Too often, we forget we have value. You—me—everyone! Maybe no one ever told you that you were special? Maybe you were bullied in school for being different? Maybe you feel like no one gets you or even wants to try? Maybe you made a bad decision that you are ashamed of? Maybe, you always compare yourself to others—models, actors, athletes, friends, people you don’t even know? Guess what? You aren’t alone. And before, you say, “whatever”, she doesn’t understand—let me tell you something about me. I catch myself thinking way too many times something that sounds like this…Why can’t I look like her? Be skinny like her? Be curvy like her? Why can’t I be talented like her? Why can’t I be more popular with my friends? Why can’t I be happy with myself? If only, I could be smarter, prettier, better…And before I know it I’m caught up in the vicious cycle of self-loathing . Sound familiar?

We all struggle with accepting ourselves. We all wonder if people will love us for ourselves. We all think no matter who we are we just aren’t good enough. Like him? Like her? The truth is, when we look in the mirror, we’re looking for the wrong things. We look at our hair when we should be looking at our hearts. We criticize the way our noses are shaped when we should be thanking God for being made in His image. We dwell on bad situations or failures instead of dwelling on the challenges we’ve overcome and the blessings we have received. Life is hard. No argument there. But, its also a magical, fantastic adventure if we want it to be. You are beautiful

One of my favorite things about this story is the idea that God makes us exactly how we are supposed to be. No mistakes. He puts us in a certain place at the perfect time. He gives us our own specific gifts to accomplish His purpose for us. We may not always understand why things are happening, but we can take comfort in the fact that God’s got this. God sends His angels to have our backs. God has equipped us with a gift to further His kingdom. God has given us a mission. He has entrusted us with the earth that He created.

It’s easy to forget that before the foundations of the Earth were laid, God had us in mind. I don’t know about you, but the fact that the Creator of the heavens and the earth made me, loves me, takes care of me… it’s mind blowing! When I look in the mirror, I admit that I don’t always see what I wish I saw. When God looks at me, He sees His beautiful, complex, valued child. So, the next time you’re in that vicious cycle, remember that all you have to do is stop questioning who you are. You are child of God. You have value.

– Susan Alford