Picture this: you are walking in town, head lifted high, smile on your lips, probably whistling a happy tune because you are confident you’re well dressed. Those days you strut with a swag feeling your top notch best. Those days you’re eager to meet everyone you know so you can move heads and set tongues wagging. And no, you’re not proud, you reassure yourself, you’re just turning it up, as you occasionally do.
Now imagine those days you wake up late and in a haze, you don’t have time to select your perfect outfit so you just quickly throw on what your hands first lay on and dash out of the house. The days you walk with your head bowed down as if you are in constant prayers, days you dread bumping into anyone you know because you’re certain they will judge you and not see beyond your hair and outfit. Those days you’re tempted to walk around hating yourself all throughout.
For a very long time, I didn’t know what to base my worth and identity on so I went along with any label the world gave me. It’s true what they say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. In high school they said you had to be slim to fit in, I wasn’t, so I hid myself and my self esteem in long oversized clothes hoping they wouldn’t notice how much of a misfit I was. After high school they said the more you reveal the more appealing you are, so I threw out my baggy clothes alongside my dignity and flashed as much skin as I could. In campus they said you had to drink and date to be cool, so out went my principles and I dived in to the pool of parties and pleasures.
It was an unending cycle of striving hard to maintain the status quo at the expense of loosing myself bit by bit every day until I couldn’t recognize myself if I was handed a mirror. Every day I woke up feeling lost, bitter and engaged in heavy turmoil but I couldn’t let anyone in to see my battle. Who would understand? The struggle to keep up with the labels despite every cell in me screaming for a way out pushed me deep into a dark pit where I was slowly drowning and giving up on life.
Until one night I went to church and bitterly wept as I lay my heart to God and told Him I was giving up on life and I needed Him to understand me when I did. He didn’t interrupt me but I felt His embrace, He let me wail all through the service and when I had no tears to shed, He gently whispered one word, ‘Restoration”. I knew deep in my heart what He said and had a slight flick of hope of what He could do but I was adamant to believe Him.
I mean, hadn’t He watched how deep I had fallen, how badly hurt I was, how broken I felt, how messed up I looked? Why would He want to taint Himself saving a lost case? God knew my doubts and the thoughts running in my head, He knew I needed a little push. So He used the praise leader at the pulpit, the guy stopped leading in worship and spoke to the congregation. He said that the Spirit was leading him to tell someone that God was ready to restore and all God needed was a willing heart ready to surrender and submit. At once I looked up from my seat and I knew that was my message so I smiled to myself and told God that I heard Him loud and clear, I was ready.
That was the night I gave my life to Christ; the dark night I had gone to ask for permission to give up on life was the night He reached out and led me Home. Now it didn’t matter what anybody said anymore, it didn’t matter if I didn’t fit in any more. What mattered was I knew I was not of the world anymore and I knew my place in God; I was His beloved child, the daughter of a King. I didn’t need to struggle being an earthly girl anymore. I was free to be who I was meant to be and the best thing, I was at peace knowing my identity and worth is in Christ Jesus.
Isn’t it strange how we value the outward appearance over the inner beauty, how we judge others based on their outfits and not their character, how we let others dictate our worth based on what they think we should look and behave?
(1st Peter 3:3-4-Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.)
Wouldn’t the society be a better place if everyone believed in themselves, knew their worth, stood up for what they believed mattered, were confident in their identity and thus remain unfazed regardless of any contrasting opinion?
What’s your worth?