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, where you can download a free copy of her e-book, “The Daughter’s Manifesto” as a reminder of who you are in Christ.

Facing Up to False Guilt

Thank you for joining me for our series on Identity & Worth. I for one can still struggle with finding my worth in God’s Word, even as I get older. We need to be reminded often. The truth about how precious we are to our Heavenly Father is something we can’t hear enough. We are valuable treasures to Him. Today’s devo teaches us how to face up to false guilt and not let it define who we are.

I didn’t understand it.

As we sat in the meeting that day, I couldn’t help but feel like fingers were pointing my direction. It started out like any other conversation, but now I stood under a cloud of accusation for something that clearly wasn’t my fault.

At least, it was clear to me. Maybe not so much to everyone else.

I went over and over the scene in my head, trying to figure out what went wrong. Where misunderstanding could’ve happened. Why would someone point to me in the midst of their pain? Was I taking this too personally? I wanted to figure out how to fix it. But when I couldn’t, I decided I’d just have to let it go.

Only, I couldn’t let it go. I had come face to face with false guilt.

False guilt happens when we feel guilty over something we have no control over, or something that’s not our fault. We ask God to search our hearts, and even though we feel free from wrongdoing, we still feel guilty. So we exhaust ourselves trying to make things right.

I know false guilt well. I’ve fallen into it’s snares more than a few times. I catch myself repeating the phrase, “It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault,” in an effort to find peace.

But reminding myself that “it’s not my fault” never brings the resolve I hope for. When false guilt threatens my worth, I have to face it with the Truth of who I am.

When false guilt threatens my worth, I can face up to it with the Truth of who I am. (Tweet this.)

False guilt can leave us feeling worthless. It can crush us under a weight of responsibility that isn’t even ours to carry. And when we try to rid ourselves of that burden through people-pleasing, the guilt only grows stronger.

The only way to let these guilt feelings go and find freedom is to face up to false guilt. See it for what it really is. Then recall how precious we are to God.

“So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:31 NLT

Sometimes we can work so hard at being good that we forget where goodness begins. God is good, and through Him we will discover the best of ourselves. If we get caught up in pleasing others, however well-meaning our intentions may be, we lose sight of God’s sovereignty over our lives. Instead, we should give the guilt to Him and allow His mercy and grace to cover any conflict we face. 

God can reveal truth, calm hurting hearts, and bring peace.

If you’ve allowed false guilt to have a place in your life, let today’s verse speak to your spirit. You are precious to God, and His thoughts toward you are good. We can face up to false guilt with the Truth of His Word and rest in our dependence on Him.