Have you ever had to sell yourself? Maybe in a resume? Or face-to-face with a perspective employer?
We’re expected to brag about all the great attributes we hold and accomplishments we’ve accrued.
It’s terribly hard, isn’t it?
I remember going into my boss as a young TV reporter and asking for a raise. He asked why I thought I deserved it. My mind went blank.
I was the lowest paid employee in the newsroom. By a lot. The station had brought me in on a trial basis at trial pay.
But I had been a quick learner and a hard worker and had even been featured in a local magazine as someone to watch.
My boss knew all that. He wasn’t trying to be mean. He was trying to teach me to stand up for myself. To put my value into words.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t come up with a single compelling reason why he should pay me more money for the job I was currently doing for less.
Well, I did come up with a reason — two actually. I told him I couldn’t afford to get my hair cut and I qualified for low-income rates at the YMCA.
He gave me the raise.
Here I am twenty years later feeling like that intimidated young employee. I’m writing a proposal for my new cancer book. It’s standard in the publishing industry, sort of like a resume: you tell us why your book is so special and why people would want to read anything you write and we’ll tell you if we’re going to publish it.
Easy. At least the first part is.
I am passionate about getting this book into the hands of every woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer. Women need resources and answers and encouragement. This book can give them that.
Here’s the problem. I have no idea why someone would want to read something I write. Seriously. Why are you reading this right now? What’s wrong with you? There are so many other things you could be reading. Or maybe you could be folding laundry.
I think there are some amazing women out there sharing their experiences and their walks with God. I’d rather read their stuff than mine. It’s a classic case of low self-esteem (even though I’ve never been accused of having that before!).
Maybe you’re a person who understands what that feels like. If that’s the case, today’s memory verse is a good reminder for both of us.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
We don’t have to hold ourselves up against the measuring stick of the world. God created you and me to be His children. He delicately put us together. In His eyes, we are perfect. Or perfectly imperfect.
Sure, that’s a tough thing to put into words on a resume or in a book proposal or in your boss’s office. It might come across as a little awkward when the boss says, “Why should I give you this raise?” and you enthusiastically reply, “Because I’m a child of God!”
But there is something to be said for tucking that bit of information in our hearts and living as though we know we are cherished. Just like we know that the people around us are cherished too.
If we can focus on the Father’s amazing work in us in the heavenly realm, I bet eventually we’ll find the right words to explain that here on earth, too.