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Earning Your Keep

My name is Jessica and I am on staff at a wonderful church called Covenant Life Center in my hometown of Victoria, Texas. My official position is Executive Administrator (that's a fancy way of saying I organize things). I am so thankful to be in ministry and am able to fulfill the gifts and callings God has given me. As a woman in ministry, I am completely honored that I have been asked to share a small part of what God has been showing me lately.

There is one thought that has been going through my mind on a daily basis, and that it- Earning My Keep. As I began to sit and ponder this phrase and the meaning behind it, a few definitions came to mind:

1. To be worth keeping

2. To earn the right to stay

3. Proving to be worthy of keeping

I have found, whether with family, friends, my Pastors and even my church, that I needed to somehow, someway prove that I was good enough to keep around. I wanted to earn my keep. I wanted to prove that I was worth their time and energy. I felt that maybe if I worked harder, made zero mistakes; if I did everything right- maybe then, and only then, I would earn my keep. At the same time, I realized that not only was I treating the people around me this way, I was treating God the same way. I thought if I could somehow go through the day without making any huge mistakes that God would see that I was worth keeping. I had this constant urge to prove that I was good enough to be loved and kept.

I was trying so hard to not only earn people's love and approval by works and I was doing the same thing with God. I had become so wrapped in the lie that I needed to be perfect to be loved. I needed to be perfect to earn my spot in my family, with my friends and even in my ministry. Especially being a young woman in ministry- that lie was even more prevalent. I got caught up in the idea that because I am in ministry I needed to look a certain way, act a certain way, talk proper, handle myself well and NOT MAKE A MISTAKE. If I could do this maybe I would be worth keeping around. In my head, women in ministry were perfect. They didn't make mistakes. I'm sure most of you are laughing at these thoughts, but I'm also sure you might have felt just like this at some point. This is a hard realization to grasp at time and I can't lie; it is a daily struggle still. Just recently, I opened myself up and became vulnerable with God and He began to show and remind me of this one thing, "You are worth keeping."

Let me tell you something. YOU ARE WORTH KEEPING. He couldn't love you more than He already does. Whether you're perfect in every way like Mary Poppins or you have a long journey ahead of you- He loves you my dear. You need to do nothing more than be yourself. In ministry, this is the best piece of advice I can give is- be yourself. Don't try to be a carbon copy of someone else. And just by being you, you have earned your stay in the heart of God and that's more than enough.

You are altogether beautiful, my love;

there is no blemish in you.

Song of Solomon 4:7

Thank you for reading,

Jessica Garner

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