Sometimes I’m afraid to ask for what I need.
Either pride barks, “You can do this yourself. You don’t really want help, do you? Your plan is far better anyway, and your ways, superior.” Or anxiety whispers, “You don’t want to interrupt someone else’s time. You don’t want to stop their flow. You don’t want to be a burden. You aren’t important enough.” These two manipulators are really two sides of the same coin, both deeply rooted in identity and self-worth. The first is an inflated, manic view of your value, and the second is a depleted version. But both of them lead to isolation. Both of them are paralyzing.
Here is the truth about your value (whether you choose to believe it or not):
You are neither worthless nor worthy.
Nothing you say or do (or fail to say or do, for that matter) changes your value. [surprise, surprise. If you know anything about me, you could probably tell where this was going. *wink*]
You are infinitely valuable because you are a human being with a vibrant soul.
You are a human being who was bought with an outrageous price: the life of a man named Jesus. Your value is set because the infinite, unchanging Creator God said, You are worth everything to Me. You are worth the life of my precious Son— a Son who willingly offered His own life so that we may know Him fully.
My brain in its humanity can’t fathom such a love. My limited mind can’t comprehend why my Father would offer such a gift to me, even on my best day. [and definitely not on my worst.] In fact, I often forget the truth about my identity entirely. I discovered recently that my motivation comes from external praise and approval. (oh great.) I feel motivated when something I’ve done has made someone else comfortable. I puff up when I hear the words:
“You made me proud.”
“You’re good at this.”
“You’re so smart.”
“You’re so creative.”
Now, these praises aren’t harmful in themselves. They’re common encouragements, and I’m all about building others up. The problem arises when you cling to this approval as your primary source of worth.
When you say to yourself, well this other broken human told me that I am this way, so that must be who I am.
When you forget who you are after the notifications end.
When you’re craving that next batch of likes and comments to remind yourself that you're important.
When you think the world has forgotten about you because you forgot to post.
When you feel the need to apologize for taking a second to step back and gather yourself.
When you feel selfish for needing time alone.
When you feel selfish for needing the company of others.
When you stop asking for what you need because you don’t want to disappoint/annoy/interrupt anyone.
In those counterfeit-chasing periods, my Father always reminds me that I am His. I can boldly approach His throne because I know who I am in light of who He is. I can graciously approach the people who care about me, and admit, Hey. I need you.
Because I know my worth.