My own personal sense of worth and value is something that I have struggled with for many years. Recently God asked me to give Him my grief. As I did this, I realised that there was a consistent theme of feeling neglected and undervalued. I was angry at not feeling valued by others and I was struggling to understand why I wasn’t receiving it. It was in the midst of this struggle that I thought what if I my value never changed? What if it consistently stayed the same? That even if someone else’s opinions of me were up or down, my value never changed. This led me to my next thought… God’s value of me never changes. Despite my failings, He is consistent in His love toward me. He is the one who makes me worthy. Why is this not enough for me? With all of my knowledge about God, why am I still struggling with my own worth and value?
That night I was woken by God. I heard Him say, “Cheryl, come close to me. Come here and rest on my shoulder. Rest in my protective presence. I want you to experience intimacy with Me”. When I moved into His arms I felt the presence of something else. I said to God, “What is it, is this you?” He indicated that it wasn’t. I then said “Is it attached to me, should I do something about it?” His answer was “No, it’s not attached to you; it harms you from the outside”. At this point I felt it touch me and inflict pain deep in my belly. I said to God, “What is this area it is touching?” He replied, “It’s your pride. It’s your desire for gratitude, adoration and value”. Upon Him saying this, the words, “God gives grace to the humble”, went through my mind. Then I heard Him say, “Submit this to me”. After that I was reminded about resisting the devil. Then lastly I heard Him say, “Draw close to me”. I felt deeply moved by this and started to repent of my fleshly desire for attention, gratitude, adoration and value. I surrendered it all to God. When I finished doing this I heard God speak in a loud commanding, but safe voice, “Cheryl, stand tall, stand tall in My pride. Stand tall in My love, stand tall in My life. For I am the one who values you, I give you My love and adoration. Do not look to the left or the right. Do not worry about the concerns of others, look forward. I will give you a forehead of flint. I will speak on your behalf. Stand tall and walk forward in Me”. I then saw myself standing with my back nestled into His legs, like a little child nestles into the protection of their parents legs. I was looking out in front of me. God was looking down upon me. I then saw Him breathe on me; His breath came down touched my forehead and moved out before me. As it did this, I heard Him speak “This is my child, my daughter, the one whom I love”. As I took steps forward I watched God’s breath melt my enemies away and clear the pathway for me to move. I felt strengthened and empowered to move forward in God. I didn’t feel the need to concern myself with the opinions of others; their opinions had no weight or effect on me. I was standing tall and I felt proud of my God. Out of my mouth came words of praise and amazement at the might of God. I remembered speaking out the words, “WOW, God you are MIGHTY!” I was in awe of Him.
You think that an amazing vision like this would fix all of my self-worth issues. Alas no it didn’t, instead a war arose in my heart. You see I wanted people to accept me. I wanted to be able to correct people, “You’re wrong! I am more than you limit me to be”. In my heart was this deep-seated anger, and I wanted justice! In the midst of my battle I heard God speak, “What does it matter if you are right and they are wrong? You could wait the rest of your life for justice and their opinion of you may never change. Are you going to waste your life on something that only I can give. Let go of your justice, your need to be right and for everything to be fixed.”
My battle with God continued, “God, what if they are not my enemies? What if they are my friends, my loved ones, people I see everyday, people I interact with? How am I to handle their poor opinion of me? I can’t handle that constant feeling of not being loved and valued.”
His answer, “Cheryl, do you not believe that I love you? Cheryl, do you not believe that I would speak truth about your value? Do you not believe that I would tell all of your beauty? Why don’t you believe in my goodness? Look at your how hard you have tried to receive the love and value you desire. Why do you hold onto something that does not work? I see your worth, I see your value. Let me speak for you, I will not fail. Cheryl trust me, I love you”.
Surrendering this has been a challenge. To be honest I feel vulnerable. Trusting in someone else to speak on my behalf is not something I like the thought of. I grew up feeling ashamed, like I was a constant failure; not good enough. I have felt pressure from myself and loved ones to be something. I have endured people’s well-meaning interventions, trying to fix and change me into someone better. It can be hard to believe that someone would be proud and delighted by my existence.
God is not like man. God sees His precious creation and out of the depth of His being and integrity of His heart He speaks. He speaks of His love for His children. He speaks truth about them. God’s love is unconditional. God is right. I have put so much effort into trying to get people to love and value me. Yet for all of my effort I see little fruit. For too long I have stood unprotected outside of His love. For too long I have tried to defend, manipulate, cry and fight for love and respect on my own. It’s time for me to nestle myself into His presence and let Him speak for me. It time to stop concerning myself with the opinion of others. It’s time to surrender my desire for justice to God. It’s time listen to God speak “This is my child, my daughter, the one whom I love”. It’s time to stand tall and be proud of my God!
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