She asked why I wanted to keep a cheap, ceramic Mardi Gras mask. It didn’t fit on my face, but I liked the sparkles around the cut-out eyes and the streaming pink and purple ribbons flowing from the sides. I was 12 years old that year and uncomfortable in my own skin. Most of my permanent teeth came in tinged yellow. I didn’t know yet how to tame my curly hair so I walked around with a frizzy ‘fro, or at least that’s what my family called it.
So when my dad came home from a business trip in New Orleans and gave me this gift, I treasured it. Not because it was expensive. It wasn’t. But because it was from my dad and it made me feel beautiful. I clung to that ceramic, sparkly mask throughout my vulnerable teen years figuring out who I was. The mask symbolized love from someone who loved me no matter what I looked like on the outside. It rested on my bookcase, tilted slightly so the sparkles caught the light and glistened.
I’m not sure what happened to the mask. It may have broken during a move or been misplaced but I haven’t forgotten it.
Although the mask no longer helps me feel loved, my need to know I am loved is still there. Today I seek and find those assurances in God’s Word. I’ve dug deeper, searching through the Bible, for words validating my worth. I needed to know someone could look past my physical appearance and still love me. I wanted to know it’s what is inside that counts.
Like a starving woman, I pursued these truths seeking something to settle the questions in my soul. Words written thousands of years ago jumped off the page, etching themselves across my heart. The Bible said God created the earth in six days and it was good. So God created man (and woman) in his own image (Genesis 1:27). God looked over all creation and it was excellent in every way (Genesis 1:31).
I re-read the creation story, mulling it over each time. God created me in his image. God saw his creation and it was excellent in every way. God said that it was good.
I soaked up those words deep into my heart. Nothing had ever soothed my soul like these words. Knowing I was created in God’s image gave me a solid basis for self-worth. No longer did I care what anyone else thought because I’d been created by God. God. That’s crazy and awesome.
Where do you find your worth?
Hollywood tells us our worth is in our beauty, our sexuality. The corporate world says our worth is in our achievements. Our friends base our worth on possessions –who has the sweetest ride or the biggest house.
Believing any of these lies leaves us feeling empty, seeking other places to find our value. Surely we are worth something, right?
Friend, you don’t have to wonder where your worth lies anymore. It’s not in your possessions or achievements. It’s not in your physical attractiveness or public acclaim. Your worth is based on being created in God’s image and if he says his creation, including you, is good–then it is good.
You’re good. You’re worth it. You have a value no one can ever take from you.
So God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Genesis 1:27, 31
When you’re faced with insecurities this week, wondering if you’re worth it, remember these verses from Genesis and know you are a wonderful creation. Resist the lies saying you need to work harder, be smarter, or look prettier, because it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside.