are a precious jewel.
Royalty in His sight.
This is the truth.
And what is more?
When we realize we are loved, valued, and accepted by God, we reflect his glory which is the most lovely thing in the world.
Need a confidence boost? Check out this podcast episode: Step Into Your Confidence Now – 108