“There’s no way to untangle love from worthiness.”
Did you hear Amber say this in her interview with me on the Reclamation podcast, a NWM initiative? If not, you can find the two-part episode here.
Her quote-worthy statement was said in reply to a comment I made about my mother. I shared that my mother’s love for me had given me a sense of worth as a person, which was true. I thought she was the most beautiful human being alive and for her to see me, and love me as she did, must have meant that I had value. So I believed I had value.
This concept hit me in a new way when I played the episode back, though.
After my mom died, I lost my sense of worth. It had been eroding a bit over the previous few years due to other griefs, and the loss of her clinched the shift for me–I no longer had value. Before I even buried her, I had buried my worth. And with that, I entered into a deeply painful and tragic period in my life that lasted several years. During this time I lost my voice, my power to say “no,” and my care for my well-being. I was punishing myself. Punishing myself for the void of love and value I was experiencing.
Then I learned the truth of who God is and another shift occurred. A permanent one.
I learned that God loves me unconditionally in a way my mom could merely reflect, as his image-bearer. God knows every single thing about me. Every thought I don’t speak, every emotion I reign in, and every unkindness I seek forgiveness for. He knows every hair on my head (Luke 12:6-7). And yet!
God chose to sacrifice for me. Jesus chose to come to earth, both fully human and fully divine, and feel the immeasurable pain of a horrific death, all after being rejected and mocked by those he had come to serve.
God’s love for me is the true reason for my worth. He has given me my life, my purpose, my ability to love others...It is because of Jesus’ atonement for me and my sin that I have worth. God created me and bestowed upon me the blessing of being worth this sacrifice. It is because of his love for me that I have found my worth again. And the best part? I can’t lose it this time, because he will never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
I can rest. I can have boundaries. I can be kind and forgiving. I have space to learn and grow. All because he loves me, and his love makes me worthy of him dying for me.
Amber is right. There truly is no way to untangle love from worthiness.
Unlike Jesus, my mom died unnecessarily. She did not seek medical care in an attempt to remain on earth. Jesus chose to die for me–he came to earth for this purpose. I love them both, but only the latter gave me what I needed: a true, lasting, unshakeable sense of worthiness.
My worth now comes from a source that will not be taken away from me. This is an invaluable gift that I am so very thankful for.
Revelation 4:11: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
Where does your sense of worth come from?
Could something happen that would result in you losing your sense of worth?