Jami Joann · Life

a war on our worth.

20130506-210852.jpgToday, I’m fed up.

My word, how often will we (I) allow ourselves to fall victim to believing lies? How often throughout the day or week will we (I) allow things, situations, people – to determine our worth?

This is so heaaaaaaaavy on my heart. Because I see the lies and struggles and pains, etc, etc, ETC strung all throughout conversations face to face or on social media posts and pictures and it flippin’ breaks. my. heart. What we believe about ourselves and how we define our identity…

WE ARE SO MISSING OUT.

WE ARE MISSING THE POINT.

We (me, me, and me every day) are summing up our worth for the day in what we have/haven’t done, what we have/haven’t accomplished.

I’m so over it. SO over finally plopping down for the night and feeling like a failure. Some nights, I don’t but most nights, I do. I even measure up my worth by the cleanliness of my home, if I have/haven’t squeezed a workout in, how I communicated with my children, etc… SERIOUSLY, Jami?

The lies, the lies, the lies- whether it be a stay at home momma like me – struggling because even though it might be what we love and want, the enemy says: “you’re just a stay at home mom. And honestly, you don’t even do THAT well. Look at your home. Look at your children.” etc.

I hear it from working mommas, struggling believeing lies that they aren’t a good enough momma or that they didn’t spend enough time with their little one(s) that day, or that their little one wouldn’t be as close with them as a “SAHM” momma.

Or a wife who is struggling to get pregnant and struggles believing that it’s her fault and perhaps that she has failed. Or a husband who struggles feeling shame if  he can’t help “fix” what is going on with his wife, or if they are struggling month to month.

ANYTHING that creeps in our hearts and minds and that we claim as our identity. Anything besides Christ and being His beloved…

I recently read Abba’s Child by Brendan Manning and OH.MY.WORD. has it truly helped me to understand what my identity in Christ is, how He views me. It’s an every day battle for me, however, I feel like this book ROCKED my world and perspective. Excuse the all over the place, post and quotes from his book. Here are some thoughts for tonight:

“Our identity rests in God’s relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ.”

Facing our shadows:

“Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him.”

We all have shadows. Too often I allow my shadows to overwhelm me. Even the “little shadows” of a messy home, misbehaving children, feeling chubby (yep)…  what if we we’re to befriend our shadows. Accept them. Recognize they are there and they are real. And move forward in truth and in life.

“To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life. Jesus listened. In John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus was moved with the deepest emotions (11:33)… The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn of reject feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action.”

 What if we listened to our feelings, instead of repressing or ignoring them? Perhaps they wouldn’t overwhelm us if we truly faced them, accepted them, validated them or threw them out as lies. HOLY MOLY.

“we unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves… But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves — unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely, and freely. ”

This hits home for me. I struggle with this so much.

“The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves. He anguishes over our self-absorption and self-sufficiency… God’s sorrow lies in our refusal to approach Him when we sinned and failed.”

His sorrow. Isn’t it sadly ironic? In our sin, we run. When we see our shadows, we try to hide them or we allow them to overwhelm us, when the reality is HIS SORROW lies in watching us run, or hide, or be consumed, or fight. He’s our most welcoming love and our most approachable Father … and yet some days I cry tears of feeling like a failure, wallowing. Allowing my little and big shadows to consume me.

Accepting our Belovedness:

“The engaged mind, illuminated by truth, awakens awareness; the engaged heart, affected by love, awakens passion. May I say once more – this essential energy of the soul is not an ecstatic trance, high emotion or a sanguine stance toward life: It is a fierce longing for God, an unyielding resolve to live in and out of our belovedness.

YES.

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.”

Brendan refers to our human nature as “the imposter” and I just really love that. This quote  is another one that has truly hit home for me. I’ve recently recognized that I was allowing even the condition of our home cleanliness to determine my worth. WHAT? Not to mention, when I’m in public or home, and my boys are fighting or Chase throws a tantrum, etc… or when I’m filled with pride vs a humble spirit in an argument with my husband, etc. Or even most often how I am emotionally – in depression and in dealing with my fear and anxiety – this is a big area of struggle for me.

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Today I posted this photo on IG: “If in measure my worth by the cleanliness of our home, how it is managed and how well my children behave, I’ll always feel a failure. Finding my worth in Him alone is a daily struggle.”

This is what inspired me to write tonight. I know I’m not the only one out there that struggles with worth and identity.

I’ll end with this:

“Experience has taught me that I connect best with others when I connect with the core of myself. When I allow God to liberate me from unhealthy dependence on people, I listen more attentively, love more unselfishly, and am more compassionate and playful. I take myself less seriously, become aware that the breath of the Father is on my face.”

I n c r e d i b l e truth.

Just a “quick” post to declare it and share it with the hopes to encourage a weary one tonight.

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”

xx,

Jami

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