Valued Because…


We are born valuable but vulnerable. We have this inherent sense of value for ourselves. As babies, when we were in pain, we cried. When we were hungry, we cried. When we were uncomfortable, we cried. We cried because there was no thought or experience that disconnected us from the truth of our value. We knew what we needed and had no reason to fear asking for it. We also laughed when we thought something was funny or stimulating. Pleasure, happiness, didn’t require a labyrinth of justification. Our value wasn’t something we knew in our heads. It was something we just knew.

A wise friend once told me that our home life does not define our value, but models it. God has already defined my value for me (no one on earth can actually do this) but the purpose of a home, a family, is to treat each other as the valuable people that we are. It’s a valuing that respects the value that already exists. It models respect for my unique abilities, passions, dreams, and obstacles.

My home life was very predictable, very “secure”, very normal. My parents tried to do everything the right way. We went to church, did family devotions, did chores, got allowance, were disciplined for misbehaving. But… something was missing. My whole life I have questioned my value, never felt like my own feelings and thoughts were really good enough, have struggled to even know what my own thoughts and feelings were!

I was not taken advantage of sexually or physically, but I was valued for the wrong things.  The real Carla was not valued or engaged with, not asked “do you like this? Do you not like this? What do you think about this? How did that make you feel?” She was told to be good and was valued for being good. She was applauded for being right more than she was for being herself. So, I was a very good child and decided to continue being very good throughout my life so that I would continue to be treated as valuable. The church loved a good girl, as did the private school I graduated from. I sweat blood and tears to be good and right in order to be valued.

Today it is my quest to be the real Carla, the Carla not boxed in or confined by the labels of “good and right.” Somedays it still feels like a very wobbly path because I get my value mixed up with these old skewed definitions. It sometimes feels foreign and uncertain to know and trust my own real feelings because for so long I have tempered them with what is intellectually “good and right.” But our souls can be nurtured back to life. The seeds that have been dormant for years are still there inside of us. With some loving work and nurturing, they will grow.  It is happening day by day, re-bridging the gap between what is really true and what I deeply know to be true about me.

Categories : Family



Carla, well said. I was the “perfect” “good little girl”. I was the quiet child that everyone said was “different” because I was so well behaved. I was afraid not to be good. I saw when and what my younger siblings got spanking for so I didn’t do it. I did nothing to call attention to myself except that I attempted to excel in my grades at school. I wasn’t a straight A student but I got mostly A’s and a few B’s and usually 2 C’s—one in math and one in science.

Instead of playing in church, I sat perfectly still beside my grandmother watching and wishing I was the little girl in the pew in front of us who played and talked to her mother and finally laid down and fell asleep in her mother’s arms when she was tired. No matter how good I was, it never felt good enough.

As I grew up, I talked little and I had no opinion on anything because you might not like me if my opinion was different than yours. I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing that I didn’t have anything to say. I was so afraid that you might not like me that I never explored who I might be. I didn’t know who I was.

Then I met and married this wonderful man when I was 20 years old and a college student. He taught me to laugh and wanted to know what I thought. He slowly pulled me out of my shell. Whatever he saw in me, he liked and grew to love. He gave me a safe place to let out the real, inner me that no one else seemed to see. We have been married for 37 years. Our love grows stronger each year. The worst times were those early years when I was struggling so to know myself and learning to love myself. I hated who I thought I was for years.

Today I love myself and by some strange miracle, he does too. I am the complicated one who put both of us through Hell for quite a few years. I had to figure out what I didn’t like before I could figure out what was okay and then discover what I did like.

Today I know myself pretty well, still not completely since changes happen every day but that is what keeps life interesting. I send you blessings for your journey of today. I wish for you the best that life has to offer.

In this comment, I think that I just wrote my next blog article. Thanks.


Hi Patricia! Well, I’m glad that your comment will turn into an article for you! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story here. I could really relate as I read along, your feelings of being afraid to say your own opinion and even know your own opinion. That is part of the rebuilding process for me, encouraging my own real feelings and thoughts. It sounds like you found a loving partner along the way to help you with your process of “emerging.” I would say it was his gift as well as your’s to get to know the “real you.” Thanks for your encouraging words and blessings for your journey of today too!


This is a great post Carla!
I was a very well behaved child. I was afraid of disapproval and thought that approval would be the key to happiness. I tried harder all the time too.

I often think about how I communicate worth and value to my own children and I have figured out a lot by realizing what went wrong in my own life. My parents didn’t do everything wrong, but some things went VERY wrong.

As most people who read my stuff here in Emerging from Broken and at the fan page on facebook know, I am really big on the belief system and how it forms. I was 20 years old when I started to seek the truth, and change my life but until I changed my belief system, (and got help to do that) the changes were not deep enough to last for long. Intellectually, I knew that I had been created as an individual with just as much worth as anyone else, but emotionally I could not comprehend it. I could not accept it. There was a lot of value for me to dig into what I really believed about myself as a person and then to find out where those beliefs came from. A lot of it was taught to me by the way that my parents and other adults responded to me as a person, no matter what age that I was. I think that depending on what kinds of messages that we get as children, we can be really susceptible to guilt and shame and eventually jump to those conclusions without help.
Finding out who we really are IS the journey.

March 30th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

MAN! can I relate!!! This could all be me! My dear dad grew up abused and horribly devalued. He had no one to teach him his value, and therefore no way to teach me mine. I was the responsible eldest child of five, the role model, the “good girl,” (but I don’t remember being good enough for praise). I can identify with the pride and humility lies, the no opinion issues, … the whole nine yards. I could have written Carla’s blog entry, and part of Patricia’s. But I’ve been broken longer, and searching for healing longer. At nearly 60, (and with YEARS of therapy under my belt I might add) I’m only BEGINNING to figure out why I’ve been such a mess (although I was a mess mostly on the inside because I had to look good on the outside). And I’m only beginning to learn my value and how to relate in a healthy way to God and others. I have a LONG ways to go, much of my mind to renew, lies to undo, responses to change, but I’m so thankful that I’m finally beginning to understand.


this takes so much courage! thank you for inspiring me.


BetterLateThanNever~ your “name” is so true!! It never is too late to learn the real truth about who you are. I feel really excited for you and this new part of your journey, to find out the truth and live in the freedom of it. I send many good wishes your way. Isn’t it amazing how our stories, though they differ in years, have the same “roots” and played out similarly in our lives? I admire your courage and cheer you on all the way. Thanks so much for sharing with us here.

Darlene~ I really like how you talk about taking the time to dig into what we really believe about ourselves, then figure out what is true and what isn’t, and THEN be able to see who we really are underneath it all… I love that. Thanks Darlene.


Hi Edde! Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment; I applaud your own courage too (I do believe we just commented at the same time. ;))

March 30th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Thanks, Carla, for your encouragement!!! Abba is bringing people and resources into my life to teach me how much HE loves me (something I could never connect with before and am only now learning even though I am in the third of four generations of missionaries/MKs!!!) and to teach me so many more things…about my value and so much more. I have SO far to go, but I am extremely blessed!!! Thanks for being among those who minister to me!

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