Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Basis of a Woman's Worth

This is for my sisters. For my blood sisters. For my spiritual sisters. For my sisters who are sisters simply because they are female. This is my heart.

I started a novel on Sunday. I read a few pages, and said, "I can't read about this. I can't read this book." It hit a trigger that I didn't even know was a trigger.

The trigger was cutting.

I can't read about this subject in books because I know girls who have cut themselves. It is such a broken thing to do. My heart breaks for these girls and their broken hearts that makes them feel this is a good option. It makes me weep.

I don't pretend to fully understand cutting or the thought processes behind it. I just know that the  physical pain is supposed to somehow assuage or silence the guilt, hurt and shame we are daily bombarded with in our cultures...

You are not worthy. You are not enough.

To say nothing of the conflicting messages we hear that reinforce this unworthiness and plague our minds.

Be a certain (small) size. But, don't spend too much time exercising. That's obsessive and neglectful of priorities.

Be forthright and state what's on your mind, but don't be upset or hurt someone else's feelings.

Don't be too detached but don't be too emotional. Too emotional is hysterical. Too detached is cold-hearted.

Be confident and successful, but not too successful. Too successful means you are a b____.

Be modest-in dress and actions. Be a sex kitten in the bedroom and don't neglect your conjugal obligations.

Don't sacrifice your career and dreams for kids. But have kids. But don't have too many kids.

Find the perfect median in every activity and attitude and look and pursuit; but don't look like you are trying. That is the cardinal failure.

Finding that perfect balance should be effortless. Or so we are told.

But, not only is it not effortless, it is elusive. The tension is crazy. Flailing and failing eats at our sense of enough. Our sense of worthiness.

These ideas wiggle and niggle their way in from outside sources because its already the track that is playing in our own hearts. We are operating from a place of guilt and shame and not from a place of grace and dependence on God.

The only comfort I find to this daily conundrum, is that my worth is not in myself. It's not in my accomplishments. It's in one thing alone.

...the Son of God (Jesus), who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

That is the basis of my worth. Jesus loved me enough to give His life for me. The same is true for you.

So, I run miles and I pray. I pray for my sisters. I pray for my girl friends. I pray for myself. That this truth will overrule all the lies that are screamed in our faces and into our hearts.

Our worth does not lie in having a boyfriend or being married. Though our worth is tied to a man. It is based on a man's love. Not a human man. The God-Man, Jesus. Our worth does not lie in having a career or staying at home. Being skinny, or fat, or somewhere in-between.

Someone once told me that I should be doing all.the.things. It's my job because I am a stay at home wife and mother. Cooking, cleaning, home schooling, writing, reading, bathing babies, feeding babies, running, swimming, baking bread, baking cookies, making nutritious meals for my family every day, grocery shopping, laundry, sewing, gardening, yard work. Everything. Because I am a stay at home mom, and this is my job, and it is what I am supposed to do.

But my worth does not lie in my accomplishments. Whether I've finished my to-do list, or left a bunch of chores uncrossed. My worth is not measured by someone else's impossible list for me. My enough is not based on when I (or someone else) feel I've done enough.

Our worth is inexorably linked to the fact, to the truth, that Jesus Christ loved me and gave Himself for me.

Embrace it, sisters. That's worthy and that's enough.