Hope, Even for Yourself

Middle school is a weird time. Your body is growing faster than your brain can keep up, you’ve got hormones pumping through you, you’re racked with self-doubt, and, to be honest, you probably aren’t very good at much of anything yet. You don’t know if you’ll be a jock or a geek when you get to high school, on the debate team, or in a band. It seems like a big part of the job is just getting through it.

A lot of my 20s felt the same. I took a bunch of different courses in college and then worked an entry-level job. I had hobbies all over the place. I didn’t know what my contributions or my value would be. I just had to show up. It was awkward, painful, and weird, and sometimes okay.

In Psalm 139:13, the author says that God “knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

I volunteer teaching middle schoolers at my church, and that’s one of the most valuable things I want them to know—that they’re important and loved. Not because of what they can or will do but because they are God’s children. They are mortal beings with an immortal soul, made in the image of the Invisible. They were so dearly loved by our Savior that he gave his life for them.

I’ve been reading a book by Alan Noble, “On Getting Out of Bed.” It’s about grief and mental health and about being kind to yourself. When I’m struggling, a lie I tell myself is that I’m not worth it. Somehow, all those things I tell middle schoolers about their value are true for them, but I’m different. I’m not worthy.

In the book, the author quotes 1 Corinthians 134-7:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Normally, I gloss over this. I’ve heard it plenty of times at weddings and on Valentine’s Day cards. But the book made me look at it differently. Here’s what Alan Noble had to say about those verses:

If this definition of love is accurate, then it also communicates something about the way we ought to interact with God Himself, and therefore how we ought to think about His creation, which includes us. It teaches us how to love ourselves.

So, I challenge you to read those verses again—and don’t just think about your significant other, family, friends, neighbors, or strangers; think about yourself, too.

  • Am I being patient with myself?
  • Am I being kind to myself?
  • Am I resenting myself?
  • Do I believe what the Bible tells me about how God sees me?
  • Do I hope that he has a plan for me?
  • Will I endure these hard seasons?

Because doing these things for yourself is loving God’s creation, and loving God’s creation is an act of worship.

Additional resources

On Getting Out of Bed by Alan Noble


Be refreshed.

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