My birthday is quickly approaching. I’ll be 32 years old come the end of September. This time last year, we had just finished celebrating mom’s 60th birthday on August 21st. For just over a month, I was exactly half my mother’s age. It made me think about what I’ve accomplished so far in life. What have I done in my 31 years?
I recently cleaned out a filing cabinet while reorganizing paperwork. Thrilling stuff, I know. Actually, I do love to organize things. I take pleasure in sifting through all of my belongings, assigned a place to those things that have value and discarding those that are no longer worth keeping. More often than not, my junk pile far outweighs my collection of valuables, which gives me great joy as I take pleasure in ridding my life of junk and clutter. Throwing things away gives me a certain sense of accomplishment. But how do I define what is “valuable”? I tend to define an item’s value by evaluating whether it’s necessary, whether I use it frequently, whether it directly adds to the quality of my life, and/or whether it has sentimental value. Sometimes this process can be quite difficult. It also makes me wonder, “how do I define my own value?” What have I accomplished that deems me valuable and worth keeping in God’s eyes?
Nothing. I will never accomplish anything that will make me “worth keeping”. Honestly, I should probably be in the junk pile. But, God didn’t create us because he needs us. God doesn’t look down at us and think, “they’re just so cute, I think I’ll keep them.” or “they might come in handy later." In fact, we are a mess no matter how many good deeds we do or prayers we say. But God chooses to offer grace and forgiveness. We are valued by God simply because he loves us. Not because we accomplished anything to deserve it.
This is one truth by which my mother lived her life. Sixty years is a long time. It was 38 years of marriage. 4 daughters and 33 years of motherhood. 60 years a daughter. 58 years a sister. 36 years a pastor’s wife. 28 years a worship leader. 12 years a drummer. 14 years a Nurse Practitioner. 3 houses. 2 college degrees. Only 1 God.
That 1 makes all the difference. And that’s why my mom wanted to leave a legacy for Christ by spreading the word of God’s unceasing love for his people. That’s why she wanted women in Southern Asia to know, “you are valued, no matter what.”
God will never discard you. He will not toss you out or throw you away. He will not change his mind or decide you are no longer of worth to him. You are valued. You are precious. You are loved. Now let’s make sure everyone has the opportunity of knowing that same truth.
You can do this by joining us on Saturday, October 12 for the Gail's Girls 5k and Family Fun Fest at Adventure Park in Mechanicsburg, PA. The 5k race begins at 10am. The fun family festival starts at 11:30am with live music, food, and activities from 11:30am-2:00pm.The Family Fun Fest and 5k is a fundraiser for Gail's Girls, a campaign empowering oppressed and impoverished women in Southern Asia. The mission of Gail's Girls is to provide opportunities to encourage and empower women in Southern Asia by teaching them life skills, leadership skills, and a specific trade, equipping them to lead community transformation around them. These are the women my mom empowered in her last years of life. If you can't be at the race, you can run it virtually! All registrations and information can be found at GailsGirls5k.org.