On the outside things looked great: college grad, amazing family, a career I was passionate about. But on the inside, I was trapped in comparison, people pleasing, and a wavering self-worth based on my physical appearance, résumé accomplishments, and attention from guys. I was aching to be noticed and wanting to be liked, because that’s where I found my value. I was exhausted trying to “keep face” and make MY dreams and plans happen. When a serious hip injury took away what I thought was THE ultimate joy, dancing on stage, I questioned why God would do this to me?

Like any good father, He wanted to show me a better way and my stubborn heart needed a big wake up call. God’s love is faithful and never changes based on my performance. He saw me in my absolute mess and still claimed me as His own. For the first time, I grieved and confessed how I had sinned against my Heavenly Father. I trusted that God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross IN MY PLACE and rose again defeating death so that I could be with Him forever! I’ve experienced that on my own I fail. Big time. Instead when I seek His way and His will I have steadfast joy, peace and purpose. My value is no longer defined by my performance. It is rooted in what He calls me: beloved, blameless and beautiful. I am His daughter, created and chosen to use my gifts for His glory not mine, and I want Him to have it all. He has given me new life. He is my greatest treasure. He is worthy of it all.

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

-Galatians 2:20

-Lauren Johnson