Thursday, January 29, 2009

Identity and Worth

I wrote this last week, and expected to refine it a bit before posting, but I don’t know that I have anything else or anything different to say. I shared some of this at a ministry meeting and had some friends pray for me in this area. I feel like I’m being healed a bit, but still have a ways to go to understand who I am and why it matters.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately to understand in my spirit (as opposed to in my mind) who I am as a child of God - to understand who I am and where my worth and value come from. I’ve always been pretty good at a lot of things and found my sense of self-worth in what I was good at and how well I performed. So when I’ve had things that I haven’t done well, it makes me question who I am. I start asking, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t do this?” I recognize that this stems from a kind of pride – a belief that it’s all about me and it’s all because of me. I understand in my mind that my true value comes from being a child of God, adopted by him. My identity flows from him and that there’s nothing I can do that will make me more or less worthwhile. In my neighborhood and in my church context, so many people who meet Jesus are so relieved that they are finally good enough. They have been told for so long that they are worthless and no good, and here comes someone who tells them that they are valuable and loveable just because of Him, because he loves them and because they are his. For me it’s the opposite, but it’s the same underlying issue - attaching my value to what I do and how well I do it - it’s just positive value instead of negative.

I don’t think I realized what I was doing until I started being in situations where I’m NOT good at things, where my skills and abilities are NOT displayed. That’s pretty much where I’ve been for about two years. I didn’t realize I was attributing my worth to my ability, skill and performance until I began attributing my lack of worth to my lack of ability, skill and performance. It’s been a place of brokenness but discovery, and I hope that I can come out of it transformed in who I am. However, I’m still hesitant to give up the belief that I’m no good because I didn’t do well, since that means I also have to give up the belief that I am good because I DID do well. It’s one and the same.

The other part of it is that I am overly concerned about what other people think of me, stemming directly from how I assign my self-worth. When I do a poor or only mediocre job at something, I’m afraid the people around me will think that I’m no good. I could never figure out why I was so concerned about what other people thought, but I’m finally starting to put all these pieces together.

1 comment:

his wife, their mama said...

To read this is hearing a side of you I never saw! I have also seen you as such a strong woman in every area of your life and I appreciate you putting your vulnerabilities out for all the blog-o-sphere to read. I certainly don't have any good advice, as I struggle with similar issues, but I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I think of you and your wee one so snug in your tummy daily. I pray often for your and your baby's health.

Love ya!