When Jess told me that April’s theme was going to be all about beauty, my heart both sank and leaped for joy. God has really been moving and healing in my life around this issue, and I felt it was the perfect opportunity to share my heart and story to you, our dear readers! This post has taken me a year to write, but it is so, so good.
A year ago, I got my second tattoo on my right wrist reading “WORTHY”. It’s a perfect tattoo for me, done in the handwriting of a dear friend and mentor of mine from high school. Not only is it a daily reminder but it is a victory for the work that I have done personally throughout my time in graduate school. The counseling program kicks your butt, makes you cry, and makes you question if you are in fact, crazy. While it is difficult and can at times feel lonely, it is a place of community, support, and love; no one in the program is perfect. We are a bunch of broken people, who are helping each other pick up the pieces and experience true healing through Jesus, so that we can go on to do the same with our future clients.
My hardest class during my second semester, at least emotionally, was my Groups in Counseling class. Not only was it a difficult format, but it was deep. We were all in tears on the first day as we confronted the hurt that we brought in the room. I started out completely terrified of what was to come, as we were all expected to lead half the class in a group counseling session by the end of the semester. I walked in having no idea what I was doing, and I was petrified at the idea of having to truly bear my soul in front of people I did not know very well. I feared judgment and isolation. I was scared to cry, even though it happened very easily and a little too often. I was anxious to lead. But what happened in that classroom over four all day class sessions throughout the semester was complete transformation.
It started through slowly building trust and relationships within the class, though crying in front of about forty other counseling students builds a safety net very quickly. As I started to unearth and process the hurt I was bringing into the room from years of bullying as a child, I started to fall apart. Finally, I knew what I was crying about. I understood why I felt so horrible about my appearance and the person that God created. Every single negative thought about my body and who I was slowly started to push through in this class. Classmates called me brave for sharing my story, even though I felt like complete crap when I was done wiping the ruined mascara off of my face. The funny thing is, though, I got the word “worthy” tattooed based on a conversation between two classmates, not from something directed at me. I’m not quite sure of the exact conversation that was had, but I remember one guy in my group looking over at one of my dear friends and he said to her “Don’t you know you are worthy?” While I’m sure she needed to hear those words, I needed to hear them more. I really felt like the Holy Spirit was wrapping around me at that moment saying “Sarah, don’t you know you are worthy?”
For the majority of my life, I have placed my worth and my beauty in the things of this life. In how I look, in how I dress, in the color of my hair, in the texture of my skin, in my weight, in my relationships, in my grades…the list continues on and on. Needless to say, my worth has not been placed in the one who has made me. My worth has always been fleeting and dependent on what the world thinks of who I am. I’m still trying to learn, that in Christ, my worth is not up for negotiation. In Him, I am worthy of love, because I am His child. This is a lesson I am still learning, and still fighting to believe. There are days that I will cry from what I see in the mirror, but the text on my wrist reminds me of the truth. I am worthy.
My dear friend whose handwriting graces my right wrist sent me this verse before I got my tattoo: find your worth in Jesus, not in things of the earth. Yes, the earth includes clothes, makeup, relationships, and words. It includes every messed up and painful thing that was flung at our soul in the past. I challenge all of you to reflect on this. Look where you have placed your worth, and know that you are forever worthy in the eyes of our Savior. He has made you perfect in His love, and calls you His beloved.
Don’t you know that you are worthy?
Have you checked out the April Issue of Stellar Day Magazine yet? The theme this month is BEAUTY and let’s just say… it’s drop-dead gorgeous!!!