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 Difficult Change Challenges Your Identity

I am so pleased to begin our new series on IDENTITY & WORTH by sharing an encouraging devotion written by my friend and fellow writer, Julie Sunne. Julie’s words spoke straight to my heart as a mom, and I know they will bless you as well. Thank you for joining us for this new series for fall!

I knew I’d be sad, but the intensity of my feelings surprised me. 

This past month I followed my youngest on a four-hour drive to his chosen college. Two adult sons were already on their own, now our third and last one would be spending most of his time away from home. That left our 21-year-old daughter, who has special needs, to keep my husband and me company. 

I cherished parenting my children. Now, no longer needed to fulfill a full-time mothering role, I feel a bit lost … directionless. I had equated my identity with being a mother. When that role lost its primacy, I lost my identity and, thus, my sense of worth. 

We tie our worth to all sorts of things. Our vocation, whether we have children, whether those children are making good choices, the amount of our possessions, our health or fitness level, even our looks. But God has a different idea of what constitutes worth. 

The Lord created us in His image and declared it good. (Tweet this.)

 

The Lord created us in His image and declared it good. He stamped us worthy when He adopted us. And our identity as His children assign us value. Valuable enough, in fact, to be worth the death of His Son. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, CSB).

Employed or jobless, a parent or childless, healthy or infirmed, young or old, wealthy or poor, well known or unknown … as God’s children, we all hold equal and great value in His eyes. But when we lose sight of our identity in Christ, our sense of worth becomes fragile, dependent on our performance or status in life. Then when life shifts—as it will—we face a crisis of identity.

I did. I became so caught up in being a mom, I forgot that first and foremost I am a daughter of the King. When “Mom” no longer required my full-time attention, my worth took a hit. Confusion about my purpose set in. I’m finding that the way back to stable ground is to review what God says about me and who I am. 

I am loved. I am worthy. I am appointed. I am empowered. I am saved. I am a new creation. I am forgiven and redeemed. I am a conqueror in Christ. I am the Lord’s workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a child of God. 

If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can make the same claims. Your identity far surpasses that of your vocation or station on earth. You, too, are a child of God. That makes you invaluable. Believe it, even when the biting winds of change try to tell you otherwise. 

 “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalm 139:13-16, CSB)

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Father, we are honored and awed that You would adopt us as Your children. Forgive us when we place our identity elsewhere. Draw us to You, Lord, and remind us of our worth in Your eyes. Remind us of the truth of who we are as heirs with Christ to the Kingdom. Help us place our identity solely in You. In Your Son Jesus Christ’s precious name, Amen. 


To be reminded of the truths of who you are in Christ, download a free “Empowered in Christ” printout by subscribing to my site, www.juliesunne.com. There you’ll find many other encouraging resources as well. 



Blessings,

Kristine


Julie Sunne delights in sharing about finding real hope in the middle of life’s real messes. Her own mess includes enduring multiple miscarriages and raising and now being caregiver for her 21-year-old daughter with special needs. 

Her writing credentials include a feature in Celebrate Life magazine; guest posting for such online sites as Healthy Leaders, (in)courage, and Mommies with Hope as well as Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today devotions; and feature and copy writing for local newspapers. You can find Julie’s self-published image-based devotional, Everyday Praise: Walking in Greater Peace, on Amazon. 

Julie and her husband, Dave, are parents to a teenager and three young adults. They reside in Northeast Iowa where Julie loves Chai tea lattes, dark chocolate, books, and doing anything outdoors. Find encouragement on her website, www.juliesunne.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.