For the One Who Doesn’t Know What Her Life is Worth

I am honored that my friend Abby McDonald agreed to share her story with us all this week as part of our series on IDENTITY & WORTH. Abby has a new book releasing soon, and we are so glad to have her here. Welcome, Abby!

For the One Who Doesn’t Know What Her Life Is Worth



When the doctor told me my son’s life might be in danger, I didn’t have to think about my next step. A nurse came in and put an oxygen mask over my face to keep me from hyperventilating and I motioned for my husband to sign the consent form. Natural childbirth wasn’t an option.



Even though I hadn’t met my son face to face, his life was worth the risk. The features of his face were still a mystery and I hadn’t heard his first cry, but I knew him.



I knew his heartbeat. I knew he got the hiccups every night around 6:00 pm.



Seconds later, the anesthesiologist appeared to pump me full of more drugs and they wheeled me to the OR. The fifteen minutes that passed between prepping me for surgery and hearing him for the first time seemed like an eternity. I remember feeling them pull him out of me and then, the cry didn’t come. 



My heart dropped. Was everything okay? 



All of a sudden, the sound filled the room. His cry was strong and loud, and for a moment, everything seemed right with the world. My husband brought him over to me, and I was frustrated that my arms were still too numb to hold him.



I spent the next year fumbling through the darkness of postpartum depression, but God brought me back to this moment as a reminder. When I grappled to find an identity deeper than my roles of wife and mom, I recalled those minutes of panic mixed with certainty.



You see, I never questioned my son’s worth. It was instilled in me from the moment I knew there was new life inside of me. But I did question my own worth. Instead of placing my value on the foundation of Christ’s blood, I placed it on my performance as a mother. And in my sleep-deprived brain, my performance didn’t amount to much.

What I didn’t realize was that God determined my life had worth before I was conceived. 

If we look at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, one of his greatest desires was for them to know their true identity in Christ. He knew their firmness in this truth was key to not being swayed by the constant noise of the world.



 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV



Embracing our true self means acknowledging that our value has nothing to do with our performance, and everything to do with Christ’s finished work. When we accept this lavish grace and love, our lives become an expression of love for him instead of an endless chase for affirmation.

One night after my son’s first birthday, I rocked him and marveled at how much he’d changed during the first year of this life. And it hit me. His Spirit spoke to mine and I realized – Like my love for my son, His love didn’t have anything to do with what I did or didn’t do. He loved me because I was his. It was as simple as it was beautiful.

Friend, if you’re having a hard time embracing your true self and the love God has for you today, take a moment to do this exercise with me. Close your eyes and picture someone you love despite every shortcoming, who you would give anything to protect. It may be a child or family member. It may be your closest friend.


Next, picture yourself putting a white robe on this person that blocks out all her past mistakes, the times she hurt you or was selfish. All you see is her best self. Not only that, but you see the person she is becoming, reflection of Christ Jesus.


Open your eyes. You now have a small inkling of how God sees you, each and every day. 


Abby McDonald is a writer, speaker, wife and mom who has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, (in)Courage, For Every Mom, Crosswalk and more. Her passion is to empower women to grow in faith and hope, even when life is messy. Abby lives with her husband and three children in western Maryland. She would love to connect with you at www.abbymcdonald.org., where you can download a free copy of her e-book, “The Daughter’s Manifesto” as a reminder of who you are in Christ.







When Comparison Compromises My Worth

The following devotion originally appeared as a guest post on Dance With Jesus blog by Susan B. Mead. I am sharing it again here to celebrate the upcoming release of my new book, Over It. Devotional for Teen Girls. I will be sharing more about that in the next few weeks!

My life hasn’t always been about good choices, all laced together and tied into a neat little bow. For a while good decisions seemed to fade into the background, pushed out by a more prominent desire to find myself in a world where that was the cool thing to do.

Good choices weaved into my circumstances from time to time. But they were never quite able to draw me out of my all-about-self attitude. Because that’s the place I was in – all about me.

One day, a friend invited me to church. That’s where I met Jesus.

I learned about how Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice so that I could have the chance to live with Him in heaven one day. And not only that, but also the abundant life God freely gives to those who know Him.

That day, I made the best choice of all. I accepted Him.

You’d think such a stellar decision would set me on a path toward change. But I soon found that change could only come through some hard places. Oh-so-hard places.

I began to look at other women who served our Savior with grace and poise. How beautiful they were! Each of these women certainly deserved their place at the Master’s table. But me? Not so much. Instead of looking to them as mentors and choosing to learn from their example, I resolved to compare.

I measured my first days as a new Christian against their years of serving the Lord.

This struggle with comparison diverted me away from God’s Word. It caused me to question my value. Yet God used it for my ultimate good by sending me on a remarkable journey to discover who He created me to be.

I didn’t realize how many times the voice of comparison had whispered into my life in that sneaky way it has. But as I learned to recognize its ways and stay alert to its dangers, a miracle happened. I began to uncover what God’s Word says about comparison and how I could conquer it once and for all.


“If you are content to simply be yourself, you will become more than yourself” (Luke 14:11 MSG).


This verse became the catalyst for a great new adventure – one that would reveal some deep truths about who God says we are. Every struggle, discovery, and lesson learned culminated into a message I share in the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan.

In this book, I reveal my own battle with comparison. I also unearth the story of three women in Scripture who fell into that place. Through their circumstances, they found the keys to overcoming the need to compare. And by doing this, they allowed God to use them in a mighty way.



And He will do the same for us, too.

Winning the battle over comparison has helped me let go of my past and embrace who I am in Christ today. Oh, I haven’t arrived just yet. None of us have. But with these tools from God’s Word, I am well on my way to being able to say, “I’m over it,” and meaning it.

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to silence the voice of comparison in your own life? Then I’d like to invite you to come along on the adventure.

It may not be all pretty and perfect, but it will definitely be worth it. Let’s make a choice today. Let’s dare not to compare, and find out the truth about who we are. Through Jesus, we will become more than we ever imagined possible.


Blessings,

Kristine


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