This is an honest confession.
So for those of you who do not know, I have mentioned a few times on my blog that I have only been saved for a few years; 6 to be exact. I had a very different life before giving my life to Christ. In fact, you probably wouldn’t believe it if I told you all about it but it all gives glory to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.
God is still processing me through some of those old thought patterns but one of the patterns that has changed for me is the desire to be loved by someone with value or wealth. Back then, value equated to wealth and because I didn’t have much money, I didn’t believe I had any value. I believed I’d find it in a boyfriend and that I would then be valuable by association. Which only depicts my past struggle with self-image and worth.
I remember prior to surrendering my life to Christ, I had a conversation with a wealthy agnostic man who was almost twice my age who I adored very much. We argued about whether Jesus was real or not. At the time, I was still a skeptic but something just didn’t feel right. I felt the need to defend Jesus. After that night I knew, that I probably wouldn’t talk to this person again. I knew something unfamiliar was happening because I had never felt the need to defend Jesus the way I did before.
However, even after giving my life to Christ, I was still obsessed with this man and I didn’t know why. I enjoyed having religious debates with him because it challenged me to exercise my deep thinking muscles which I loved. But I also admired his success, his wealth; the luxury apartment and the cars. I fantasized about the wonderful life I can have and what people would think of me if I was associated with him. As my walk with Christ grew stronger and with time, that admiration faded. I became more obsessed with the person of Jesus.
Yet I still made mistakes. I remember clear as day when I finally surrendered the gold-digging attitude and started focusing on my own value. It was the day I broke up with another person that I admired. He was someone who didn’t have a lot of money at the moment but was very well on track to it. He was a computer science masters grad who attended Columbia University and worked there. He already had a blueprint of what his future looked like. On paper, things were great. He was getting offers for six figure jobs. I was inspired. He was also one of the people who encouraged me to pursue my passion for STEM. However, he was also would often laugh at my passion for Jesus.
Once that relationship ended, I wrestled through the pain of a bleak future that I didn’t envision. However, I became tired. I was tired of depending on others to paint a future for me. More importantly, I was tired of trusting people who I was not equally-yoked with. I really wanted to find myself, know my value and work on my own future. I wanted to become the person that I would be attracted to. Yes, in the midst of that journey, I continued to make mistakes. I became very materialistic. Financed my 4th car (brand new) and shopped at Goodwill twice a week for clothing (thinking I was saving money but frequented the stores too often) that made me look successful. In addition, I studied. Got enrolled in technical schools, built things, presented at Google NYC, graduated, got involved with executive leadership, got hired as a Data Analyst, got hired at an investment bank as an engineer. I became obsessed with success and having value. But it only left me longing for more to fill a void that I didn’t realize existed.
I have learned that no matter how much money I make or how attractive I am, none of those things matter because the only value that I have comes from the Lord. Once we are justified by our faith in Christ Jesus, we have become sons and daughters of the King. That’s royalty! Only He can fill every void in my heart. Therefore, I no longer desire to have value according to what the world thinks is valuable. Of course I want to be financially free but I have a deeper understanding that even if I am not, I will always have joy and I am still worth it because He says I am.