Friday, September 13, 2013

The Source of All Worth

Quick: Name a Chilean fĂștbol player from the national professional team. Now the President of Kenya.. And the top-selling Korean recording artist.

If you´re like me, you wouldn't be able to answer any of these questions without a quick internet search. These people have reached the height of success in their fields and are household names in their respective countries, and yet you have no idea who they are. Outside of their spheres of influence, these celebrities are rather unremarkable.

The funny thing about accomplishments are that their worth is 100% based on the perceptions of others. Success, recognition, achievement: all of these things are all contextual. This is true for famous people, but it's just as true for everyday people like you and me. Now that I live in Chile, the "impressive" labels I wear like badges of honor when I'm in the US- valedictorian, team captain, nominated to Homecoming court, intern with a prestigious organization, scholarships, successful projects, every reward I've ever received- mean nothing. I mean, I can use my broken Spanish to explain them, but who cares? No matter how impressive I may consider myself to be, not many people here will view me that way. The same goes for relationships. Even if I were the most popular person on the DU campus (which we all know is not the case), here I am just a gringa who is a little strange and doesn't know the cultural norms. No matter how much effort I have put into building deep and long-lasting relationships with family and friends, I am currently apart from those people so I can't take the same comfort from having them as an integral part of my daily life.

These worldly things in which I could have put my identity, these things I used to point at and say "Yes, that makes me an important person, that makes me lovable," have been stripped away.

The only thing which is constant, which hasn't changed, is who I am in Christ. I am a daughter of the King, fully loved, fully accepted, made whole and new through the sacrifice of his son Jesus. I have worth because I am His, not because of what I have done, who I know, or what others think of me. I realize more and more every day how futile it is to place my identity in anything other than this, because all the things I cling to can be taken away in a second.

Just think about it- even the prettiest girl will grow old and her beauty will fade. Even the strongest athlete could get into a tragic accident and become a quadriplegic. Even the smartest intellectual could suffer a brain injury and lose their mental processing abilities in a blink.

So how does this realization change my life? Externally, it doesn't change much. I will still continue to work hard, to aim for my dreams, and to build relationships with people. What is drastically different is my heart attitude. I will study, run, and love not because being a good student, athlete, and friend defines who I am, but because I am completely confident in who I am apart from these things. Instead of thinking, "I am somebody because of X," I am starting to think, "I am somebody because God made me somebody. I will do X as an expression of my thankfulness to Him for this joy of being alive, being capable, and having this moment, this opportunity."

No longer do I have to accomplish my own list of goals, nor the expectations of others. No longer do I have to earn the right to tell myself at the end of the day that I am somebody. Because let's be honest- my self-conversation never ends that way on days when I'm trying to prove myself. It sounds more like "Idiot. You screwed up here and there and everywhere really. Who are you really? Nobody." Instead of this destructive cycle, I get the joy of dwelling in each moment knowing that I am loved just as I am.

Living this way is so freeing. The amazing thing is, the less I care about what others think about me, the more confident I feel because my identity is not subject to the rising and falling tide of others´approval. God already approves. I am also more free to listen to His voice and follow Him where He leads me. After all, He knew full well His plan for my life when He made me. He made me exactly how He wants me to be, and He doesn't do anything less than the best work.

God says that I matter, and that's all that matters.


  1. Ah this is so good. Really puts doing all things as unto Christ in perspective. And I can't agree more; a lot of the things I could boast about if I chose to really has no meaning here. And there is a beauty in that.

  2. Wise words from such a young woman. So glad that you know what matters: you know who you are as beloved of God. Your family and friends are not capable of giving you your identity or of loving you as well as God does. Love, Mom