I was late to senior year AP English class 63 times.
No, that is not an exaggeration. That is as real as the heart attack my mom almost had when she opened up my report card and saw that number under "tardiness".
63 times I gave the school greeter a late-note saying "I wasn't feeling well" and 63 times I was given a look so piercing it almost made me want to wake up for class on time.
So, naturally, I was late to have my first kiss.
To save you the cheesy details about the kiss, just imagine a scene from your choice of teen movies. Just please, not Twilight. There were no vampires involved.
I was 18 years old. And the first kiss turned into my first relationship.
So being 18 years old at this point, I had heard the phrase "love yourself before being loved," from the culture as many times as I heard “clean your room” from my Mom.
Because everyone says that having another person's love is not what should give you worth or make you happy
AND THAT'S TRUE. But also wrong.
Because, I wasn't looking for another person's love to give me worth or validation at that point. Not from my boyfriend. Not from anyone.
But I should have been.
Yes, you read that correctly. I should have looked for another's love to give me worth and to give me happiness.
Because just loving myself alone was not enough.
Because let's be honest, loving yourself by yourself is pretty fragile. Think about it. What are some of the reasons you love yourself? Your sense of humor, athleticism, artistic ability, intelligence, looks? Maybe your ability to get along with people? Your relationship with family and friends? Your kindness? Your compassion? Really, take a second and think of all the reasons you love yourself.
All those things are terminable. That is, all of those reasons we have to love ourselves can be taken away from us in a split second. Accidents happen, hard times come, and there are things that can take away our gifts, our talents, our loved ones, our possessions, even parts of our body.
If we only love ourselves based on a list of vulnerable things, then we can easily lose that love in trying times when they are gone. If we see our worth purely based on what we have, what happens when we find ourselves without them?If we lose a few reasons from the list, do we love ourselves less, are we less worthy?
Where does your worth come from? Think about that for a second. If someone asked you right now where you find your worth, what would you say? If someone asked me 2 years ago, I would have probably asked them to repeat the question to stall, as I tried to figure out an answer that sounded intelligent. But in all honesty I probably wouldn't have known what truly gave me worth. I would have pulled out a few reasons from that list up there, but would have known that wasn't entirely right. Because that's a list of things I like about myself or my life. Those are things that make me, me. But they aren't the things that give me worth.
When I started to dig deeper into the question "Is God real?" I used reason and logic to work myself to the answer, "yes." (And working through that is for another post.) But getting to that answer only brought on the next question, "What type of God is He?"
To start to understand who God is, is also to understand your own worth.
If God exists, and if He created everything--from the stars in the sky to every grain of sand on the beach, and you. But why? Why did he create you? He didn't create you because He needed something from you. There is nothing that you can do for Him that He can't do on His own.
He created you simply because He loves you.
He loves you and the only thing He desires is your love, freely willed. There is no one more important to God the Father than you. He is all powerful, and He is all loving, and He wants YOU.
So where does my worth come from?
It comes from the fact that God chose to make me. That I am not a "necessary being," meaning that I don't need to be here. But I am. Because God chose to make me. And that is evidence in itself that God loves me. That I have done absolutely nothing to deserve His love, and yet He loves me.
So my worth and happiness does come from another's love, contrary to what the culture teaches. And that worth, happiness and love can't ever be taken away.