My dearest cousin had recently re-posted a quote via Instagram from my last blog – “God doesn’t call the qualified God qualifies the called”….and tagged #knowyourworth (Thanks Fuli!)
This stirred up a few thoughts and coincided with what I had been pondering for a while, something I knew I would eventually blog about it.
When William was a baby less than six months old, and my husband Az would come home from work, William’s face would light up but what I observed was William would always look around to see if he had his father’s full attention. He was looking to his father for validation.
Sometimes we think it should be the significant moments that matter—his first steps, starting school or playing his first soccer game. And that is all true. But what I discovered it’s the consistency of spending quality time with him and speaking words of affirmation, rather than showering him with the latest gadgets or toys to keep him entertained. Because William is our only child and our main priority, I believe the time we spend with him contributes to his identity and self-worth.
A few years ago William and I went back home to Nz for a holiday to see my family. It is always a great opportunity for my son to reconnect with my side as we rarely get to see them. I love spending time with my family; sometimes I find it hard to leave. This particular trip was a bit different.
We were staying at my folk’s house and I had made plans with one of my brother’s to catch up at his place in the afternoon. William and I arrived at his house at the agreed time but no one was home yet. The door was locked so we waited outside and we had no mobile phone to contact him to see how far away he was.
We started playing in the yard with a soccer ball thinking my brother should be home soon.
I didn’t realize how long we were there until it started to get cold. I peered through the window inside the house to look at the clock—we had been waiting for almost half an hour!
I was thinking, this is not like my brother. Then I thought, maybe something happened—maybe an accident?? So William and I waited a little bit longer. I didn’t want to go home in case my brother turned up.
In the meantime, I am trying to keep William entertained. He is getting impatient when he asks again for the 100th time…. ‘where are my cousins mummy?’
I dismissed every thought that something had happened to my brother; my parents would’ve turned up by now to let us know if there was something serious going on. I started to get agitated, slowly getting angry.
By the time I returned to my parents’ house I was livid! My brother had stood us up for almost 45 mins!!! This triggered memories from my childhood, of moments when I felt dishonored, being the youngest of five.
I am Insignificant.
I am Overlooked.
I am Unwelcomed.
I am Put aside like trash.
I am Abandoned.
I never felt included and I always had a sense of being “unwanted”.
Let’s be clear, I don’t react like this every time someone is late for an appointment! (obviously). Being back home, around family in a familiar environment was a set up from God’s end. He had already begun to do a deep work in my heart about finding my identity and affirmation “in Him”.
So, I’m standing in my parents’ kitchen when a knot in my throat starts to form. I am trying to fight back the tears when suddenly…….whoosh! The flood gates open up and tears stream down my face. Thank God no one was home except me and my son.
I thought, what is wrong with me?!? I’m crying like someone close to me had died. Then suddenly……I am sobbing and heaving and deep breathing…. sniffing and spluttering. I was a wreck!!
What begins to surface in my heart was a malice that I was unaware of. I started to get more upset and I began to think of something vile to tell my brother, what I really thought of him….every name I could think of—a reaction to feeling abandoned.
When I finally calmed down, I paused before I rang my brother, knowing I would speak to him with all my anger otherwise.
This wisdom came down to prayer and asking God first before I did something irrational that I would later regret.
I felt led to ask God this question…. what lie have I been believing about myself?!
Straight away God replied “unworthy”
Unworthy: not deserving respect or attention, not worthy, lacking worth or excellence. Not good enough, no value.
God began to reveal the first memory of when I felt unworthy growing up, never deserving respect or attention which then led me to believe I was never good enough. When I felt never good enough I would strive to please others so I could find my validation. It was unhealthy because pleasing people is hard work.
The fear of man brings a snare, whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe or secure. Proverbs 29:25 NKJV
I sobbed at this revelation. The Holy Spirit had my full attention. He revealed that the feeling of being unworthy was something that I had believed because of other people’s actions.
He led me to forgive and release all who had ever hurt me or abandoned me from when I was little. As soon as I made this first step towards forgiving those who had wronged me, I felt the burden lift off my shoulders and a distinct presence and peace of God enveloped me.
That evening after I had prayed, my brother phoned and apologized for what he did. He could’ve just laughed it off and thought nothing of it, but that was not his heart; he was genuinely sorry.
The simple act of waiting and praying first before I vented my anger was probably the wisest decision I made. I learnt it was important to deal with things in God first, rather than let anger govern, which would have been worse.
An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. Proverbs 29:22 NIV
God was healing something much deeper in my heart than being stood up by my brother, the unexpected situation that occurred became a catalyst for restoration in knowing I am valued.
When we don’t know who we really are we will strive to find our worth even in things that have no real purpose. Years ago I tried to find my value in my vocation, my wardrobe, my image or the people I attracted. These things reflected on how I saw myself.
I thank God for the continual work of the Holy Spirit to direct me in the right path and to keep choosing God’s promises that enable me to believe in myself and know my worth is in Christ.