For the month of May, Kindred Mom is covering the following topics: Feeling Inadequate, Sleep-Rest-and-Rejuvenation, and Mental Health Awareness Month. We hope you’ll return to read the wonderful essays we have to share with you and cheer on the courageous mamas who have shared them.
***This week we are doing a fun giveaway in celebration of the Kindred Mom Podcast release (quick links to subscribe to the podcast are on the sidebar, and we have a podcast page in the navigation with show notes for each episode). From May 17-May 24, you can enter to win one of two Hospitality Bundles full of goodies that might help you head up a Summer Connection Group in your local area. There are some beautiful things from Magnolia Market included. Not to be missed! Enter on Instagram (beginning May 17) for the Backyard Coffee Hour Bundle or subscribe to our email newsletter to win the Evening Moms Gathering Bundle. Winners for both giveaways will be chosen on May 24th.***
The pressure is overwhelming, isn’t it? The pressure to perform, to fit in, to measure up. The pressure to do it all, be it all, experience it all. The pressure to be the first, the best, to do the most.
The pressure to be enough.
I know how you feel, because I am one of you. I am a woman whose worth is too often tied up in the external. I am a woman trying to measure my worth, and this is the conclusion I’ve reached:
We’re using the wrong measurements to determine our success.
We look far and wide, high and low, and into places with no validity to validate ourselves. We ask the world what it thinks and blindly accept what it offers. We listen to our culture instead of our Creator.
Our culture loudly proclaims the measure of the moment, and when it changes, we’re left reeling and reinventing ourselves. We’re left wondering if the next measure will find us lacking or if we’ll finally see our worth. We keep evaluating ourselves with an ever-changing ideal, and then we wonder why we can’t find peace in who we are.
We’re using the wrong standards.
Ladies, the length of your eyelashes isn’t a measure of your worth.
The label on your shoes can’t give or take away your merit.
The circumference of your waist doesn’t make you more valuable or detract from your inherent importance.
The grades on your kids’ report cards don’t validate your mothering, and the messes in their rooms don’t mean you’re failing.
The likes you get on Facebook mean nothing about who you are, and the followers you have on Instagram don’t make you a woman of significance.
The number of times you worked out this week doesn’t mean anything about the woman you really are.
The cash you have in your bank account is not a measure of your value, and the debt you’re fighting to pay down doesn’t mean you’re worth any less.
The square footage of your home and the design of your den are far from indicators of your stature.
The looks that others give you are not the measure of how you matter.
We want to quantify our worth based on what we can measure. If we can calculate it, we think we can count on it.
I’d love to remind you of a truth we forget: our worth is immeasurable.
We internally develop complex formulas to figure out our value.
Weight + job title x social media following = my worth.
Credit card bill – clothing expense + comments about my outfit = my value.
Job promotion + quarterly bonus + vacation destination = my importance.
The hardest thing for us to realize is that nothing we can see or quantify can accurately measure who we are. Only one thing matters, and it’s a position given and never earned.
We have worth because we belong to God. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
We have incalculable worth because our only-loving God lifted us from death to life, calling us daughters and “the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). We are made enough because we belong to the Almighty. We matter because God gave up his Son in order to bring us into his presence.
There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more or less worthy, even though the world begs us to believe otherwise.
Almost daily, I fall into the enemy’s trap of measuring who I am. I look at what I do, how I perform, how I look, and what others think. I fall back into my old ways of working for my worth and calculating how I did based on what people say.
I know what it’s like to work relentlessly for the approval of others and end up devastated when they don’t give their praise.
It is impossible to receive everyone’s approval, and I’ve learned that I’ll always fall short in someone’s eyes. Evaluating my worth apart from God’s truth is maddening. It’s maddening, and it always skews my perception of who I really am.
I am God’s masterpiece (Eph. 2:10).
I am a child of God (1 John 3:1).
I am God’s chosen one (Col. 3:12).
I am His treasured possession (Deut. 7:6).
Whenever we forget the reality of who we are in Christ, we let the world dictate who we should be. We let it tell us what we should do, and we let it control the view of ourselves we hold. We begin to strive and hustle and work and compromise, and then we begin to judge and criticize and condemn and control. We enter into a cycle of doing more things instead of being God’s children, and we judge ourselves based on our output instead of our standing.
We can never work our way into our worth. We can never achieve enough to feel worthy or earn enough to believe we have value.
We can only embrace our worth. We can’t earn it.
Jesus told his disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). We are no longer slaves – we are not under bondage to behavior and performance. We are free, and we are friends with the One who gives us worth. He has made both Himself and His love known, and His measure of us is the only one that will stand.
Jennie Scott is a divorced and remarried mom of two whose life has been far from perfect and completely different from what she planned. What she has found, though, is that God has provided exactly what she needed through it all. He is teaching her to enjoy the journey even when the path is winding and difficult. She blogs at jenniegscott.com.