Two weeks after my divorce was finalized, I received a phone call from my attorney informing me that my ex-husband had filed a court motion requesting the judge overturn the divorce decree. His argument was based upon his constitutional right to practice his religion. As he understood it, his religion taught that no marriage was irretrievably broken; so he could not accept a divorce. Furthermore, it wasn’t that an attempt at healing our marriage had been tried and found wanting. It had been deemed difficult and left untried (a distortion of a well-known quote from G.K. Chesterton: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried”).
I couldn’t help but feel defeated. I’d fought so hard for my freedom and now that freedom, after only a couple of weeks, was at the mercy of the court. Wasn’t it enough that I wanted out? I was terrified of what people would say, what the judge would say.
I don’t remember much about being on the witness stand when our date in court arrived; I was so nervous and it was hard to think with all of those people staring at me. I was paralyzed with the fear of what they all thought, how they judged me. I wanted to justify myself. I wanted the time to explain to each person in that courtroom all that had happened and why I’d had to leave. I wanted so desperately to prove that I was not what the opposing counsel said that I was. There was more to me than that. I had more worth than that, if they would just let me prove it.
I have spent far too much time living as though I was on the witness stand-awaiting a verdict, eager to justify myself. I ache for someone to declare my worth. Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Successful enough? I may be convinced for a fleeting moment that I am, but then I step out into the world and my beauty or my intelligence is challenged and the image in which I have placed my security crumbles. I collapse into a heap of self-doubt and pity.
I wonder if this has been your experience as well. As long as our worth depends upon the opinion of others we will constantly be tossed about. We will never find peace.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13-14
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” and “Your works are wonderful.” This must be the source of your worth. You must choose it every day, throughout the day. No one can choose it for you. And as you begin to identify yourself by this standard you will recognize any challenge to this worth for what it is–a lie that has no power over you.
You were created by God. You are of immeasurable worth.