I had the privilege in May to speak to a group of girls in grades 6-8 at en event we called Raise Them Up. The purpose was to let them knew were special, loved by God and designed with a plan. Recent interactions in my life have made me realize maybe it is not only our young ladies who could be reminded of this message. So below is an edited version of what I said to them.
I remember when I was younger…I was confident, but at the same time afraid I didn’t know myself. Mostly happy, but at the same time constantly feeling in distress about one thing or another. I was trying to figure out who I was and more importantly who I wanted to be. I wondered if I mattered, what I was supposed to be doing in life and how to even figure any of that out.
I was feeling everything and nothing all at the same time.
What I hope to share, from my experience, is the knowledge that God made us all different, that we all struggle sometimes, and that, in some way or another there is someone else who has experienced a similar moment to where you are now. Most of all, I want to secure in your heart and mind a confidence about how exceptionally valuable you are, that you do matter, and to remind you where your value comes from.
Growing up, I collected comic books and baseball cards. Other people might have collected figurines, stamps or coins. None of the items I have really acquired any particular value because I did not know enough at the time to choose items that were hard to come by. That were unusual, or unique in nature. So, I have in my basement today a selection of the same cards and comic books as hundreds if not thousands of other people, and so their common nature takes away from any exceptional worth. What I didn’t know when I was making my selections is a fact remains uniform through any collector group – the value of the item is directly related to the number of items issued. Simply put, the less there are of something, the more value it holds.
So what does that mean for you? There are hundreds of women just like you right?
No. No, there is not.
You see, whether you believe it in this moment or not, whether you understand it, or are willing to even consider it – there is only and will ever only be one you. You are incredibly valuable, because God made just one. And what I want you to really hold onto is that it is the things that set you apart and make you unique that matter the most.
One of my cherished verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 1:5. When God called Jeremiah he said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
When I was young, I was different. I looked different with my red hair and freckles. I had a different home experience than most of my friends, though they didn’t know it. I was very energetic, talked a lot and could be very loud. I was everything I didn’t want to be. I was unusual and I felt isolated. I wanted to be just like everyone else and I spent a lot of time trying to be, but it always ended in disappointment. I didn’t know that it was those unique qualities that in time God would use and work with and mold me to His plan and purpose.
You see just like me, you are a completely and totally unique person. A set of parents can produce almost an innumerable number of DNA combinations, and only one of those combinations would create you. And God knew you before that combination was set in motion, He knew you and He chose you. And in his workmanship He made an irreplaceable treasure.
There was never before and will never again be another you.
Really, what it was I wanted when I was young was to be deemed worth something by the world around me. I thought if I was a certain way, either by the way I looked, or the way I acted, I would find that value. What I didn’t know was my worth was hard-wired in the one of a kind design God has made me to be.
So then, in those moments where you might feel like you don’t know who you are, or why you act the way you act, remain encouraged that the God who created every detail in the vast universe had in front Him almost endless possibilities of what person He could create and He chose you and only one of you to be a part of His world.
Let that sink in for a moment.
(Ephesians 2:10). Says…For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them
So we have established God chose you to be you. He is the creator and designer of the rare and precious woman that you are. This verse reminds us than in His creation there is ‘good works’ that have been prepared for us.
You my friend, have purpose. God has a plan for each one of us. Sometimes our path is easy to find and our feet fall comfortably on each step. Other times we can become lost and confused and start to wonder why are we here or where we are going.
In those hard moments remember…There is within you all the capacity through God to do His great works. Can you imagine that of all the people available to Him, He is at this very moment asking you, asking us, to be part of His plan and purpose.
Do not under-estimate what God has planned for you. Don’t try to control His purpose and don’t determine for yourself if you can or can not do it. I did a Bible study once and the title of one lesson has stuck with me. It was “God does not call the qualified He qualifies the called” what that means is that God may call you to be part of something that you feel you are completely unable and incapable of doing. Something that seems so far beyond what you want, what you need or can even imagine. But IF God has called you HE will give you everything you need to fulfill that task. By His call to purpose you are qualified.
You are good enough because God says so.
Sometimes we make God small in our thinking, however, understand this – the possibilities of what He has in store for you are limitless. You just need to trust and believe in His purpose for your life.
People often see me and think I have a gift for speaking in front of people or that I must be very confident. What they don’t see is the great anxiety I work though daily and someone who has battled depression. Someone who rarely sees themselves as capable of great things. Someone who feels like she is always catching up and never winning the day.
However, I am also someone who trusts God, leans on Him, has committed myself to be obedient to him and knows that if He calls me – He will qualify me for the job. If you recall, I said I was different when I was young – I talked a lot and could be loud. Turns out those are really good skills for public speaking. God has placed a skill set in me that I was unable to understand at the time. He has used the things I didn’t really like about myself many times for His glory. For that I am grateful and that is why I write this now, so excited to be sharing with you that He may have the exact same thing in store for you.
You are valuable and precious in the eyes of God.
This world is going to for the rest of your life put things and opportunities in front of you and try to convince you that in those places is where value, importance and worth lies. It will tell you if have something, act a certain way, look a certain way, do certain things that you will be good enough and deserving of acceptance and love.
What this message is about is reminding you that you are already LOVED, more than you know. You are loved by a God that made you, that wants you just as you are. The world’s approval and acceptance will always, always, come with conditions and expectation. God loves you and all of us just as we are.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God sent His Son to die when we were still sinners, (still making mistakes, still not perfect, still messing up) but He did it anyway because you were that valuable and that loved..
I want you to hold on to God and hold on to the knowledge that there is a plan for your life, whether you see it or not. Sometimes, it will be hard. There are things in my life and the lives of many women I know that have been hard, times that have tested us to the very core of who we are. There will be times where it will seem impossible, where it might hurt but I can with all confidence say this: no matter what the world has for you it is Nothing compared to what God wants for you. Do not compromise your value or purpose for anything!
Remember, you DO NOT need to find value – you HAVE value, now share it with the world. Set your standard high and don’t lower it for anything or anyone.
Here is what I want to leave you with. You Are amazing. I am privileged to get to share this with you today. You cannot not do anything to gain value or earn it. God loves you…you are the daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You are designed and purposed by Him to love and live following Christ. You already have value and you are Already treasured.
While the world is trying to have you prove your value Christ already died for it.
Believe it today my friend and go confidently out into the world to share all that God made you to be.