I’m talking about your life. What is it worth to you?
Being married to a man who was injured in a snowmobiling accident, we tend to get to know a lot of other people who have similar injuries. It seems like we all congregate together, because in reality (Thank God) there isn’t an overwhelming amount of people who have spinal cord injuries. There is about 54 cases per million people in the United States or .000054%. Now here are some other facts that I discovered when I first started dating my husband.
82% of people in the US who have spinal cord injuries are males
56% of those accidents happen between the ages of 16 and 30
Why am I telling you this? Because my husband used to be an adrenaline junkie. And according to the statistics, so are A LOT of young males in the U.S. Of the males that I know who have spinal cord injuries, almost ALL of them were caused by pushing the limits a little bit too far; motorcycle accidents, snowmobile accidents, jumping out of airplanes, 4-wheeler accidents, the list goes on and on.
Now I know they call these ‘accidents’ for a reason – because if everything had gone according to plan – all of these wonderful men would not have to use a wheelchair right now. But things don’t always go according to how we plan it…
I remember, just before we got married, my now mother-in-law, telling Kenny that he needed to think about things before he did them. It wasn’t just about him anymore and he needed to take care of himself and think about the consequences of things, because someone else was not depending on him. I truly appreciated this advice and so did he. He really took it to heart.
We try really hard to employ wisdom in our lives. We don’t drink and drive. We slow down when we are driving at nigh,t in case there are deer or moose crossing the road. When skiing conditions get iffy, we usually call it a day and head home. Or sometimes we just get that feeling in the pit of our stomachs and we listen to it. I like to call that feeling – the still, small voice. God doesn’t always talk to us in BIG, BOOMING visions. Sometimes he just gives us a little nudge to make us pay attention.
I am all about having a good time, but I have also learned to value my life. I didn’t used to. I wasn’t an adrenaline junkie, but I pushed the limits in other ways. I pushed the limits of my body for about 12 years of my life with an eating disorder. Talk about pushing it too far! I was doing things to my body that it is not supposed to deal with. I didn’t care about the long term effects – physically, mentally, or spiritually. I didn’t value my body or my life. All I cared about was reaching that number on the scale, or getting so-and-so to ask me out, because that meant I was pretty, right?
What I have realized after so many years and now looking back on this, is that I was placing my value, my worth, in my physical appearance. I was placing it in the physical world. And after years of struggling with body image and self worth, I am finally just starting to grasp that my value is not determined by how I look or how many people like me or even if I like me!
My value is determined by my father, the one who created me and cares about me, and loves me no matter what I do – it is determined by God.
God created us in his image (Gen 1:27), he calls us his children (1 John 3:1), he wants ALL men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), he knows the number of hair on your head (Luke 12:7), he promises to supply to all of our needs (Phil 4:19), he has placed us in his family and in the body of Christ (1 Cor 12), our bodies are temples (1Cor 6:19).
Whether you are married or single, young or old, male or female, your life is ALWAYS valuable. I know it sounds corny and cliche, but YOU are the only YOU there is! God wants us to be blessed and NEEDS us to be here on earth fighting his battles. He needs us planting those seeds, shining his light, pointing people toward Jesus, because if we don’t do it… who will?
One of the greatest tricks of the devil is to get us to underestimate our worth. If he can make us feel small and unimportant, than why should we get out of bed in the morning? If the devil can make us feel like our life is trivial, than we start mistreating ourselves. We drive too fast, we drink too much, we do drugs, we get into damaging relationships, we beat ourselves up physically and mentally.
God is still working with me on this one, but I am learning that I am valuable. I am learning that it doesn’t matter what I look like, or how much I weigh that makes me important to God. I am learning that I am loved no matter what my past is… or honestly, what my present is. We don’t have to have it all together for God to love us. He loves us in spite of our mess ups and flaws, because let’s face it, we ALL have ’em. None of us is perfect – or ever will be!
I actually have my husband say this to me sometimes. He tells me, ‘You are not perfect, and you never will be.’ I used to strive for perfection, and put a lot of pressure on myself in doing so. When I would fail, because I always did, it was like the end of the world for me. I placed all of my worth in being perfect and when I wasn’t I was so incredibly hard on myself. I sometimes still get caught in that mode (old habits die hard!) and this is when Kenny puts me in my place. It helps me to remember I don’t NEED to be perfect for God to love me. I don’t NEED to be perfect to have value.
So, I guess my point is, you are valuable, even if you don’t feel like you are. Even if you feel like the lowest of the low – God sees you and your true value and your true worth. He knows you are important.
So, take care of yourself. Use wisdom. Don’t be frivolous with your life – make it matter, make it count. Listen to that still, small voice. Treat yourself like the unique child of God that you are.