true worth - outside the numbers on a scale!
By Tiffany Dawn
I stared at the scale and shuddered. Half of me wanted - a desperate, clutching want - to step on and see what it had to say. Half of me didn’t want to see it.
In my mind, it was simple. Just as 2+2=4, so the number on the scale + the number of guys that checked me out = my worth. My worth as a human being.
I was always insecure. It wasn’t overwhelming in high school, but even then I never felt like I measured up.
By the time I got to college, I was starting to feel more confident. And then I started dating this guy. A guy who thought I wasn’t pretty enough. Wasn’t skinny enough. Wasn’t godly enough. Wasn’t quiet enough. Wasn’t stylish enough. One day he even said, “Sometimes I feel like you’re worthless.”
We dated for two years, because I was head over heels and didn’t have the courage to break it off and face the world alone. Without a guy on my arm, who was I?
When the relationship ended, I dove headlong into the one thing I’d been eying for so long: Beauty.
The Wrong Equation
I was insecure about EVERYTHING: grades, church involvement, popularity, clothes, hair, face...you name it, I wasn’t good enough. But it all boiled down to one small thing I tried to control – or rather, one thing that was never small enough: my weight.
My relationship with the scale was an abusive one. It made me laugh and told me I was good enough when I was thin enough. It made me want to cry and do awful things to myself when I gained half a pound. It told me who I was and what I was worth. And I listened.
But here’s the thing: Numbers on a scale can’t tell you how funny you are.
on a scale can’t tell you the meaningful relationships you have in
Numbers on a scale can’t tell you that your eyes light up when you smile.
Numbers on a scale can’t tell you how much God loves you.
There was a song I loved by Barlow Girl that said,
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, have I got it?
Cause mirror you’ve always told me who I am
I’m finding it’s not easy to be perfect
So sorry, you don’t define me...”
My mirror couldn’t define me, just like numbers on a scale couldn’t define me. They weren’t a 2+2=4 equation for my worth. Their equation read something like 1+1=5. Um, wrong.
A Love I Can’t Earn
One night I came home to try and “make something happen” in my time with God. I was going to pray up a storm and read my Bible apart and invent a magical moment that would prove to God I was a daughter He could be proud of, just as I was always trying to prove to myself I was good enough.
But that night I felt in my heart that God wanted me to lie down, not say a word, and listen to the song “Oh How He Loves.”
So I listened. For forty-five minutes I listened. “Oh how He loves us.” “Oh, oh how He loves us.” “How He loves us, oh.” Again and again.
I heard my heavenly Father whisper, “I just want you to be with Me.”
In the coming weeks, months, and years, this was the message He repeatedly spoke to me:
you’re trying so hard to impress Me.
But I’m not impressed by how good you are; your best deeds are like filthy rags.
You can never earn my love, but I’ve given it to you freely.
I don’t delight in how spiritual you are; I delight in you.
I don’t delight in how pretty you are; I delight in you.
I don’t delight in how good you are; I delight in you.
I don’t love you cause you’re good enough; I love you because you’re my daughter.
And nothing can ever change that.”
It’s hard for me to grasp. I can’t control this love; I can only receive it.
The Source of Worth
I felt like I was earning praise from the numbers on the scale, felt like I could control it. Eventually it spiraled out of control and left me empty and broken. But I couldn’t earn my Father’s unconditional love. I couldn’t work harder to make it greater. He delighted in me simply because I was His daughter.
Our worth is not determined by the numbers on a scale, or the number of guys that check us out, or the percentage of our grade, or the sum total of our popularity, or even the amount of our spirituality. Our worth only comes from the Father who created us. The Father we will spend eternity with.
I know the scale cannot give me my worth, so I don’t listen to it anymore. I haven’t listened to it in so long, that it no longer makes me tremble and I can’t hear it’s demanding voice. It doesn’t make me laugh or cry.
But when I’m alone with God, that’s when I laugh with delight at the depth of His love for me. That’s when I cry realizing that even when I feel unworthy, His love doesn’t change, and His love makes me worthy.
He loves the way my eyes light up when I smile - that’s why He made them that way.
He reminds me of how many loving relationships He’s put in my life.
I’m pretty sure He gets a kick out of my humor and personality.
And He always reminds me - always - how much He loves me.
Yesterday I was laying on my bed pouring out my heart to God, and I felt like He was smiling on me. My heart could have burst with knowing how much He delighted in simply having me close to Him. I felt like I was wrapped in a bear hug.
When we know the love of Christ, it changes everything. Because just as 2+2=4, so His love defines our true worth and identity.
hear the rest of Tiffany Dawn’s story and how she found freedom
from her quest for beauty, check out The Insatiable Quest
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