Do I Really Matter?

Willow Creek | August 22, 2022

Do you remember being a kid and dreaming about what you would be when you grew up? Maybe a veterinarian because you loved animals, perhaps a teacher, maybe a pro athlete, maybe an actor, maybe a doctor. Or, in my case, the dream was to become a unicorn tamer. 

It is hardwired in us to dream about our purpose. We crave knowing that we are meant for significance. Even as children, we long to know that we matter. 

Here at Willow, we have been talking openly about mental health. Mental health can be a complex conversation. The question “do I really matter” must be addressed, especially if we long to plant our feet in healthy, secure places in our minds. 

God has a lot to say about it. In the Old Testament, we see the nation of Israel in dire straits. Yet, in the middle of the difficult times, God still looked at the people and said, “I shaped you in the womb; I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had sacred plans for you” (Jeremiah 1:5).  

Stop right there. Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you’ve been through–stop. Pause. Internalize this really beautiful, life-altering truth: 

You are no mistake. You are no cosmic accident. You have been specifically and strategically designed and created by the maker of the stars. God knew you before you were even conceived. He has special, sacred plans for your life that He had for you before you were even born. 

In the New Testament, in an ancient letter written to a group of Christians in the city of Ephesus, Paul says that God created you with a purpose in mind: “For you are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance for you to do” (Ephesians 2:10)  

This last weekend, Pastor Dave pointed out that the word for “workmanship” in the original language is the word “poiema.” It’s an artistic term and the same root word we get for our English word “poem.” It conveys the idea that you are not mass-produced; God made you creatively, intentionally, and individually.

Consider this: you are God’s work of art, his masterpiece. Not just that: you are created for a purpose! God created you to do good works that are aligned with the greater good he wants to do in this world. 

You have an identity, a calling, and an assignment. 

  • Your identity is that you are a child of God, created to carry the very image of God. 
  • Your calling is to take next steps following Jesus, growing more and more like Him in word and action. 
  • Your assignment is how God wants to fulfill his purpose through you in this particular time and place. 

These three things are important to know and distinguish. Your assignment may change daily or season-to-season. But your identity and calling will remain: you are made in the image of God, called to take your next steps with Jesus. So today, take heart: your worth, purpose, and value are forever secured. 

So let me ask: What would it look like for you to rest in the truth that you matter? To know and trust you were created on purpose for a purpose?

Do you have more questions about mental health and related issues? Take a look at our resources page; with articles, practical tips, advice, and stories from others who have been there too.