Ladies, meet Karen—an Imperfectly Brave prayer partner and sister in the Lord. Listen as she shares with us about God speaking worth and hope into her life…and ours.
It’s hard to fathom just how much we are loved and valued by God. It’s difficult to imagine that He loves us more than we love our own children…more than “to the moon and back”…more than anything! It’s not easy to grasp that there is nothing we need to do to earn God’s love or increase our worth in God’s eyes.
Most of my life, I have struggled with self-worth, with believing that I have value. I am an extrovert by nature—I’m outgoing and am energized by being around people. But there have been times when my confidence was threatened, even depleted, by a negative comment or condescending behavior—to the point that I would retreat and “beat myself up” for not being good enough, for feeling “stupid” or like a failure. I would wonder how anyone could love me or like me or want to be around me.
I have suffered from deep rejection a few times in my life, both as an adult and as a child, causing my sense of worth to plummet, my sense of hope to wane.
It was during my most recent “season of worthlessness” that I first learned about Imperfectly Brave. I was seeking God and His healing from a heart-wrenching, life-changing experience that shattered my world and left me “shaken down to the cavity in my soul” (lyrics from “Do I Trust You” by Twila Paris). I was reeling from an unwanted divorce after 39 years of marriage, a chapter in my life that I never thought would be written. During the Imperfectly Brave Weekend, God met me where I was, in my dark place of grief and rejection, and He wrapped me in His arms of love.
As I read the book and attended the weekly book study, God began the process of redefining specific areas in my life—He knew exactly what I needed! And Chapter 4, Redefining Worth, sent God’s arrows deep into my soul! On the first page of the chapter, Whitney states, “…we don’t have to do a thing to increase our worth in God’s eyes except to stay with Him.” (Tears!) I so longed to be valued for who I am, to have a sense of purpose and worth, especially to God.
My earthly father abandoned my mother just before I was born, and I’m sure this negatively impacted my ability to think of God as a loving, caring Father who valued me and wanted to spend time with me, and I didn’t have to do anything to earn His love. How could that be?
As I worked my way through the “worth chapter,” and God worked His way further into my heart, I asked Him to show me how to love myself, to regain a sense of worth, and to know my life has a purpose. I can count on one hand the number of times I have audibly heard God speak. (There’s no doubt in my mind when it happens, though—His voice is like no earthly voice!) As I was seeking Him, I audibly heard God say, “You have worth on this earth.” (I’m just sure He made that little rhyme to help me remember exactly what He said!)
“You have worth on this earth!”
That spoke volumes to me! And it confirmed what I had read in Chapter 4…I am of great worth to God AND that I have a purpose in this life. Right here. Right now.
Rejection, worthlessness, hopelessness…one leads to another, and these are NOT God’s design. “We need to be running toward hope. This is the gatekeeper of brave lives. Hope ushers us into lives of great purpose and great meaning” (Chapter 4, Imperfectly Brave).
By redefining our worth, God empowers us to overcome and to be brave…to know we are of great value to Him, and to live as daughters of the King. Chapter 4 reminds us, “Your worth doesn’t rest in what you are, what you do, or what you accomplish. Our God is too radical for something so human. Your worth rests in knowing El-Shaddai—Almighty God.” Amen!
If you want to see God redefine the hidden places of your heart, too, you can. Join the Imperfectly Brave book study. There is still time! We would love to have you. But even more importantly, God would love to meet with you. xo whitney
Meet Karen. She is academic services specialist at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Most importantly, she is a mom who loves God’s word. Her warmth for others is alluring. She appreciates good music and a great cup of coffee. We have loved seeing her journey through Imperfectly Brave. Her light is shining as God continues to redefine her.