Worthy Anyway

Welcome to the launch and inaugural post of The Good Word Project! Be sure to check out our About and Authors pages to learn who we are, why we are writing and how it will all work.

Our team is thrilled to launch this project with this month’s word, “worthy.” Our experiences personally and with other women have led us to an understanding that most women have or do struggle with feelings of un-worthiness at one time or another. These emotions can affect us at varying levels and at different stages (or days!) of life. Regardless, we know that everyone wants to be truly known and loved, and the Lord wants to affirm our worth and value. {If only we could consistently see ourselves through His eyes.}

Perhaps it’s best to start by defining the word. According to Dictionary.com, worthy is an adjective meaning 1) having adequate or great merit, character or value; 2) of commendable excellence or merit; deserving.

I have to admit, I often get stuck at the second word of the definition: adequate. “Am I enough?” is a question I’ve asked myself no less than a million times over the course of my life, and the honest truth is that I often feel like the answer is no.

Could I ever be enough?

As a StrengthsFinder “Achiever,” I have often found my identity in setting goals, running hard after them, and most times, achieving my plan. Yay!! But…instead of being content with that victory, I frequently (and almost immediately) raise the bar higher. I look around and see more needs around me, more I could potentially do and more I need to learn. While this could be a healthy motivation to fuel me for positive growth, I sometimes take took much time to wallow in the reality that I can’t ever catch up to all the needs, all the doing, all the learning. And I feel IN-adequate. NOT enough. UN-worthy. I can feel like much more of a failure than an achiever; a loser instead of a winner; someone deserving of criticism, versus merit or affirmation.

The Connection to Identity

Over the years, I’ve {S L O W L Y} realized that I often connect my identity to my worth…which can be a colossal mistake when I’ve allowed the world, or worse yet, the enemy to help define my identity. There’s a LOT of noise barraging us from all sides about what’s important and how to be the best – in our appearance, our parenting, our careers, our workouts, our meals, our homes and more. There are so many ways we can compare and measure ourselves, and not many, if ANY are reinforcing the truth about who we really are.

Completely unique and completely loved by the One who made us.

This is the truth of who we are. THIS is our true identity.

When I think about the very beginning of our creation, I consider the level of intentionality and care that God took with each one of us. Before He even formed us in the womb, He knew us. (Jeremiah 1:5, emphasis mine.) He had a knowledge and an intimacy with us, and with that, He took great care to “form” us in specific ways, down to the specific numbers of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). It’s no accident, coincidence or game of chance that we have a particular physical appearance, possess the strengths, weakness and abilities we have, and express our personalities in a specific way that only we can. God created us in His image but with our own uniqueness. There is nobody else just like me (or you!) and God ordained it that way. We cannot deny that each one of us is special, because we truly are!! Indeed, we are each one-of-a-kind; distinctive, unprecedented, and completely original, and therefore, so is the difference we can each make in our world.

Isn’t it so cool to shift our thinking and treasure the fact that our Creator’s plan was to create us, just as we are? He planned it that way for our good and His glory. He demonstrates his brilliant creativity by never repeating the same person twice. Think about how truly incredible that is; how truly incredible you ARE! (Seriously, take a moment to think about how many people have been created since the beginning of time and just try to grasp that no two are exactly alike – not even identical twins!) It’s almost unfathomable and makes God so worthy of glory!

With all this creativity in His design, it’s worth noting that He didn’t create perfection in ANY of us, except his Son. Rather, He created us with flaws and with a need for Him; a reason to draw closer; a yearning that only He can fill. He set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) so we will desire a relationship with Him, just as He does with us. He assures us that we are still a work very much in progress, and He will continue this work to completion on the day when Christ returns (Philippians 1:6).

Bottom line: until then, we aren’t supposed to be perfect. He isn’t finished with us yet. Our lives, our stories and our purposes are still in progress, and our best plan is to remain close to the Lord, seeking His will and understanding for our lives. He will give us guidance, direction (and peace) in the best way to go.

Imperfect AND Worthy

So, we’re imperfect. It’s how we’re made. But how do we fully accept our less-than-perfect selves and simultaneously fully embrace our worthiness?

Here are three ways to help us shift our minds and receive all that God intends for us:

  1. Take our focus off of ourselves and put it on God. Rather than fixing our thoughts and attention on how we’re falling short, we can turn our sights to see God’s magnificent perfection, absolute power, and loving guidance. Instead of looking inward with a critical eye, we can look upward with a glorifying gaze, because He is always worthy – our refuge, strength and ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
  2. Receive what God has for us: immeasurable love and grace. Our worth comes from His love and fills us when we receive it. He created us and loves us perfectly as a Good Father. In fact, He lavishes us and calls us His children (1 John 3:1). He knows we aren’t perfect. He knows we fall short, and yet, while we were still sinners, He sent his Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another (John 15:13). He created us, knows us, sees us as we are and loves us unconditionally and extravagantly. This is something we should repeat to ourselves daily and allow to permeate through our hearts, souls and minds…even though, truly, it’s a stretch for our human minds to grasp just how wide, long, high and deep is His love for us (Ephesians 3:18). It was a prayer that the apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians, and one that we can each pray for ourselves. May we understand and receive how great His love is for us.
  3. Forget about performance. This is likely the most freeing revelation of my lifetime. We can’t perform ourselves into His good graces. We can’t prove to Him our worthiness. We can’t achieve eternity.  These are His gifts to us. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)God isn’t looking for our stellar performance or achievements. He wants our hearts. He wants to be in a loving relationship with us, and we can’t make Him love us any more or any less. He just wants us. All of us. With all of our brokenness, faults and shortcomings.  When we finally stop trying so hard and admit our need for a Savior, He does the work. He makes us right. He covers us with His perfection. He does what we never could.

And because of Him, we’re enough. More than enough. More than worthy.

It doesn’t mean that we don’t ever get caught up in feelings of inadequacy. We are human, after all. But, if we can remind ourselves of these truths, and if we can remind each other too, we will spend less and less time in doubt.

We are worthy. We are not perfect. We are worthy anyway.

11 thoughts on “Worthy Anyway

  1. Congrats on the launch! What a beautiful project. My eyes got stuck on, “Completely unique and completely loved by the One who made us” Its a gift to end the day hearing that, thanks Erin. Hugs and always believing in you and God in you, don’t ever forget it

    Liked by 1 person

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