I Don’t Know My Worth

randomlychad  —  September 23, 2011 — 22 Comments

Preface: this post was was inspired by What We’re Worth: A Community Collection, a post on TamaraOutloud.

Let me cut to the chase: I don’t know my worth. Am unsure of it, constantly questioning, probing, trying to find my place.

Don’t misunderstand: I know what the Bible says, that Christ loved me enough–loved us all enough–to die. But I sometimes feel lost.

Like this week. Life is harder than it’s been in a long time.

And like most men–ha! big surprise–my sense of worth is inextricably tied to what I do–not who, or Whose, I am.

The seeds of this plaguing self-doubt were planted long ago. Mostly by a dad who didn’t care. Who dealt mostly in shame (because even if he knew better, he didn’t care: he lived with shame, and didn’t love himself). I wish it were not so, that I didn’t define myself by this lack–but I do.

So I look for affirmation, for ways to fit in. And yet Jesus is always there implacably imploring me to stand out.

And when I do? Wham! Life slams me. Shame all over again. So I have learned to keep to myself, to keep my convictions to myself.

To hide the real me.

Then a funny thing happened: I found a community online, a place where I could both fit in, and stand out.

I’ve always wanted to write–so I’ve spilled my hearts blood upon the pages of this blog. Still I wonder: am I making a difference?

Does my one and only life matter?

I suppose much of it is my fault: I am by turns: heartfelt, silly, sarcastic, serious.

People don’t know what to make of me. And the blame lays squarely upon my shoulders–because as much as I fear failure, I fear success. I fear being noticed, and so I have self-sabotaged. In this, I create a self-fulfilling prophecy!

I just know that standing out will bring me criticism (like my dad used to drop on me), so I’ll blow things up. Because negative attention is at least some attention. Or something.

Thing is, blogging has afforded me so many vibrant connections, so much more affirmation than criticism, that I’m seeing the light, engaging in less and less self-defeating behaviors.

But it’s not easy. I wish I were connecting with more people here, but it is what it is.

I wish my sense of worth didn’t get so tied up in the lack of comments, but because of how personal I’ve made this place, it does.

It does.

Sometimes I wonder if I stopped blogging: would anyone notice?

And so we come back to where we began:

Don’t ask me what I’m worth–because I don’t know.

How about you? What are you worth? How do you know?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • Chad, this is seriously powerful and seriously good! I heard a sermon a while back about how you're not really free from all afore mentioned junk until "we know who we are in christ". at the time, i didn't get. because of pondering it and fleshing it out, i figured it out.

    i think that with this point, you might just reveal your worth to yourself!

    well done. VERY well done!

    • Thank-you, Lindsey! Your kind words mean the world to me.

      Like the man in Scripture, my constant prayer is \”Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief.\”

  • Painfully honest, beautifully brave. That's worth a lot to me.

    • Thank-you! You are as well--honest & brave. And an encouragement to me--and darn near everyone who reads your work.

  • I get it. I wonder the same thing. I thrill over @randomlychad commenting on my blog or getting 25% more hits than the day before. And we measure our worth my the wrong yardstick.
    And yes, I would miss your blog if it wasn’t around.

    • We do--we so often do. You're too kind! I would likewise miss deuceology. 🙂
      But like Tony said: our worth is far beyond our words, far beyond who is, or isn't, reading our blogs: it's in Jesus.

  • You're worth more than your words. Good or bad. You're worth more than anyone's affirmation or rejection.

    You're worth dying for. He would do it again if He had to.

    For the record, I think you're awesome. And not because you're funny or witty or a great writer or your breath smells good. Just because.

  • Carolyn

    Chad, it seems like every time I put out a seriously honest, vulnerable post all I can hear is the sound of crickets. No responses. No comments. I've only been blogging for a few months, but it often makes me wonder if I should continue. I know that Jesus loved me enough to die for me, but Jesus doesn't leave blog comments. He leaves that to His people. Who are mostly silent in my cyber real estate. And would they notice if I was gone? I have no idea. So I get it. I get that you don't know. I can't give you wise words, but I can relate.

    • Carolyn,As you no doubt know, I can relate. I've been doing this for about a year, and as much as it frustrates me that I'm not getting more comments, I can't imagine not doing it. I do it for me, and if the people come along for the ride so much the better. My advice to you: get Bryan Allain's eBook, 31 Days to Finding Your Bloggibg Mojo.

  • Carolyn

    Augh! I hate when I have to retype my comment. That whole last part -- that you lay it all out there only to get silence in your comments section -- that is me. And the wondering if they would notice you are gone. That is me. I have no wisdom to offer here, but I can relate.

    • I understood you. =)

  • I keep trying to reply and getting pushed back. But I want to reply, darn-it, because I know what it is like to put yourself out there and get no response at all. I don't have any wisdom for your questions, but I can relate.

    • No, no--your replies are getting through! I've tried to turn off moderation, but IntenseDebate seems to force it.Believe me, I can relate.

  • Your post spoke to me. I am just starting my foray into this world of blogging that has intimidated me for so long. I hate to be seen/noticed and yet I can't seem to shake the desire to be heard. I am terrified of standing out, but my inability to fit in demands it. I don't know if my blog will make a difference to others, but I am beginning to see that I need it to unravel my thoughts

    • So happy to hear that! Take the risk--even if no one shows up, there are so many benefits to you. Like you said, it does help one sort out one's thoughts.Thanks for reading!

  • Michelle

    "Sometimes I wonder if I stopped blogging: would anyone notice?" Well, yes. Because you get sent to my via email and I'd wonder where you went.

    Also, I don't always comment, but I do always think, or pray (and am currently praying for your family at the moment, esp Lisa as pain tends to multiply problems by 4 x 8!).

    • Awesome, Michelle! That's a shot in the arm!Thanks so much for your prayers!How can I pray for you?

      • Michelle

        "How can I pray for you? "

        I have a 16yo boy! That pretty much sums it up. Except he is on the autism spectrum (unfortunately undiagnosed, so no help), has some of the behaviours, is high functioning and CHOOSING NOT TO DO THE THINGS HE DOESN'T LIKE AT SCHOOL. I guess the caps pretty much sums up our dilemma at the moment. How to get him to realise he needs to do these things. But it is up to God to change him, not us. So, ……. extra cup of grace each day would be good. 🙂

        • You bet! Happy to pray! Sounds a bit like my 13yo.

  • You're so right about the temptation to find self-worth in the approval of others. Whether it's comments on a blog, or for me, a pat on the back after a sermon, it's hard not to let my self-esteem be dependent on what others think. Good post, Chadwick.

    • Yep, Jared--that's it exactly! My worth should be founded upon the Rock, not the approval, or disapproval, of others… Yet… As you said, it's often about that “pat on the back.” Thanks for your kind words!