When You Forget Where Your Worth is Found: Encouragement for the Insecure Mom
Last week was not pretty. A lot of tension and fighting between my husband and I. Moments of anger and outbursts toward my daughter. Discouragement and anxiety over technical difficulties with the podcast. Disappointment in myself for failing to write. None of these things are make-or-break things and yet I found myself feeling overcome with despair in a way I haven't experienced in quite some time. I felt worthless. Unable to do anything right.
At first I felt ashamed and embarrassed by how much of an impact these things were having on me emotionally. I wanted to be better than this. Stronger and more confident. Able to shake off my failures, or better yet -- not have any failures at all. But I realize now that it felt like my world was crumbling beneath me not because I'm a weak, foolish woman, but because the lies I battle in my mind and heart are real and are rooted in something so much bigger.
Even though I know better and have been reminded of the truth time and time again, I still find myself believing that my worth is found in my works. In being the beautiful, trendy super-mom. In having the happiest, godliest marriage. In looking like the well-balanced homemaker in the picture-perfect house. I even look for my worth in my writing, thinking that the number of followers or likes I have will make me feel valued and special.
This explains why some of my failures and weaknesses are able to pull me into a pattern of self-loathing. Why one bad morning so easily turns into an all-day pity party. Why I just can't seem to like what I see in the mirror. Why I lash out at my family at the first sign of things going wrong.
I will always end up feeling worthless or "less than" when I'm trying to find my worth in anything else but Christ.
It doesn't matter how happy my marriage is, how patient of a mom I am, how clean my house is, how many followers I have, what my body looks like, or what I'm able to produce. I will never feel truly complete, successful, beautiful, worthy, or accepted until I believe that what the Lord says about me is true.
"You are enough."
Isn't this what we're all dying to hear? And even more so as moms caring for little ones who neither recognize nor acknowledge the efforts we put into being their everything? Sometimes motherhood feels like wearing an invisibility cloak when all you really want is to be seen.
But mama, the Lord sees you. He delights in you and he approves of you.
The discontentment you feel about who you are and what you're able to produce is not from the Lord. He calls you to walk in peace and joy. To dance in the freedom found in the Gospel. To lift your head high simply because you are his.
When you look to Jesus for your worth, the things you long to glorify him with -- your marriage and motherhood, your ministry, your gifts and dreams -- will finally stop feeling like chains around your wrists and will instead become the spaces of confidence and rest and soul refreshment that he always intended for them to be.
Because you will be working with all your heart for the Lord instead of for the world (Colossians 3:23).
Because at the end of the day, you will no longer define yourself by your performance, but rather by his righteousness.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, emphasis mine).
It doesn't matter what kind of week you or I had. These things will always be true. And if we allow them to, they can change the course of the rest of our lives. We can finally stop living for the world and even for ourselves. No more unhealthy patterns of striving and self-loathing. No more heavy burdens on our shoulders or chains on our wrists.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
We have the choice to stand firm and walk in freedom. The freedom as one already approved (2 Timothy 2:15). The freedom to find rest (Matthew 11:28). The freedom to be satisfied and never thirst again (John 4:14). The freedom to die to self and let Christ live through us.
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).