Some of you might not know this, but I actually have two full-time jobs. My volunteer job (better yet my calling) is to co-lead HOUSE SF alongside my husband Craig Matos. However, on top of that I also work a 9-5 job in the health-tech industry as an Office Manager. In my 9-5 role I look after our office facilities, on-boarding, and oversee our entire culture for the company. The company I work for is a non-profit that helps under-served communities receive better healthcare through technology and education. I’m very thankful I have the opportunity to be in both the workplace and church leadership. It helps me to stay grounded and connected to our city.
God constantly uses my day job to challenge me, grow me, and inspire me. Just last week, I was helping my co-founder host an event for countless health and tech professionals in the Bay Area. During the event, there was a panel discussion where the attendees had the chance to ask the panel some personal questions. My co-founder said something during the panel discussion that really stuck out at me.
Know Your Worth
When asked for some personal advice about how she has arrived to where she is, she said these three words – “Know Your Worth.” Those words jumped out to me. How true I thought, no matter what we are doing, it’s so important to know and remember who we are and where our worth truly comes from. In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper “Anne-Marie, where is your worth coming from these days?”
My husband and I started HOUSE SF from scratch just about two years ago. We moved to San Francisco with a head full of dreams and belief that if God called us here He would provide and ultimately be the one to build His House. And you know what – He totally did! He connected us with amazing people that became like family to us; family like the C&MA and our now House SF Church Fam.
Yet, somewhere along the way I lost this sense of “He will build the House” mentality, and adopted an “it’s all on me mentality.” Building anything from the ground up is not for the faint of heart, and it takes resilience, stamina, hard work, constant motivation and self-awareness to ensure that you don’t fall into some destructive mindsets. There is always something to do, always room for improvement, and always the temptation to take things into your own hands.
In light of this, one of the unhelpful mindsets I found myself fall into was a misplaced worth. About halfway into starting HOUSE SF I found myself striving in things vs. stewarding what God had placed in my hands. I would burn myself out trying to do too much in my own strength instead of relying on His. I was doing things for God vs. doing things with God.
What I mean by all of that is that I found myself operating out of a place of simply performing, and in all that my worth started to get wrapped up in what I could do for God. I started to put unrealistic pressures on myself and on top of that, I would lie to myself thinking that if I could do more, than maybe God would be prouder of me.
We can’t earn our worth
So, going back to that exchange of hearing my co-founder’s words paired with what I felt the Holy Spirit asking me “where my worth was these days?” I know exactly what God was trying to highlight to me – He wanted to remind me (maybe us?) that our worth is in one thing alone: HIM. I was worth dying for, I was worth being loved unconditionally. In fact, I am a child of God.
You see, our worth is not found in the exchange of what we can do for Him; there is nothing we can do to earn our worth. It’s given by grace, and is dictated by what He says alone. The simple truth is that our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally, so why do I try to add conditions to it? “Anne-Marie- you are only worthy if you can do things for me,” said God never!
Our worth is simply who God calls us to be
Can I just encourage you for a minute: what you do for God doesn’t add or take away from who you really are. We don’t receive more of His approval when we accomplish more. His love is unconditional, right?
I think one of the best things we can do as leaders (whether in the church or outside of a church setting) is to remember that our worth is not tied to what we achieve, it’s simply in who God calls us to be. You are first and foremost His sons and daughters. If we can operate out of a place like that, then it holds everything else in its rightful perspective. The striving ceases, and this beautiful partnership begins with us and “Dad.”
I don’t know what your current season might look like; maybe you have this all figured out. Whether that is the case or not, I want to encourage you to pause and think about why you are doing what you are doing for God, and maybe check to see if you could instead do those things with God.
I can guarantee you that if the load feels a bit cumbersome now it might just be the way that we are carrying it. Carrying the pressures of leading a church was never God’s intent for His church leaders. Carrying the worries of outworking the dream He’s put in your heart was not the way He designed the process. It’s supposed to be a partnership.
Remember, He’s the one who will build it. Remember, we are yoked to Him- which means He does the heavy lifting in our lives. Our job is to walk in the knowing of Who He is and Who we are in Him: Worthy of Love.
I pray that this encourages you wherever you are right now. I pray that today might be the day where you would receive that love and partnership afresh again.
No matter what it is that God is calling you to build with Him – whether that may be a family, a business, a church – what you do for God will never outweigh who you are in God, and in Him you are loved.
a daughter of God.