(This meme comes from a Facebook page called the Adult Side of Tumblr.)
It’s so, so heartbreaking how true this is. I wish judgment didn’t exist but unfortunately it does. What a sad world we live in. We can’t do or say or like or wear or have anything without being criticized. We can never win in this world; someone is always unhappy with us and our decisions. But then again, we weren’t put here to please people, only our King, Jesus. Please know that you are loved and appreciated!! You are valid and heard. You matter. Keep wearing that shirt or listening to that music or going to that place!! Above all, ignore the judgment and criticism and jealousy and the hatred AND. KEEP. BEING. YOU. You are a beautiful and beloved human. P.S. what I wrote applies to both the male and female population, of all ages (^:
Your worth does not come from anything of this world. I cannot stress this enough. And I know you’ve heard this so many times that you just don’t even bother to register what the meaning of those words mean anymore. You hear the words “worth” or “more than enough” and you just instantly tell yourself that you’re in for another cheesy sermon on your worth. But let me tell you these things in hope that this is the time that it sinks in and you realize that you are so much more than what this world has to say about you and offer you. So, here are some reminders for you lovelies:
- you are more than the amount of boys on your snapchat calling you beautiful or hot.
- you are not defined by what your parents say about you, no matter how much they influence you and your opinions.
- you are more than the number on your pants and the letters on your bra.
- you have more to offer than a firm butt, some perky boobs, a flat stomach and toned limbs.
- you are not defined by the letters on your report card or the amount of colleges that have accepted you.
- your worth isn’t found in the digits of your or your family’s bank account.
YOU DON’T OWE THIS WORLD ANYTHING.
Tell yourself that. Tell others that. Remind them that you are a person and not something they’re entitled to. Tell that guy who is trying to take off your shirt or put his hands where they’re not wanted that you do not owe him anything. You are not an object. You are not an object! You are not obligated to give anyone anything.
Honestly your worth doesn’t come from your friends either. It doesn’t come from the amount of girls republishing your images on VSCO or the comments on your Instagram selfies or the amount of parties you’ve been invited to. It isn’t found in the amount of group-chats you’re in or the group of people who save you a seat at the pep rally. Yes, people need other people. You were never born to do life alone. BUT, your worth isn’t found in how many memories or how many friends you make in your life.
There’s this misconception in this world that we as humans owe each what we are and what we have. We don’t. You don’t. You. Don’t. Do not let them smooth talk you into thinking that you have to send him those pictures or lie for her again.
If there was one thing I wish that I could make you believe, I wish that you would believe that you are loved and worth dying for no matter what. The voices of this world do not speak truth. If you are searching for value and worth and purpose, do not look to anything that is of this world. Unfortunately, we do so often. We don’t believe we’re beautiful unless that boy says it. We don’t believe that we are having progress unless someone else notices. We don’t think we are anything amazing or special. We believe we are average and unnoticed. We are performance-oriented and perfection-driven. We live constantly searching for answers and worth in our works. We search for validation and motivation in anything and anyone but the One who calls us enough.
The truth is we aren’t enough. You aren’t enough. Going by who you are and your choices, you do not deserve anything. We do not measure up to love or being saved. But by God’s grace, we are called enough. You’ve all heard or read those verses…saying how we aren’t saved by our own works just by His mercy. You just have to see and experience it in your life what the very meaning of grace is. You have to understand that “Grace is the unmerited, undeserved,and unearned kindness and favor of God.” -Pastor Michael Todd
If we constantly search for our worth in the world, then we will be told and shown that we are not enough. This world is full of lies. The enemy has strategies he uses to deceive us. But not to worry, Jesus silenced the voice of the liar on the cross. Satan still has power though. The liar knows that this world is influencing us and that we want to be adored. But we need to find our identity and worth in Jesus. He is the One who calls us by name, who loves us when we give Him countless reasons not to. He cares for us when He has no reason to. His grace calls us enough when we are far from it. He gave His life so we could have ours. He knew that we could never be enough on our own so He died so that we would have the chance to be.
Stop running from His love. His love covers you and redeems you. It calls you loved. Enough. His love chooses you over and over again even though, logically, it shouldn’t. His love is, in some regards, crazy. Because it is so relentless that it never stops chasing you down and choosing you. Know that He calls you enough. Let His words and feelings about you be the only ones you believe. When you are in need of what and who He calls you to be, first dig into His Word and pray about it. Then, talk to someone if you need further assurance. Whatever you do, don’t continue going without knowing that you are beyond worthy of life because of Jesus. His love is unexplainable and He cares about you in such a way that words cannot express. I beg you to not find your worth or value or even happiness in this world because it will fail you every single time. Look to Him. Find it in Him.
So a little about me: I really struggle with my self-worth and self-esteem. For most of my life I was told by the people who should have been loving me that I am not enough and never will be. I struggle with many mental illnesses. I battle depression, suicidal ideation/tendencies and anxiety. I have PTSD due to a sexual abuse that was ongoing for many years. But I’ve come to realize that this does not define me. I have stopped containing myself in a box full of labels and excuses, self-pity and shame. I’ve realized that as broken and awful as my past is, Jesus will bring hope and beauty out of it. He has a reason for my pain and struggle. I am slowly learning how to surrender my story to Him and let Him use my life to proclaim His goodness and glory.
Over the years, I have realized that my past is not who I am. I have had to let go of the choices I’ve made and what has happened to me in order for me to truly move on and receive and live the plan He has for me. I have stopped complaining that no one will save me and stopped ignoring the Holy hand that reaches down to me and the perfect love that is all around me. I’ve learned that medication, counseling, and hospitalization can and will only do so much. You can’t just give Him your life. You have to give Him your heart. You must take the love that He whispers in your ears and writes on your heart. You have to study it and make it your own and realize He chooses you.
You are worth leaving the 99 others to chase after. He just wants you to come home. He wants you. He can’t explain how badly He wants you. He wants you to pick Him and to serve Him. But you can’t serve Him out of fear. You can’t do it because of tradition. You have to CHOOSE to serve and love Him. You can’t fake or force it. Jesus will never stop chasing you down but you have to realize that there comes a time where you are willing to turn around, face Him and say, “Here I am, God.” You have to talk to Him and read His word or else you will not know how He feels about you. For 15 years of my life with everyone feeding me lies and me believing them, the only thing I needed for healing was God’s love, grace, and words. When all else fails, look to Him. Seek Him. Even when things start to go well, continue pressing into Him. He will never abandon you or let you down. He is fighting for you always. Even when it seems like everything is pointing to the possibility that you are alone.
Believe me when I tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve been the girl sobbing in her room, her whole body numb from shaking the pain out so hard for so long. I’ve been the girl who hurt so much that she convinced herself she deserved more pain and used a blade to inflict it. I’ve been the girl to stand in the mirror and look at myself with nothing but pure hatred and disgust, screaming at God for making such an ugly creation. I’ve questioned and doubted my Heavenly Father because my earthly one wants nothing to do with me. I’ve been so hopeless and just exhausted with life and who I was that I didn’t even know what to do. All of my feelings cancelled out and I was numb to anything good. I’ve actually cursed God so many times. I went through a period of my life where each morning, I cursed God for making me wake up and endure another day. I told Him that I knew better than He did. I rebelled against the King of kings, the maker of the universe and told Him that He made a mistake creating me. My existence was a joke. My purpose, was to merely exist as a joke. I was hospitalized twice in a year. I’ve been the girl so numb to all of her wounds and pain that she just convinces herself that everything is okay when really she knows she is going to give up soon. But let me tell you that there is hope. Super cheesy, I know. But hope is real.
In one month and 17 days is my 16th birthday. I’m going on a trip to Manhattan with my mom. I didn’t believe I’d live to even graduate middle school. But this summer I’m graduating 10th grade. It took a really long time and many days “wrestling” with God but I am finally seeking Him again. Jeremiah 29:13 says that you will Him if you seek Him with your whole heart. You may believe that your situation and mistakes are far too great for God to heal or deliver you from. With that I encourage you to drop your shame and your burdens. Cast away your regrets and doubts, and run to Him. Ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you of sin. Ask Him for His love. When you find it again, do not become numb to the greatness of it. Chase it with your entire being. It won’t fail you.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Picture this: Jesus looks at the cross and then at you. “You’re worth it,” he says. Just repeat that to yourself until you believe it.
Cecilia is a soon-to-be 16-year old who believes what she wrote here. She lives in Pennsylvania with her mom.