Quote Challenge Day 2

So…clearly I have already failed at this three day quote challenge. I didn’t post three days in a row. Life happened, as it always does, and I didn’t make the time. However I still plan on completing the challenge by posting about two more quotes. Here is the quote I chose for today:

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”   E.E. Cummings

My first thought about this quote is that it makes you think about people. The people that have helped shape who you are, the people that inspire you, challenge you, encourage you. E. E. Cummings is saying that we don’t believe in ourselves until someone shows us that we are worthy and valuable. I agree with that completely. Immediately, some students come to mind. Between teaching, subbing, and being a Young Life leader, I’ve watched kids of all ages struggle with their sense of worth. There are kids that don’t feel like they can do anything, kids that don’t think they will have friends, kids that don’t think they will ever succeed. I’ve witnessed teachers, mentors, and leaders change lives for these kids just by being there for them and being a part of their lives. Sometimes all it takes is one person. And it breaks my heart to think that not everyone has that person. Which leads me to.. who did this for me? There are so many people that have made an incredible impact on my life.. my parents, my Young Life leaders, my mentor, my friends, and when I finally understood what Jesus did for me – God. All of these people have helped and continue to help me realize my worth and my value. So, who am I doing this for?  Many people have believed in me… who am I believing in? My prayer would be that I am doing this for my students, my friends, my family, my future foster children. But I am realizing that I am not as intentional as I should be with the people I love. I’m feeling this overwhelming sense of urgency to let the people I love know the meaning they’ve had in my life – and to let them know that they’re worth it and that I believe in them, too. Actions speak so much louder than words, and I don’t think my actions have been supporting my words with some of my relationships lately. Add that to the list of why I am a work in progress.

The second part of the quote cannot go unnoticed. “..Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” This is the effect of the first half of the quote. Someone believed in you.. now you can fly. Because someone told or showed you that you are worthy and that you have value.. you are more likely to take risks. It’s a beautiful thing. Thinking of some of the risks I’ve taken or some of the scariest journeys I’ve jumped into (foster care being my latest), I see this quote come alive. It’s taken me years to really understand my identity, my value, my worth. But I would not be living the way I am living if I didn’t believe in myself and if I didn’t know my identity in the Lord. And the reason I do know those things is because of the people who were there for me, who showed up, who refused to let me see myself in any other way. I’m forever grateful for those people.

I’m challenged by this quote. Challenged to be that person for others. Challenged to reach out to the people who helped shaped me. I hope you’re challenged too!

 

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