Do we deserve value? I feel heavy this morning. We went to our Community Group last night and talked about suffering. It was a recap of the Sunday sermon which focused on worship through suffering. It was and still is rolling around in my mind and heart. When I sat there listening to Tyler talk about how we as Americans (being the wealthiest in the world) don’t really know suffering, I bristled. No, I was downright annoyed. I found my heart saying, sure I have never known hunger or starvation, but I HAVE known suffering! I have known abandonment! It was a deep argument that rose within me. And it made me think. **Edit – I am not criticizing the sermon at all, I totally understand what he meant and I agree for the most part, I was simply reminded of an issue that I am still working through**
I felt indignant and unsatisfied. Really, I still feel a bit defensive even as I am starting to turn a corner. Yes, my suffering was soul-crushing. It was hard. And it was real. And in that season of my life, I do think I found worship and dependence on Jesus. I leaned in for healing in the only way I knew how. I prayed, I sought God and I worshiped. But I was still angry. And so hurt. As months turned into years, my worship turned from Jesus to myself. I had a lot to prove. MY self worth. MY value. See all the things I can do? See?? Looking back, it’s almost comical how prideful I had become. It was as if I was Ron Burgundy looking in the mirror and saying, “Hey Everyone! Come and see how good I look!” I got my ducks in a row. I made a life. But it was hollow. Sunday after Sunday I would go to church and weep just waiting for something to click. It was hard.
My background as a Pastor’s daughter has always been a double-edged sword. This is not to say anything bad about my parents. Annnnnyone who knows my parents, knows they are probably the best parents in the entire world. So this has nothing to do with their parenting. That said, being the child of a Pastor is a very unique experience. My perspective of life, of reality comes from a Jesus centered home. Everything about my life and my family was built on Biblical truths. To their core, my parents strive to follow and lead others to follow Jesus. What a privilege for me to have been raised in such a home! So for me to feel such a disconnect from God was to feel disjointed from my very family. They didn’t see it that way, of course. But I felt it.
I questioned everything about my value. Everything. I felt like I tried on careers and boyfriends like clothes because something had to click. And nothing would. I kept going to church, even singing in the worship band because I felt that if I could just do what was familiar something would click eventually. I prayed desperate prayers through numb senses. I met my husband and began to heal.I felt like I had value. Just like that. My suffering came from divorce, and this was redemption.
We married and had Oscar and I finally feel like it has clicked. But why? Because I am not lonely anymore? Because I am taken care of and I have more love in my life than I could have ever imagined? Have I finally just found a relationship that gives me value? The truth is, I feel entitled. I feel like saying, I DID suffer and God saved me. And now I am here in this happy life that I waited so long for! I deserve this!
So I’ve made it to the other side. Now what? I feel like I am walking on eggshells, that’s what. The issue for me now is, do I deserve this life? Is it ok to just bask in the relief of not being hollow anymore? Is it ok to just enjoy? On the one hand I say yes, but something about that feels lazy to me. And as I am thinking about value I wonder if I am thinking about the wrong thing entirely. What do we really deserve? Yes, I was wronged. But does that mean the rest of my life is gravy? Did I do my time and now I get to play? How does one really find their value in God anyway?