{Ministry Mom} Worth More Than Diamonds

MandyWritten by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

….worth far more than diamonds. (Proverbs 31:10 MSG)

The definition of worth is: “the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

Our culture is insistent that we find our ‘worth’ in various ways. Where do you find your worth?

Do you find worth in your education? Perhaps you have a degree or two from a prominent university, framed and boldly centered on your office wall. Do you find your worth in your job? Maybe you’ve climbed the ladder and have worked REALLY hard to earn the position you possess today. Do you find your worth in a growing platform? Maybe you have double the number of fans on Facebook or Twitter as your competitors. Do you find your worth in your family? I’ll bet you are pretty proud of the hard-working husband and beautiful children you call your own. What about a car? A boat? Your hair? Your home? Your passion? Your talent? Your ministry? (Ouch)

Now, what if the very thing in which you found your worth was stripped away. Would you still be worthy?

What if you have none of these things? Does that make you worthless?

1 Peter 1: 3-7 says this: God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear. You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do. On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. (CEV)

Worth has nothing to do with anything you can possess or obtain in the physical sense. Nothing you can buy, earn or create on this earth will increase or decrease your worth. The value you feel in any of the things I mentioned above, or anything else other than God Himself will soon fade away.

It is only when you put your hope and faith in God, without reservation, without holding back, that your worth is far greater than diamonds, my friend.

Don’t settle for anything less.

{Marriage} I am not a failure.

By: Mandy Hill

I met my husband Nathan the summer after I graduated from high school. In the fall he began his fourth (final) year of of his BSc and I began my first or freshman year of my BComm; at neighbouring universities!

We were fast friends. While our friendship was growing we would often meet at a central location between our school’s campuses and share lunch or breakfast….we fell in love over those times together. Getting to know each other, gazing into each other’s eyes. I was beginning to feel like I was on top of the world.

Halt…….I started getting marks back from midterms, papers, etc. C’s?? What in the world was this?? Didn’t these professors read my high school transcript? I was at the top, people!!! All A’s! You can’t give me C’s, this isn’t right. Unfortunately, I allowed those initial marks to determine my worth for the remainder of my time spent attending that university.

At the end of my second semester I was actually placed on academic probation for my marks in one particular class. This was devastating to me and I don’t think I ever truly recovered. I did enter my second year, but faded out after my third semester. After coming away from high school, at the top of my class….to this?? I felt like I had lost something. Did I mention my husband is incredibly smart?? Like first class honours, university medal kinda smart? That didn’t help….

Not only did I let myself down, I now had this amazingly smart fiancé who I didn’t feel I belonged with anymore…..I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that he had two campuses full of incredibly smart, amazing women that would be a much better match for him.

Fiancé? Yes, the night before the last exam I ever wrote at that university, my husband purposed to me! It was December 7, 2003.

Oh sisters, I struggled. My fiancé and my parents were so wonderful during that time. They affirmed their love for me, encouraged me, told me my marks were not going to determine my intellect or my worth….

I went to work full time after Christmas. My fiancé and I decided to get married on July 10, 2004. The next six months were spent planning and prepping for our big day. Shortly after we were married we moved out of the city into a town where my husband was hired into full time youth ministry.

After a year of being unemployed and falling deeper into the pit of self-doubt I received a phone call. The man on the other end confirmed that my employment insurance was running out…but that because I did not have a degree or trade, that I qualified for a program with the government that would allow me to go back to school.

I went through so many emotions…..A second chance!!!; I can’t do it; But I’m married now…is that even ok? I’m not smart enough….

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Well, sisters. It took all I had in me, but I went to that meeting. After much prayer and petitioning with The Lord I registered for nursing. I walked into that college with my shoulders slumped and my head down. But, it was in that place and that very time that I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be. He used those years to help put back the pieces of my heart’s hurts. He healed the pain of my failures.

….and I walked out of that college with my shoulders back, my head held high, my diploma in hand, and as the valedictorian for the 2007 graduating class! When Jesus restores, he doesn’t go halfway! He gave me something far more valuable to me than improved marks; he renewed my hope in a bright tomorrow.

I am not a failure. And neither are you.

Dear heavenly and gracious Father! Thank You that You are a God that restores hope. Thank You for blessing me with restoration even though I felt like the very last person who ever deserved it. For my sisters who are out there struggling with the weight of a failure, Jesus, I pray that you will lift that off their shoulders and pour Your hope into their soul. Give them strength to move forward and allow them to see their worth in You. Thank You for being a wonderful God, who cares so much and truly gives the very best. I love You! In Jesus name, Amen.