I was fourteen and wondered if I mattered to anyone, if I was a mistake, if I was going to amount to anything.
I was not the brightest in class. In fact, I always seemed like I was at the tail end of the class, especially in the arts and languages.
I did not come from the most elite of families. My father chose to settle in a suburb where there were more farm animals than people. A terrible thing for a teenager.
In this suburb, water was not piped to the homes and therefore had to use borehole water. Unfortunately, there was too much fluoride in the water that corroded my teeth and stained them into a rich colour of brown. This ate out all my self-esteem.
My skin tone was dark rather than light.
My hair was curly and brown rather than straight and black.
I felt not-pretty-enough, not-bright-enough, not-from-the-best-suburb, and unworthy.
I did not matter to anyone.
Then, one day, a stranger walked up to me and said, “you have a wonderful smile!”
A wonderful smile!
How in the world?
Even with stained teeth?
But he said it. I had a wonderful smile.
My facial expression transformed.
I started smiling so much more.
Later, as I read through the Bible, I came across verses that told me who I was. Here are some that convinced me.
1. Delicate. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13 NLT. Delicate does not mean weak. It means “intricate quality.” When you understand, how intricate you are, you will not allow yourself to be manipulated by other people, physically, sexually or verbally. You shall define and communicate your boundaries to others for respect.
2. Wonderfully complex. “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it.” Psalms 139:14 NLT. Sadly, most of us do not know how wonderfully we are made. And because we don’t know it, we often indulge in risky behaviour totally unaware that we are destroying a wonderfully complex organ.
3. Watched over. “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.” Psalms 139:15 NLT. God did not create you and left you to your own devices as deists believe. He watched over your intricate development and believe it or not, is watching over you with tender care today and every day. You need not be afraid. You are not alone. Fear not. “The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8
4. Not a mistake. “Every day of my life was recorded in your [God’s] book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalms 139:16 NLT Perhaps it has been told to you that you are born accidentally, that you were not planned for, that you stumbled at the wrong time, and came into the wrong family. That may not be true according to God’s account. Nothing catches Him by surprise, and neither did your birth. He had planned for you way before your parents thought of you. Your whole life was recorded in your existence. Be of good cheer, you are no accident.
5. Precious. “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” Psalms 139:17-18a NLT Have you ever walked along a Sandy beach? Were you tempted to scoop some sand into your hand? Did you try counting the grains in your hand? Impossible to count, right? Because they are so many. Now imagine, God says His thoughts about you outnumber the grains of sand. His plans and intentions for your life are incredibly more than you could ever ask or imagine. Imagine that! Do not think lowly of yourself. You are precious in God’s sight. Look up. Smile. You are cherished.
6. Not Alone. “And when I wake up, you are still with me!” Psalms 139:18b NLT Life can be very lonely. There are times we may be in a crowd but feel so left out. The good news is that you are not alone. God assures us that He is still with us. Remember Elisha’s servant Gehazi? He thought his master was alone until his eyes were opened and he saw a host of angels surrounding his master. 2 Kings 6:17
7. Loved. “Long ago the Lord said to [put your name] ‘I have loved you, [your name], with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself.'” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT If there was one word to summarize all the above reasons, it would be love. God loves you. I will say it again, God loves you, yes you. You are the apple of His eye. He gave up all of heaven in giving you His only Son so that you may know how much He loves you. He is coming back for you very soon so that you may live with Him eternally.
Thinking anything less of yourself would be an injustice to yourself and distrust of God.