Samantha sat crossed-legged in the middle of the bedroom floor. The closet doors open and everything that had occupied the shelves and clothes racks piled onto the bed, the adjacent chair, and the floor.
The image she had worked so hard to create now encircled her.
Samantha pushed her way up the corporate ladder. At 38 she made partner – she had arrived professionally.
And with the prestige of the position, she felt the pressure to look the part. To keep pace with the corporate culture. She lived for work, no time for life.
She had made it!
Yet, I watched as she arranged and rearranged the piles. The sorting and shifting were more than just a task to determine what would stay and what would be given away.
The process allowed Samantha to wrestle with her internal struggle. How do you define true value? How do you reconcile what the world tells you is valuable when you can’t maintain the standards and expectations? How do you embrace a criteria based on looks, status, power, and possessions? Because with time looks fade, status falters, power weakens, and possessions – they break or become obsolete.
Samantha continued to sort until all the piles were neatly organized. The piles on the floor given away and the collection on the bed neatly folded and hung on hangers – all placed back in the closet.
Yet, her struggle continued. How would she find her way forward?
I lived in this world, defining my importance by what I did, how much I could accomplish, my ability to perform. Work consumed me, giving me a false sense of worth. It gave me a footing in the world, and allowed me to make sense of my life experiences – it gave me purpose.
But life happens, I grew older and the pace of work, the stress of travel, and the pressure to take on more forced me to make a change. The thing that had defined me was gone. I was left raw and undefined, forced to look at what was left and given the opportunity to reimagine, redefining my future from a past that in retrospect did not fulfill or satisfy.
As women, we find ourselves facing these types of dilemmas several times throughout the course of our lives. For some, it’s when our children grow up and leave, when we find the first wrinkle, the first age spot, the first…
For others it’s when the career is replaced with retirement; when our ministry, volunteer work, a second career ends and we find ourselves wondering, seeking, and questioning our importance and purpose.
True value is not found in what we do.
It is not found in our possessions, our bank statements, a perfectly decorated home, or a professionally couture wardrobe.
True value is found in whose we are.
We find an interesting story about a woman’s worth in John, chapter 4. In this story, Jesus has an encounter with a rejected and outcast Samaritan woman. Samaritans at that time were a people to be avoided in fact many good Jews would go out of their way to avoid this region.
But Jesus intentionally ventured into this land. He had a critical encounter with a woman that other villagers avoided. She had multiple husbands and the man she currently lived with was not her husband. She was an outcast and knew her place in this society – drawing water from the well at midday to avoid the interaction with others from her community.
This woman had a reputation. Some would say she was unworthy yet, Jesus was determined to meet her, challenge her way of thinking, and offer transformation.
Jesus does the same for each of us. He goes out of His way to have an encounter with us, defining us as important, worthy, and useful. The Samaritan woman went on to evangelize her community – fulfilling her unique purpose from a renewed life.
Her value was found in a relationship with Jesus, not her status in her community.
And He desires the same for us, purpose grown from a relationship with Him, enhanced by our experiences and talents.
Value is not what we do; it is not what we have, or how the world defines importance.
True value comes from a relationship with a risen savior, a transformed life, the acceptance of a new definition that tells us we are valuable in Him.
The Oxford dictionary defines value as
The worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it.
Jesus paid the ultimate price for you and for me – His life.
Our worth in Him is invaluable!
Be Blessed His BeLOVED,