Monday, May 13, 2019

Finding Your Worth

•Finding Your Worth•

I recently had an interaction with a stranger who asked me, “What do you do?” I know that phrase usually implies that you describe your job or how you spend your days. I felt like my full answer was complicated and too time consuming for the situation I was in, so I simply said that I was a stay-at-home mom. Now, don’t stop reading if you work outside the home or don’t have kids. This isn’t a discussion of work-from-home vs. work-outside-the-home. Aren’t we all a little tired of that discussion by now?

When I answered with that, I received a look of disgust, and the woman immediately walked away. For all I know, she could have instantly had a stomachache come over her and the need to flee to the bathroom, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case. Her look and immediate departure translated to me that it wasn’t worth her time to talk to me. I wasn’t worth getting to know.

Don’t worry; I’m not about to have a pity party— quite the opposite.

There was a time where I defined myself by “what I did” and the career I had. I had a job I loved, and I loved talking about it. I found pride in it. I felt accomplished, fortunate, and talented. I later had my own business, and it gave me happiness and, again, pride.

Then I decided at 8 months pregnant to walk away from it and to be a stay-at-home mother. It’s another post for another day why I made that decision for our family (with no pressure but full support and a bit of surprise from my husband). Walking away from a career and a business meant I lost those things that had once defined me.

Now, I know mothers who are defined by their children. Their children are their lives. The children come before everything else, and the children are where they find their pride and identity and worth.

Here’s the thing: everything can be lost. You can lose a job. You can lose a career. The world changes. You can change. You can lose your passion and interests. You can lose physical and mental abilities. You can lose a child, and while a child is a life of worth, they are not where you find your worth. If you find your worth based on something that can be lost, then that means you’re holding on to something that is fleeting and, well, worthless.

I bring this up to encourage you not to look down on those who don’t have what you see as a valuable career. Don’t look down on the mother who stays home. Don’t look down on the mother who works outside the home. Don’t look down on the person who doesn’t have children. Most importantly, find your worth in something that isn’t fleeting, something that can’t be lost. I find my worth in knowing I’m a child of God. I will never lose Him, because He is constant and is holding on to me. He will never let go of me, even when everything else in this world would drop me in an instant. My worth is found in Jesus and in who He is. I know all too well that you can lose your physical abilities and you can walk away from jobs and careers and businesses. And though I pray it never happens, I know you can lose a child. But through all that, I cannot lose my worth in Christ. What a relief! Now, maybe that’s how I should have answered that woman’s question.

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