We walked into church yesterday and projected on the wall were images of “status symbols”. Bentleys, big houses, Coach purses.
“Sweet”, I thought. Church was going to be a breeze because I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a status symbol monger that’s for sure. I probably could have even stayed in bed…
Unfortunately, by the end of the “talk” (because it sounds weird to call something you listened to in a living room a “sermon”, and “sermon” sounds like lecture, and “talk” is more “conversational” which is certainly more “emergent” which is so what I am… heh) I realized that I was clinging to plenty more status symbols than I’d like.
Let’s start with the “big” one for me. Being married. I think it is for most girls. Being engaged or married somehow carries the “status” of being loved, desired, cared about, grown up, chosen. I’d see girls with shiny things on their all-important ring finger and wonder “Why have I not been picked?”, “What does she have that I don’t?”, or “Why is she so obviously taunting and flashing her ability to convince someone to marry her in my face?”.
I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t, or still don’t to some degree, put a significant portion of my worth on my marital status. There was a time when I really truly believed that being married would end my questions of “Am I special? Worthy? Loved?”. I’m finding out that being married to Mark has provided a safe place to ask those questions, but neither he nor our marriage is really the answer.
Another big one for me is the whole “career” thing. Um, I’ve got plenty of papers (a.k.a. degrees), but I have no career (which is what I said I was getting the papers for). There is a lot of status involved in saying “Oh, I’m a therapist” or “Yes, I run my own business”, and lots of days I dream about having said status. Because maybe it would make me feel more special. Valuable. Loved.
Even though my status is not found in what I wear or drive doesn’t mean I’m not striving for my own share in other imperceptible ways. I am trying to answer questions about my value with externals.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.[c] For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
I believe the questions, ‘Am I special?’, ‘Am I valuable?’, ‘Am I loved?’ are valid. I believe they are a small part of being human. Asking is not the problem. It’s where I’m trying to find the answer that is the problem.
I do believe there are answers in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I believe in “God shaped holes” in my heart. I believe that Jesus’ love has Power. It has the power to raise me from the dead. Dead beliefs that tell me to put my value in the hands of a career, or worth in the hands of another broken, though beautiful, human being.
I really do believe.