I’m two months into my return home from a 6-month missions trip for which I put my lucrative career as an advertising copywriter on pause. I watch my bank account dwindle by the day but am so peacefully confident in my purpose, I’m quite selective on my next big yes. In the meantime, I freelance, grateful to pick up projects through old connections and new ones by happenstance.
I struggled at first in social meetings, specifically this dreadful question I met with bated breath: “What do you do?” This question has been the bane of my existence since studying in Spain, where I was fortunate to inhale a culture celebratory of togetherness over the individual accomplishments of one on the job.
“What do you do?” This question has been the bane of my existence
But it’s okay. I get it. Here in America, we are put into boxes by what we do. Even the question “how are you?” is mostly met with a list of tasks, as if our dirty laundry and laundry lists are one and the same.
The problem is, what we do is only one slice of who we are, yet we’re so used to reducing a person down to his or her work.
Your worth is not your work.
Your worth is not your work.
YOUR WORTH IS NOT YOUR WORK!
I had to step away from 12-hour days, a career where I always had to be “on” in order to raise my own bar day after day, to get a hold on what really matters: making an impact in the lives of others.
Just Two Words Can Change Lives.
You. From one human being to another, I acknowledge that you are an individual unlike any other, crafted with your own passions, talents, dreams, and purpose in this world. With two ears and one mouth, I promise to try my best to listen more than I speak; to immerse myself in the uniqueness of you, what makes you the best you out there, and to let you shine as only you can.
Matter. As the Dictionary reads, you carry importance. You have significance. Not because the Dictionary says so, but because our Father, the Creator of this entire Universe down to the smallest molecule and unto the very likes of you, assigned you immeasurable value when He handcrafted you.
You are here for a purpose, ON purpose. There are so many beautiful things about you that you, the one staring into the mirror each day, forget to notice. I bet the people around you would SHOCK you with what they love about you.
Your worth, your value, is not in how much you accomplish each day. How much money you make. How far you can go. How many “likes” or comments you amass.
I know this, because I achieved my dreams. And still felt nothing.
Your worth was assigned on that cross—the one where the most loving human in history, Jesus Christ, went for me and you. It’s a price tag on your life that NO one can devalue. And once you realize this… truly, fully realize it… it changes everything.
There is NO other you, like you. I bet you don’t realize how much impact you carry on the world around you. The smile you flashed at the cashier. The simple, “how are you?” Holding the door for the overwhelmed mother behind you. All of these little acts of love have done more for those around you than you’ll ever know.
And then, there are those big acts. The ones you really engage in, day in and day out. Working in excellence, where your passion and talents REALLY shine. (And I’m not just talking about your 9-5—I’m talking about the places you light up. Surfing, or running. Inventing; creating. Painting a canvas with the images you dream up, or loving your family by constantly showing up and being present.) God sees each and every one of your efforts, big and small. He’s so pleased in the person you are.
Before you were even a seed of desire in your mother’s heart, our Father God was dancing in a garden of all the things He loves about you. And there’s nothing you have done or will do that will ever change how proud He is of you.
Like this Darling article reads, there are plenty of ways to make a difference in this world. My 6-month missions trip taught me the value of my voice; that when I speak, I am heard, and that there is power and authority in my tongue to speak life and love over those who need it most. But my mission didn’t end abroad, and my worth is no longer in my job; rather, my job fuels what I’m called to do, which is simply to spread this message as far and wide as I can:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
Credit to this Darling article for inspiring this post.