My stomach tinged with excitement like a magical jar full of fireflies that were banging into my small intestines searching for a way out.
As I logged into my blog, the chart with my daily, weekly, and monthly page views flashed across the screen. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and then, in true adorkable fashion, jumped up on my desk chair and performed my I JUST WON THE LOTTERY victory dance (which looks surprisingly similar to my I just won a Grammy, an Academy Award, a Superbowl and/or a Nobel Peace Prize dances) You’ve got to be prepared people.
I’ve been at this blog thing for almost four years now, chronicling my personal journey of discovering what it means to be recklessly alive in every area of my life. It has never been about other people (ooh, this is awkward). In fact, for most of the first two years I barely even shared my writing besides the occasional Facebook post. It was about me processing the world and if one or two other people could relate so be it.
So on September 1st, 2015 when I saw that 4,000 people read my post The Most Dangerous Prayer You Can Pray in one day, I was on cloud 9 3/4! For the first time in a long time I felt like I mattered. The warm feelings of validation coursed through my veins like a long-awaited blood transfusion as I realized that people were actually paying attention to what I had to say.
God, look how good I am doing! Aren’t you so proud of me? Do you love me now?
Spoiler alert: in my story, it’s always back to that. The striving for love and the Energizer Bunny-like drive to achieve and perform in an attempt to get noticed, to stand out, to prove that I am worthy.
I think those habits stem from a much deeper longing we all feel; a desire to be truly, wildly and completely loved. A love that isn’t earned. A love that doesn’t keep score of our worst moments. A love that doesn’t abandon us in our darkest hour. A love that is kind and patient and constant in a world where nothing is.
Am I alone in struggling with finding my worth in God?
The truth is, I am all too quick to forget the culture we live in. My brain radio starts losing the signal of God’s truth and starts tuning into 93.2 FM – The American Dream.
Our society sees worth in:
POPULARITY – Instagram followers, Facebook likes, Twitter retweets. The number of people who RSVP for your wedding day.
WEALTH – All-inclusive vacations, big promotions, shiny new cars, and biggest mortgage payment.
APPEARANCES – looks, clothes, the latest gadgets and phones, and of course the most important – number of abs visible.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS – degrees, awards, closing the big deal, and having a viral TED Talk.
Put me on that scale and well, my worth is pretty minimal. My value fairly disposable. In that scheme, I don’t really matter.
Yet God could care less about anything on that list.
The bible says following Jesus won’t make you more POPULAR, in fact, it says you will be persecuted (and decidedly less popular by the world’s standards). (John 15:18)
The bible says it is intensely harder for a RICH man to get into heaven than a poor man. Wealth doesn’t make life easier to rely on God, it makes it harder. (Matthew 19:23)
The bible says God doesn’t care about outward APPEARANCES, he cares about our character and our hearts. (1 Samuel 16:7)
The bible says there is nothing you can ACHIEVE that will make God love you more or less, everything was already accomplished for you on the cross. (John 19:30)
The bible proclaims God’s love and admiration for us over and over and over and my eyes have traced every letter of those promises. He calls out to us, “do not conform to the patterns of this world,” that is – don’t measure yourself by the standards of this society (Romans 12:8).
Yet I strive. Yet I struggle. Yet I desire to be of this world.
And there it is, the root of my problem.
I want to be Jesus riding into Jerusalem, crowds cheering my name, kids waving, crown placed upon my head, sun shining at my back.
I don’t want to be Jesus five days later, hated, alone, scorned and hanging on a cross.
We all have battles we fight behind closed doors. Voices that pick at the person God tells us we are. The truth is, we have to make God’s voice the loudest sound we hear in every area of our lives.
You see, when I slow down long enough to listen to God, read his word, surround myself with music that speaks His truth – my worth slowly and beautifully starts to shift towards a new life, reminding me that I am a new creation.
And that guy, he isn’t worthless. He matters. He is truly, wildly and completely loved.
Those 4,000 views weren’t proof of my talent or my worth. They are a demonstration of the unbelievable work that God has done through me. They are a product of years of trying to become a better writer to honor Him. They are evidence of the power Jesus has to meet someone on the brink of death and bring them back to life.
So today, I turned the views counter off. Completely off. I am so thankful to everyone who has subscribed and continues to support my writing and eternally grateful for anyone who stops by or shares my message on social media.
Yet I live and write for an audience of one. To Him, I will always be enough.
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