I think one of the most basic and important things my mama instilled in me is that at the end of the day, no matter what, I am a daughter of the King. That my worth does not come from my beauty, my success, my family, my income, etc, but that I was born with value. It wasn’t just that my parents told me they loved me and were proud of me often, although they did. It was so much more. It was how they talked to me, how they disciplined me, how they set up boundaries to protect my mind, my body, and my heart. I didn’t see it then, I didn’t understand the intention and the love that went into it, although that was often the answer to my frustrated question of “but mom why?” But now, now I see it. Its their loud and proud claims that every life matters. The fact that they welcome in strangers, of all different ethnicities and sexual orientations, kids doing drugs, kids with kids, all with open arms. It’s the ice cream cake they have every year for my brother who never knew life on this earth. It’s how they serve their neighbors and their community. It’s that they are pro-life, always. It’s that they are quick to offer prayer, help and a meal to anyone who is going through a rough time. They remind me that Christ died for everyone, including the people with different beliefs, different backgrounds, different races. They told me and showed me that a messy past does not define someone. They pointed me back to Christ and scripture in times of joy and times of mourning.
I am confident that I’m valuable, that I have worth. I am confident that every life is precious. While lots of people are searching for their identity, I never have. Other people’s opinions, broken hearts, harsh words, never swayed my confidence. In sixth grade, fresh to the public school system after years of being homeschooled, the kids would walk by me and snicker “whore” or “slut.” They yelled across the student body that I wasn’t to sit with them because I was such a skank. They wrote “Ellie isn’t a virgin” in the bathroom. I literally didn’t know what those words meant. As I got older, things continued, as they do in any high schoolers life. Kids are mean, and social media has opened so many doors for people to be rejected, mocked, and torn down. Someone in my town made an “ultimate sluts” Facebook page, featuring a handful of girls from different schools. I made the cut. This was particularly ironic due to the fact that I was rejected and mocked for being too prude, literally daily. While lots of people crumble at this, at a time where acceptance is all we want, I did not. I was proud of who I was, because I knew who’s I was.
I think lots of people are looking for who they are. The world tells us you can find it through popularity, in college, through a relationship, etc. The Bible tells us otherwise; our identity is a daughter of the King, first. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” Our worth comes before our first breath. It doesn’t matter what we look like, how much money we make, or who we voted for in the last presidential election; Christ died for us all. It is such a basic sentence, but so hard to conquer. It’s impossible for me to grasp that the same man who laid His life down for people like Mother Teresa, also laid His life down for Hitler, for the Pope, for Caitlyn Jenner, and for me.
Women, hear this. Let it resonate with you. Dwell in this. You are a daughter of the King. He calls us His own. Through all of our vanity, our sexual promiscuity, our lies, our mistakes, our hateful thoughts, He stands by us. He knows about the one night stand, the abortion, the drinking. He still chooses you. Mothers, take note. Your role here is so key. Be intentional about revealing your daughters’ worth to her by speaking and acting on the truth that all life is valuable. Be the one telling them that you are proud of them. Give them confidence and capability. Pray for them and talk to them. Prove that you mean it. Above anything, give them the scripture to help them see their identity first is His. Don’t let them be swayed by this world, because it’s goal is to break them.
When the world wanted me to feel worthless, ashamed, and useless, I felt confident, proud and capable. All because my mama instilled in me that my value comes from Christ alone, and I’ve always known mama knows best.