The summer I worked at Victory Junction back in 2015 was challenging to say the least, and it was by far the hardest summer that I’ve ever experienced. I had to learn how to rediscover my worth even though I was stretched in every possible way as you’ll see when you keep reading.
Physically – We worked 18 hour days and many of those hours were spent outside in temperatures that were above 90 degrees. I had a nice little discoloration on my face to prove it too, and yes I did wear and reapply sunscreen. But working at a summer camp was hard work. Not only was I required to maintain optimum energy each week in order to entertain the campers, but some weeks were more physically demanding than others because we were required to transfer children who did not have lower mobility. And on top of all of that, I got sick towards the beginning of week 7 which left me feeling completely miserable.
Emotionally: That summer was full of confrontations and many times, I felt alone. It didn’t help that I am a sensitive and emotional person, and I didn’t handle confrontation or conflict well. Everyone was super friendly, but I didn’t exactly feel like I fit in anywhere and this really affected my self-esteem. I constantly felt like my feelings or opinions didn’t matter, and at one point I had to get a grip. I had to realize that I was more than I was allowing myself to feel.
Spiritually: Working from Sunday to Thursday meant that I was unable to go to church, which translates to I was not surrounded by a needed Christian community. I had to sacrifice sleep or being social in order to spend time with God. And if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t spend much time with Him at all and as time went on, I didn’t exactly want to either. I got into a habit of thinking that it would be enough if I just prayed throughout the day. And this lack of time spent with Jesus clearly started to affect my relationships with other people. I was less patient, showed less grace, and it was much harder for me to love others.
So in the midst of all of that, I lost my sense of self-worth. I let the perceptions of other people define me, and then I let it consume me. I allowed my outward circumstance change my inward perspective to the point that I started to question myself and the authority that God had given me. And I didn’t even notice it was happening until I was checked by a friend. The thing about self-worth is that it is not something that can be easily gained. You cannot follow a numbered list and expect it to appear out of thin air. It’s all about perspective and how you see yourself.
I grew up with a lot of insecurities, and I still have some. But it wasn’t until I started walking with Christ that I was able to see myself through Him. My identity changed when I met the Lord. He removed doubts, fears, pride, sadness, and a lot of other negative feelings and changed them into confidence, fearlessness, and peace. So this post is for anyone who is seeking to regain their sense of self-worth. The words below were spoken by a dear friend. They were the exact words that I needed to hear, and I am sure that they will bless you if you are experiencing the same struggle.
An Open Letter to the Girl Struggling with Self-Worth
From everything that you have told me, it seems like there is one big issue here. You are focusing so much on what THEY think about you, that you are losing your identity in who you are as an individual and who you are in Christ. It’s like you are so consumed with what they are doing to you, saying about you, and feeling towards you that you are completely allowing their opinion of you to cloud over who you truly are.You are more self-confident than this.. I’ve never seen you so consumed in what others think about you. And I get that it’s a difficult situation because you are with people every day, and it’s hard. I can relate to that. But you know that it’s only for a little while longer, and that you are only with them for a season. Then you’re DONE. No more communication, no more thinking about them or their opinions.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but because someone or a group of people have questioned your character, you are so thrown off that you are over analyzing and over-obsessing. It happens to the best of us, seriously it does. You have never felt this way or this emotion, so you have no idea how to categorize it or handle it. But you have got to have more confidence in who you are as an individual in Christ, than the image that others conceive of you in the flesh. People are flawed in their thinking, but to a more intense degree when you mix a bunch of unbelievers with someone full of Jesus Christ. You are going to stand out like a sore thumb and that is what is happening.
People aren’t going to know what to do with the light that shines out of you. They will either be drawn to it or they will (more likely) fight it because they are uncomfortable with it. You knew that you were going to be different, that you ARE different. We are called to be different.
Every world changer in the Bible was persecuted either by force or verbally. They were the sore thumbs of their generation, so you are in great company. We were forewarned that this would happen. Think of it this way; at least you know that you’re doing something right. If the world loves you, then you wouldn’t be projecting the image of Christ to those around you.
John 15:18 “If the world (your fellow peers) hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.”John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you; the servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”1 Peter 4:16 “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed (or EMBARRASSED); but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
You said to me that you felt that the Lord has a special calling on your life. You feel like it’s out of this world and extraordinary, something greater than the average calling. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe this was God teaching you how to handle persecution on a small-scale before He allowed it to take place on a larger scale? Because with a great, audacious calling will come even greater persecution.
When you dig in and allow God to do something crazy in your life, you have got to be ready for no one to understand and for everyone to come against you with everything that they have. You have a massive calling on your life. I can feel it and I can see it. But you have to prepare for it. You have to put on that armor of God and fight this fight. It’s not easy, it will never be easy, and it won’t ever get any easier.
We are in a fight for our lives. But YOU are equipped to handle it. You are equipped to fight the good fight and win because you have the Lord, our God on your side fighting before you and beside you. He will never let you fall. Ever. But you cannot continue to allow what people say, make you question your worth.
You are worth too much to God to think that way. Don’t do that to Him… Don’t insult His love for you in that way.. You are worth more than precious jewels. He fought and died for YOU so that one day you could know your worth and feel it. You can do this. You just have to change your mindset and stop allowing them to flood your mind. Stay plugged into our Father, and He will work on your behalf.
You just have to expect the persecution and fight through it. Never stop being that light. Never stop shining. For who knows the seeds that are being planted amidst the persecution? Only God knows.
And He knows your pain and suffering. He hears you, and He is there with you. Do not forget that. You will never go through anything more than you can bear. You know your worth, I know your worth, and you need not to ever let someone redefine that worth! Not even for a minute. That would be a minute too long in my book.
So there you have it. Not a step-by-step list on how to rediscover your worth, but an open letter to encourage you and check your heart. I pray that God changes your heart to see yourself the way He sees you. You are valued and loved by the One who created the world, and if He loves you so unconditionally, then you should be able to too.
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