I bolted from my chair and practically ran downstairs to the girls’ bathroom, sobbing.
My science teacher must have known something had happened for his well-behaved student to do such a thing. The next thing I knew, my dad – the basketball coach at school – gently tapped on the bathroom door.
I don’t recall if I showed him the note or if I just told him about it between sobs. Being the last period of the day, he checked me out and we went home.
The note had been written by a few girls in my small school. The exact contents I can’t remember; I shredded the note as soon as I got home. But one phrase I have never forgotten:
You’re the reason we aren’t in the Christian Club.
For my fragile, junior high heart, trying her hardest to be the best Christian, the best student, the best friend, the best everything I could be, this was a dagger straight to my heart.
I still don’t, in many ways – like myself, that is. I still, almost reflexively, lean more toward the works than the grace side of things and realize how I’m constantly not measuring up in one way or another.
Over the last few months, I’ve been dealing with my fear of rejection. But I’ve been trying to tackle this at its root by taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) to make it obedient to Jesus Christ. This is a war in my mind, and I can’t surrender.
If I’ve been rejected, and if it was even with good reason like when I was in junior high, those people aren’t seeing the good in me. They aren’t seeing see my heart, my passion, all the good parts. They’re only seeing the bad, or perhaps, how I may have unintentionally caused them pain.
In the same way, sometimes in the midst of feeling rejected, as a way to cope, I start to list off the people who I think, think I’m pretty cool. But then, this thought came:
Those people who think I’m fantastic don’t see me at my lowest. They don’t see me when I lose it with my kids, or when I harbor bitterness, when I’m doubled-over with depression, or when I’m just plain self-centered. They’re only seeing the good.
So in reality, whether any one person sees the good or bad in me in any given moment, they don’t see the real me, either way.
Only one person does. And He has already told me he loves me and accepts me as I am.
Jesus sees me when I can get a little prideful. He sees me when I slump over in defeat after yelling at my kids. He sees my insecurities, my regrets. He sees the ugliest parts of me that I may or may not be aware of. And while I was in my sin, he died for me (Romans 5:8). As is. He didn’t tell me to get my act together and then come. He didn’t tell me to be holy without telling me to first set my hope fully in His grace (1 Peter 1:13-14).
And He, more than anyone in this world, sees my beauty. He sees my passion to please Him with all my being. He sees my open heart to see Him at work in every conceivable circumstance. He sees my willingness to be frighteningly and embarrassingly honest here in the hopes that I can minister to someone. He sees potential in me that I don’t even see.
Bad and good, He sees. And He loves. As is.
So why should I give any human the power to determine my value? Why should you give anyone the power to determine your value? My value isn’t in question. Your value isn’t in question. We’re valuable because God created us, you and me. And we’re valuable because He gave His life to redeem us.
Well, I want to put an end to it. Do you? This cycle has been going on in my life for three decades, and it’s time to stop. It’s time for me to take every thought that wonders what so-and-so thinks of me and every conversation replaying in my mind, wondering if I said something to make someone not like me, to the cross of Jesus and say, “Enough!”
I am valuable because Jesus loves me, this I know. As Is.