There is something in the numbers-the passage of time, the repetition of actions, the marking of milestones.
This weekend is a weekend of significant numbers. Today, I write my 100th blog post; tomorrow, I celebrate 13 years of marriage; and, (hopefully) in the next few days, I will reach 10,000 views on this website.
I have spent my life measuring myself against the numbers. They have been my constant companion, my greatest accomplishments, and my most formidable foes: test scores, school records, class rank, number of points, number of rebounds, GPA, my weight, my sister’s 5k time, 26.2 miles, 13.1 miles, and now… the number of views on my website.
It is funny how something so arbitrary and with so little consequence can drive me. I can’t stop the desire to be measured by a number. I know, deep down, my worth is not connected to numbers and accomplishments. Yet, I battle to live it out.
I recently took two final exams for some extra college courses I was studying. I knew I wasn’t prepared for both tests, but I had hit the end of my timeline. I earned a 94 and an 87. I was crushed because I was going to get a B….. a B!!!!
I couldn’t shake the feeling of failing. I had been measured as less than an A.
I wish I could tell you I felt just fine with my test results and that I didn’t give it a second thought. The sad truth is, for all my work to embrace the imperfections of life and to give myself grace, I was devastated. I tried to talk positively about it, but, inside, I was wrecked.
Here I am on my 100th post about giving grace and I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when my final grades came. I had earned an A in both courses because of my final projects, but I still felt the success was tainted by the test score.
It doesn’t matter how much I know the the truth; I am still battling the lies. Somewhere, deep down, I believe myself to be not enough. I often look to the numbers to prove myself wrong. Thankfully, some numbers require nothing of me, and they speak a truth I desperately need to embrace.
“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
I am still fighting to love every crack, wrinkle, pound, and speck of dirt. This might be my 100th time of writing to process through to the grace, but I am still learning to recognize the beauty and the worth of less than perfect.
Thank you for fighting along with me.
*Oh, and if you want to help me reach my arbitrary goal of 10,000 views (that honestly shouldn’t matter to me), share this post or one of your favorites.