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Are You Fighting a Battle Only You Who Know?

I have never been this bothered until I celebrated my birthday on the last day of June. A few minutes before the clock struck at midnight of the 30th of that month, a gushing unhealthy thoughts were running in my head.

I knew I shouldn’t have entertained those thoughts to feed my mind but the emotions were too strong I couldn’t ignore them. I felt like an iceberg slowly melting in silence without the world knowing. Like a plane slowly crashing down on a barren land no one knows where. I was down. And I wept. I wept bitter tears of frustration.

I didn’t feel beautiful. I didn’t feel worthy of anything. I had so many questions. And some of those I recognize will never be answered.

But then, I looked around. I saw people with different stories. They looked happy but they seem to have deeper stories beyond their smiles. Some of them are stories of misery. I saw eyes screaming for hope, screaming to be heard. And that led me to realize one thing: I can identify with these people. I know how they feel. I know what they’re going through.

And you, probably, are one of them, too. Are you fighting a battle only you who know?

How Much is Your Worth?

A few weeks before my birthday, I discovered something that broke my heart. The person whom I chose to trust lied to me. And I can’t understand why. Unknowingly, I was already headed to a downward spiral of unending questions. Was I not worthy to know the truth? Was my worth equivalent to that of a fool? Why did I have to make myself believe? Why did that person have to lie to me? What was the intention?

I knew that my worth is not anchored on someone’s perception of me but that principle couldn’t speak to me at that time. Only because that person made me feel like I was less worthy than a pebble.

What’s interesting though is that it’s not only me who feels this way. Most of us, if not all, experience the same struggle. One girl said she would curl herself into a ball on her bed every night because she feels unloved. Another girl expressed she would portray a bubbly person when she’s with friends but nobody knew she cries like a baby when she’s alone – she feels like nobody appreciates her. Another guy mentioned he feels bad because no one recognizes his presence. Another one cried in one corner because someone made him feel like his efforts were in vain. And the list goes on. Everyone longs for validation.

Why Do You Seek Validation?

Validation. Only a single word but has a huge impact on every person’s life. A single word that describes what all of us want to experience. A need, that if not fulfilled, creates doubts of self-worth.

Just recently, I had a talk with a very close friend of mine on this topic. She is a strong, confident, and composed woman. Surprisingly, she poured out her emotions on how she struggles with self-worth and the need for validation.

It feels good when we get approval from friends, from our boss, or even from an opposite sex. We love it when the crowd claps after our talk. We delight to every word of affirmation that we are noticed, appreciated, and loved.

But what if we don’t get approval? What if we get unpleasant responses? This is when we feel devastated, frustrated, and eventually, get depressed. We start doubting ourselves of our worth and capabilities. We feel outcast, undeserving, and as lonely as a lone ranger in the battlefield. Only for one reason: we don’t get validated.

Crying over a not-so-good incident is fine. We cry because we get hurt. And that’s totally healthy. We allow ourselves to express the pain through tears rather than keeping them inside and burst out on a wrong timing. However, while crying is good, sulking in the darkness and deciding to stay there is not. The pain has the power to consume us and it will lead us to a miserable place. Some of us are already on their way to this place, but most, are already there. And they’re having a hard time going out.

This is not an easy battle. But it’s not impossible to get out.

How Do We Fight This Battle?

Like a soldier seeking refuge against his enemies, I came running to the Lord at the throne of His grace when I was hurt. I surrendered my brokenness.

And by God’s grace, the Lord heard my cry. In the midst of my weeping tears and a broken heart, I felt the comfort of the Lord through the people that surrounded me. While my family and friends are there for me through the good times and bad, I have been blessed by the compassion, grace, and love of my spiritual family – my D12 family (a small group of women) and my new girl group in the office.

They saw me when I hit rock bottom and how the Lord raised me up and had shown me His love and amazing grace. They wept with me when I cried a river of tears and rejoiced with me when I finally learned the hardest lesson the Lord had been teaching me for the longest time.

I praise God that He reminded me of His goodness and His promises. When I prayed for a Word He has for me for my birthday, He gave me Philippians 4:8 that says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

God knows the deepest thought in my mind and the deepest emotion in my heart. He knows I’ve been entertaining unhealthy thoughts thus His Word was a perfect reminder and a comfort of what I should be thinking, of what I should be feeding my mind. “Whatever is true… whatever is pure… think about these things.” Our thought life should be focused on the great truths of God’s Word.

I have talked to a lot of people and the most common struggle that I picked up is self-worth. Where is your self-worth anchored on?

Quoted from Got Questions website, “Our self-worth is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves. The one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ, and since He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.”

Be comforted by the truth of God’s amazing grace. The Lord is telling you, “People will disappoint you and break your heart. But I will not. Not for a moment will I leave you nor forsake you.”

You are not alone. You are not the only one fighting. Someone up there sees your pain and heartaches. Call upon the name of the Lord. Talk to someone. Join a small group. Or approach me and drop me a message – we can talk.

Remember: How the world sees you doesn’t define who you are. What other people say about you don’t determine your value. Your identity is anchored not on the world that will dissolve like snow in the end; your identity is anchored on the One who saved your soul.

Ardys Gladden is a leadership and management business professional who loves to travel and write. This site is a library of stories from her life experiences that contain joys and tears, triumphs and lessons, and anything that you can definitely relate to and/or learn from. Stories of hope and love, her imperfections and God's grace.

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