Finding Your Worth in a Wearied World {of Words}

{By Beth Stiff}


I had planned to write to you today about my disbelief in belonging in this space, here at Outside the City Gate. I could have provided Tammy and Amy with a list of others more qualified to share words with you.


My belief was . . . my words are unworthy and not-enough.


Numerous times I intended to contact Tammy with an excuse to push off my turn to share. Truth be told, I had a good reason to delay as my husband’s return from Afghanistan was only days away. I had a homecoming to prepare for.


But God (two of my favorite words in the Bible) had other plans. When I would begin to draft an email to Tammy with my reasonable excuse for delaying and God would stop me. “Not yet. I have words for you to share. Wait on me.”


Lisa Kerner1 LordJesus_SLP


My husband returned home on Saturday, September 20th. I have watched over and over again the video prepared by our Executive Pastor documenting his homecoming and I keep humming these words:


“How great is our God – sing with me

How great is our God – and all will see

How great, how great is our God”


As I hum I wonder, how can I sing of His greatness yet still long for more? What is the more I am longing for?


Before my husband’s return home, I longed to believe I belonged. To believe I was worthy and enough to share my words in any space, including my own. I prayed for God to give me better words. Worthy words. Words that were enough. But God has replaced that longing. Less of me and more of Him.


LisaKerner2 pencil


A first draft of this post included words of help me overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:24). But then God gave me new words. A new beginning. They are now the words of– I believe.


My former prayer for perfect words, worthy ones, words that were enough, no longer seemed to matter. In light of the abundance He has given me, He is what matters. Because isn’t He the point? In Shauna Niequist’s book, Bread and Wine, she encourages us that, “It isn’t about perfection, and it isn’t about performance.” It’s about His grace and presence.


I know the truth, “and the truth will set me free” John 8:32. And believing the truth has been a process.


Following Christ is a journey, not a destination. We don’t simply arrive the moment we take up our cross and decide to follow Him. He never said, “Come here.” He said, “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19).


And I am following. With that one step I take, the next one appears. I look back and see how He has been present in every step. He has been at work in every aspect of my life from the very beginning . . . growing me to become more like Jesus and less like me.


“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28


Instead of unbelief, I do believe. And I take joy (Habakkuk 3:18). That was how this year without my husband started. By taking joy. By choosing joy. Joy no matter the circumstances. He had placed on my heart that my one word for 2014 would be JOY. There were circumstances over the course of the past ten months that would lead me to doubt God. Why the word joy? Why this calling to write? I’m done. Would you just bring back my husband?


But God’s intentions are always good. He fulfills His promises.


I chose joy. He gave me joy. I didn’t see it fully until now. In the looking back I see. I see Him. His hands. With Him nothing is wasted. The doubts, He uses them.


The un-worthy’s and not-enough’s that I have believed . . . he uses them too. In light of His abundance grace and presence I have come to realize without Him I am unworthy and not enough. But God . . . how great is He!


My heart is glad and my whole being rejoices (Psalm 16:9). For how great is our God!


My words will never be perfect. But they will be worthy and enough if they point you to Him. He is ALL that matters. He is the point.


Ten months without my husband . . . ten of the most difficult months of my life . . . I can see so clearly how God used every circumstance for my good and for His glory. For every circumstance brought me to this new beginning. A beginning with new words. Words that now declare, I believe. How great is our God.


So I will show up in this space as promised and give you my imperfect words. They are my offering. They are my response to His greatness and faithfulness.


Will you join me?


Our worthiness and enough has already been declared by Him. We are worthy and enough only because of who we are in Him. Let’s be done with the unworthy’s and not enough’s. Instead, be confident in knowing “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).


{photo credits: Lisa Kerner, For Simply Living}



beth sfiffs phots sep 30 2014Beth Stiff is Simply Beth, at least that’s what her blog is called. A wife to her Army Reserve husband and a mom of two boys, with her oldest son serving in the Navy, and a mother-in-law too. She a Jesus lover, a family gal who loves her friends, and reading with a hot cup of coffee. Her life is changed, even after 20 years of marriage with a love that grows stronger. But the bottom line, is in the heart. Beth loves the heart things and to speak about the Love that changed her and keeps changing her. She’s an encourager who thrives on being in our corner. You can also find her over here, blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, and posting pictures to the Pinterest world.

34 Comments on “Finding Your Worth in a Wearied World {of Words}”

  1. Beth, as writers and artists, I think we always struggle with our words and work. So much of it is personal and vulnerable in it’s own way. But I’m glad you let God build you up so that you could find His new words for you. Yes, great is our God. 🙂

  2. This post gave me chills because God is so good! My one desire in my writing and in my life is that it all honors Him. That is what makes us worthy and that is why we are here! This post was so lovely-I’m thanking God that you followed through with this today. Hugs!

  3. My prayer for you includes this… that you will never doubt that He gives you the words and that in that you will wait for them. And to push back, every time, that lie that anything about you is unworthy.
    Besides… He even uses our messes when we are asking Him to be in control, you know? 😉
    You are certainly worthy. You are His.

  4. Dear Beth,
    How your words touch a real place in my heart. Good words…God Words. Thank you for writing, for choosing joy, and walking a love walk openly. You are a blessing.
    With love,

  5. Precious Beth, I have come to understand that you will probably never realize your beauty and your value. None of the best ones ever do. Your words blend so perfectly with His words. You shine so brightly for Him, even when you are confessing that you don’t measure up. Maybe especially then. I love you so. Heart Hugs, Shelly ❤

  6. Beth, my fellow JOY-sister, what a beautiful post. You have shared your heart openly, vulnerably, as you always do – and I am tremendously blessed, as I always am. I have to tell you, this is the part that jumped out to me:

    “I chose joy. He gave me joy. I didn’t see it fully until now. In the looking back I see. I see Him. His hands. With Him nothing is wasted. The doubts, He uses them.”

    Yes, amen, yes. This year of my JOY journey has been fraught with crazy and difficult circumstances. And I have often wondered, “Really, Lord? This is what joy is all about?” And yet, as I look back – on your journey, and on mine – I see that He has quietly answered, “Yes, this is what it’s all about. It’s about seeing Me.”

    Thank you, Beth, for reminding me once again of what He is teaching me in this year of JOY. Jesus, Only You!


    (love you…)

  7. Dearest Beth, as I follow you here, I also follow you along a path of insecurity and doubt in the self I call me. Yet God grows me through each place and step only to show me the security I have in Him and the belief I hold because He is. He is my All. I, too, am imperfect yet He shows that He is perfect when I step aside and allow Him to dance through me. Oh, there is sooooo much to learn from the greatest Teacher we could ever have.
    You have blessed me this day. I am praising God that your husband is home safely and God has shown His greatness in all.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Linda, I so appreciate your honesty with sharing your own insecurities. And I just love how you expressed this . . . “I, too, am imperfect yet He shows that He is perfect when I step aside and allow Him to dance through me.” Just beautiful. Thank you, dear friend. It’s a blessing to know you. Thank you for all your prayers and for rejoicing with me on my husbands return home. Much love. xoxo

  8. Thank you for the encouraging words Beth! When life is difficult, it is challenging to concentrate on having joy. Keeping the faith that God is aligning us for His best is what keeps me going.

  9. Oh, Beth. This might be my favorite post of yours to date. I love your worship through your words and your high view of God. I appreciate your “realness” and transparency. It’s clear God us guiding you! Keep seeking Him, as you so beautifully do. May He bless you as you do so! Hugs to you, friend!

  10. Oh friend, your words matter. I am thankful he led you to a place of belief. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. Your humble offering of words are touching hearts, including mine. Hugs!

  11. YES… He is great, and your story here of how he’s carried through your husband’s time away — it gives me hope for my extended family. My fighter pilot brother is on a 7 month deployment now, away from wife and young kiddos… and seriously – I so appreciate your testimony here today, friend. Thank you for your courage. For your heart of obedience to the Father.

  12. Pingback: What's in Store for Us, 2014 in Review, & Link Ups - outside the city gate

  13. Pingback: How I’m Saying Yes to Risk - outside the city gate

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