A couple of years ago I felt small.
Brance and I had moved our little family from a rural part of the country (where I had grown up and lived my entire life) to the happening northeast city of Boston.
It took a good year for me to feel completely acclimated to my new environment. By which I mean, not feeling like I was taking my life in my hands every time I drove my car. And public transportation and I are now dear friends, but it wasn’t always so.
All the while, we had a new baby and preschooler I was trying to teach. Brance’s dad had recently passed away. We had left family and friends far behind. And Boston winters! I was not prepared for the depression that would set in from months of being cooped up (thank goodness I have since discovered the “miracle” of vitamin D and walks!).
But I think the hardest thing of all was the betrayal that we experienced again and again by people who claimed to be Christian. Many who were leaders, pastors even, in the Church. It was awful.
The thing that tipped the scale, though, was when a relationship I had poured myself into turned sour. I had given so much of my time and resources and care to this person and one day she just walked away. Bolted, really.
Looking back, now, I can see that it was one of those situations that had been building for some time. There was an indifference that I had been feeling from the other person for a while.
The whole thing culminated one evening when I had been thoughtlessly excluded again and I could no longer hide the hurt as the tears slid down my face. I quietly exited the room attempting to not make a scene.
Instead of being met with sympathy and concern, coldness and distance were the response I received. I tried to talk with the person and work things out. She wasn’t interested. It was obvious that she had been done emotionally with the relationship for some time.
I think with everything else that had been weighing on me, and the difficulty I faced making friends because of our job/church/schooling situation, I took the severing of this relationship especially hard.
I began to wonder what was wrong with me. I questioned my worth. I felt very small.
Maybe you’ve experienced something similar.
As painful as this experience was, an amazing thing transpired through it that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I read something during this time that opened my eyes and transformed my life. And…
I began to finally see that my worth/value did not, and could not, come from another person, including a friend, my husband and children, or even myself.
I had value because I was lovingly created in the image of God. That, and that alone, was the source of my worth. And a worth that comes from God can’t ever be stripped away, regardless of how poorly we are treated by others or how often we are rejected. There is deep comfort here.
Ahhh. When I finally saw and embraced this truth with all of my heart, things turned around for me. I finally began to heal. I finally felt brave enough to pursue new friendships. I finally saw myself as worthy of receiving the love and respect I attempted to give others.
And I finally no longer felt small.