When working with kids in our Awanas program at church, I was struck that their young hearts were already a target for the same cruel lies we adults carry. One lie that cuts deeply is the buried belief that we don’t matter. While challenging my own lies recently, I found that little devil alive and well and felt impressed to look up the meaning.

Matter: something that occupies space

That brought a measure of comfort. I occupy space, therefore, I matter. No one has the right to bump me out of my space, and it’s my duty to stand up and occupy that space. Handled? Not quite.

I sense that an elusive standard exists to which I must measure up. It’s a continuous question I ask internally. Do I matter here? Am I measuring up? But, measuring up to who? When I look around, there isn’t anyone I’d rather be, or as an author, no one’s books I wish I’d written. So what is this quest?

I’ve come to believe my spirit is searching to be like the One who is perfect; that my Father laid it in my heart to desire oneness and perfection which is only found in Him.

In Him, we live and move and have our being.”

Have our being. Matter. When I’m in that place, I feel complete, at peace. Yet, even though I am one with Christ, I am also different than others, which nudges me to compare. That makes the second meaning of matter just as exciting to me:

Matter: a particular kind of substance.

One night in Awanas, I set a beautiful vase of water and a clay pot filled with old soil in front of the kids and asked which was more valuable. As expected, they chose the beautiful vase. But what would happen, I asked, if I put a living plant into that vase of water? It would drown and die. It needed the clay pot with its drainage hole and soil. Conversely, a bouquet of beautiful flowers would wilt within the hour if stuck into the pot of dirt.

We each hold a particular kind of space that was planned for us before the earth was created. We are each precisely designed for a precise purpose, one that matters.

I’d love to hear your story. If you’ve struggled with this issue, what tools or truths have you found that have helped you overcome the feeling that you don’t matter?