You Are Worthy, Friend
Updated: Oct 19, 2019
To all of you who have been following along with my little journey here on Emily Mabry Creative for a while, I know you probably see all kinds of pretty photos of handmade artwork and moments captured of beauty and joy in the art process or with my amazing husband, Wesley. But something I really wanted to share with you today is that there have been seasons in my life when I didn’t believe I was worthy of this kind of life…of this kind of love. My marriage has been such a gift to me, to know that I am fully known and fully loved by my one and only earthly love…but more than anything, it has pointed me back to the arms of the True Creator – My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been learning more and more, through both the wisdom of my husband and simply spending time in God’s word, that I AM worthy of this kind of love. That Jesus died on the cross for me to live a life of freedom, peace, and love. And He did the same for you. He did it for every single one of us.
I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life where I felt “needy” and avoided seeking help from others in fear of being a burden to someone else. And what makes me so sad about this is that there is no greater lie we can believe as followers of Jesus Christ. I read in my New Morning Mercies devotional the other morning:
“God’s people are needy people who WELCOME other needy people.”
For some reason, I used to believe that the people of God were supposed to always be strong and have it all together. But, the truth is, when we are most humbled and broken, we can most easily surrender it all to Christ and meet others in their own brokenness. I know I have talked about this a lot, but when I was living overseas in Uganda, I was loving what I was doing but missing my fiancé (now husband) and community of family and friends like crazy. At times, I felt like my heart was literally being ripped in half – with part of my heart being in Uganda with the beautiful women and children there, but the other half desperately longing to be home with my fiancé and plan for our little life together. This was a season of true surrender for me – having to give up all of my plans and sense of comfort and security to the Lord – and it changed me forever. For the first time, I learned not to depend on anyone other than Jesus Christ to meet my every need.
I remember reading this beautiful quote during my time there that encompassed exactly what I was feeling,
“The end of yourself is where your true life (in Jesus) begins.”
And upon returning home to the States, I assumed that everything would just go back to normal and that I would have all of my same community of friends and sources of comfort again. But the truth is, God had changed me. And it was evident not only in my own life, but to those around me as well. I no longer “fit in” in the same environments that I did before, and I was entering into a whole new season of life as I worked all kinds of part-time jobs and spent the rest of our engagement season living between my parents’ house (in Charlotte) and my in-laws' house (in Boiling Springs), as Wesley and I worked every minute we had together on our little fixer-upper here in Spartanburg. While this season had so much joy and excitement as we anticipated our upcoming wedding and life together, it also had some serious growing pains. I had to let go of certain relationships and comforts that were no longer part of my life and learn to embrace what God had for me in this new season - with new relationships, new responsibilities, new communities, and new priorities. He had called me into a “new thing,” with this "Emily Mabry Creative" business being part of it, and called me to look to Him alone for
my guidance, confidence and support.
At times, with all of the craziness in my life amidst getting engaged (after only dating Wesley for about 7 months), moving overseas and following God’s call to Uganda during our engagement season (which I had committed to before even meeting Wesley), and coming home to get married…I definitely was going through times of feeling misunderstood by others and was called to places that only Jesus could understand and meet me in. And I can honestly tell you, He did. He met me in my tears, He met me in my loneliness, and He met me in my rejection from those I used to run to for these same needs.
But you know the most beautiful part of it all? That Jesus had wanted to have this place in my life for as long as I had claimed to follow Him. But it took Him truly breaking me and bringing me to the end of myself in order to force me to give up control to Him alone – sweetly broken, wholly surrendered. Rather than just “claiming” my love for Jesus, I was truly depending on His love for my sense of identity, worth, and friendship. As my husband likes to put it, my love for Jesus had gone “from my head to my heart.”
Because, unlike imperfect humans, Jesus can handle us in the midst of all of our fears and setbacks. We are never “too much” for Him, and He never gets tired of comforting and encouraging us.
Friend, I want to encourage you that there is absolutely nothing you could do that would make God love you any more or any less. And you are never, ever, "too much" for Him. He meets you right where you are and wants to walk through this life with you, no matter what. This kind of love really is “too good to be true.”
I remember constantly saying this same phrase when I met and shortly after got engaged to my now husband, Wesley. It just felt "too good to be true." I even remember telling this to a mentor of mine during my time in Uganda, and I will never forget what she said - “That just shows your dependence on the Lord. You know you don’t “deserve” these blessings. But I think that’s exactly why God is blessing you.” Pretty humbling, huh?
We don’t “deserve” this kind of love, this kind of grace, or this kind of blessing. But that’s what God, a good good father, loves to lavish on us - His Children. Though we, in and of ourselves, will never be able to “earn” this kind of love, we are worthy of this because of Jesus Christ our Lord. HE is our goodness. HE is our righteousness. It has nothing to do with us and our own striving to “be good enough.” But rather, it has everything to do with Him and what He did for us on the Cross. He wants us to live from this place of love and acceptance, knowing that we are forever worthy of this kind of goodness and love because of Him. And as a result, share this good news with others!
Think of how Jesus welcomed you in, despite your mistakes and failures, with loving arms of grace. If we are called to be like Jesus, shouldn’t we be doing the same? Not just extending our hand or invites to those who are like us and believe the same things, but to those who are needy and vulnerable. Those who are desperate to hear someone say,
“You are welcome here.”
I was volunteering at the Soup Kitchen in my town the other week and met the most incredible woman. Though she is homeless now, she continued to tell me that she knew God would bring her out of her circumstances. Though her situation seemed hopeless, her faith in God was unwavering. She had a confidence that was so evident of a true and genuine faith. And I can guarantee you, she knows she needs God. But are you and I really any different? No. We ALL need the love, grace, protection and strength of God. So, I don’t know where you are in your life right now, but don’t forget to take your eyes off of yourself and see a hurting and broken world around you. It needs your voice. It needs your love. And most importantly, it needs the hope of Jesus.
Friend, I pray that you will remember your worth in Christ and live your life to help others see the same inside their own hearts. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Every single person is worthy because they are ALL created in the image of God. I pray that God will help us to see brothers and sisters all around us who are in need of the gospel, love, and friendship. Let’s be those people in this world. And let our lights shine!