School, relationships, friendships, jobs, money, clothes, cars, the list goes on. These are all things we use to measure our worth by. Some people if they lack at least one of these things then they feel inadequate. I can admit that I have put my trust in all of these things. All things that have failed through the test of time. Just last year I was in such a rut when I was temporarily unemployed. I felt like such a failure, my happiness was robbed, joy? you can forget about that. It took me so long to realize that all of these things can fail, these things can fail all at the same time. My self esteem has been based on these things, because when I pictured (and I admit I still picture at times) the ideal woman that’s what looked successful to me. An educated, married, career-minded, well dressed, hair on point, nice car owning, nice home having type of woman. All of these things are great and all but I realized if God takes away some of these things what am I left with?
I’ve been in completely broke seasons, I’ve been in alright looking money seasons, can you guess which one I found myself the saddest in? I consider myself to be independent, the day I could legally work I was applying every where. When I was fifteen I got my first job. Since then I can count that I’ve had 9 jobs. Some of those jobs I would work two at a time. I can definitely say my mind has always been money driven because I’m always trying to save for something. I’ve never been the type to be materialistic but I do like nice things. I just always believed that if you’re unemployed you are lazy, so I never found myself to be unemployed. So last year when I got laid off at my only job at the time (right before the day I started my vacation that I already paid for might I add.) I was shattered. My pride was killed. Me? Unemployed? I didn’t even tell some of my family members until a month later because I was SO sure that I’d find an even better job within two weeks. But two weeks turned into two months.. I was angry, so angry at God because I thought he was covering me. I was angry at myself thinking that maybe I could of done a better job and maybe that is why I was laid off even though it was due to budget cuts.. but most of all I was mad because of how I thought I looked. I just thought it was tacky to not be working, unless you have a good excuse like sickness, or being a stay at home mom or something. But I wasn’t either; I was a full time student, perfectly able, and was unemployed ! During that season God told me I put too much worth into these things. I’m not saying work is worthless, but I do mean I felt worthless without work ! It was more of a status issue to me, and God began to reckon with me and changed my heart. He revealed toward me during that time that all along I didn’t even WANT to work in that area, I just liked the money. He revealed to me the character of the people there. He revealed that my time was up there, and he placed me some where else. He let me know my purpose wasn’t located there.
I’m currently in college, and I feel like this is one of the most difficult seasons ever. Who knew school could be so stressful? I have one year left to go and I feel like its a battlefield. I doubt my intelligence sometimes in comparison to other people. Sometimes I read up on language to pick up just so I can please my teachers who have plenty of knowledge, and plenty of degrees to show for it.These are the same professors who I found criticizing, (and in my belief) overly criticizing my work that I would work so hard on. I looked around and saw other students and thought that they always know what is going on, and I just felt like everyone is on the inside of this huge smart bubble that I can’t get in. I found myself chasing after wisdom, chasing after knowledge, and I enjoy intellectual conversations but is it wrong to say that a lot of things just plain old bore me? Call me simple-minded, at first I thought maybe it’s because I’m not smart, but I know thats far from the case because I know I’m fearfully and wonderfully made (amen) but again my worth isn’t in school either. My intelligence isn’t dependent on my degree. The wisdom I do have is from God. How many times have I not known about a subject but he gave me the words to excel in it, how many tests have I known I failed for sure, but ended up getting A’s in? I’m at this point where I’m running on God’s fuel because I am definitely empty without him.
Oh boy this is such a tricky one. I have a main trio of girls that have been my friends since forever, ranging from 12 to 14 of when I met them. I love my girls who I consider my sisters to death but, I always wanted a lot more friends. I have such an open heart that I know is meant to room a sisterhood, and possibly a family one day but I just always found myself befriending the WRONG people. I always felt there was a lack in me because of this. Like who really can’t make friends? I used to always wanted to be invited to things that I had no business going to in the first place, or giving a listening ear to people who never really knew my issues. I always wondered what is wrong with ME. Again, putting my worth in people instead of God who will direct me to the people I need in my life.
I think secretly this is one everyone deals with. But, I feel like this one is more prevalent among women. Why do we want a man so bad? Its a bit crazy the lengths we go to just have a man, doesn’t matter if he’s good, doesn’t matter if he’s bad as long as he is a man. From guy to guy I found myself always putting up with disrespect, games, and other foolery that I know better now to run far, far, FAR away from. We ignore so many red flags because we are looking through rose colored glasses. We believe with time things will change, we hold onto times when a man treated us better and hope he reverts back to those ways. I put so much of my self-esteem in those guys. But self-esteem is called self -esteem for a reason. Its a esteem of yourself and not of someone’s perspective of you.I’m not perfect, and I’m sure I’ve hurt people but I know it was always unintentional. So when I was intentionally hurt, and accepted the hurt as my own failures and that really broke me. And you better believe I was crying to God about this too. But here goes something wild that I know might hurt some people. Yes, God created Eve for Adam, he created her from Adam’s rib for her to be his help meet. But some of us make idols out of having a spouse. I was real hurt when I learned this one: what if God created you to be on earth a certain amount of time, and that time doesn’t include you having a spouse. If that makes you feel angry, or resentful then that might mean you put a little too much into having a man or woman. If having a spouse means more to you than Jesus’s second coming, then there’s a problem. Of course I know that God knows the desires of my heart, he knows I want a husband one day but if his plan for me doesn’t include a husband then I must accept it. God told me I have to enjoy my singleness, I have no responsibilities but to live for him and live my life. When I start courting and eventually get married I of course will live for God but then I will have the responsibility to submit to a man, and tend to the kids. I got it good right now. I found myself in my feelings of wanting a relationship that it literally became a distraction. I still find myself pursuing love when I feel a little lonely which is unfair. Don’t awaken love before its time folks.I absolutely love the idea of a family of my own but, I love God way more. There is so much more business he wants me to take care of on earth. I simply can’t reserve any more time to be placing my esteem in relationships and marriages because its another thing of the world that can fail me. Those reading this might think this is coming from a hurt place, but its really coming from a place of completeness in knowing God is enough for me. A man could fail me, but God can’t. I will wait for God’s best for me, even if his best for me is not having a husband.
I hope this encourages someone because we all do it. We all give higher value to things than what is required of us. All of these things will fade away, jobs can get taken, relationships can be broken, God can send you in a completely different direction than what you expected. Absolutely everything can fail you. If success is what you’re chasing, go head, go and get it but remember what it means to be successful in God’s eyes. It’s always possible to give God the glory in any environment whether you’re a lawyer,accountant,nurse,etc. Just realize that we are too much in love with the creations, that we fail to identify the Creator. If I loose it all I know I still have Jesus, if my happiness is taken, I know I still got my joy. But this takes time, this takes real faith to know that God will carry you through any season and to actually remain joyful during the tough seasons. So I pray if any of you identify with any of these things that you can just say “Look God, I know you gave me this thing, and I know there is a reason why you took it away. But I’m not asking for you to give me what I want because you know what I need. I have my purpose in you, so let your will be done now and forever.”